Throughout history, flourishing democracies have been known for their generosity and willingness to sacrifice for others. One proof of this is the number of charities and nonprofit organizations that regularly receive support from individuals, corporations, and government agencies. In The Better World Handbook, authors Brett Johnson, Brian Klocke, Ellis Jones, and Ross Haenfler suggest that you find out whether your workplace encourages charitable giving. Does your employer have a charitable donation matching fund program, or does it offer the option to take an amount you specify from your paycheck to go directly to the charities you chose? If it doesn't, ask if they would be willing to start one of these programs.

Regardless of your employer's participation in a donation program, you can create your own ways of bringing together your workplace and the social and environmental impacts that are important to you. Here are some possibilities:

  • Ask for charitable donations instead of gifts for your next birthday, promotion party, or other celebration.
  • When your office plans to hold a party for either an employee or a client, advocate for donating the money that would have been spent on the party to a cause of that employee's or client's choosing or a cause that relates to your work.

Not all company donations have to be monetary. Here are some ideas for non-monetary giving:

  • Organize a lunch-time bake sale to benefit your favorite charities.
  • Organize lunch-time meal deliveries to people in need.
  • Organize a gift collection, like knitted blankets for hospital patients, persons who are homeless, or nursing facility residents, and deliver the gifts during a lunch break.
  • Organize a collection event. Leave boxes in a lobby or break room for art supplies or used sports equipment you can donate to after-school programs, care kits or winter clothes for homeless shelters, unused makeup and perfume for a women's shelter, stuffed animals for hospitalized children, baby clothes and supplies for new parents, books for a library, and so forth. A powerful way to host a collection event related to food is to hold a fast-at-work day to coincide with collecting food you can donate to the local food bank.
  • Organize a chores-for-another weekend. Identify an individual or individuals in your community that could use help with errands, housework, or yard work. Gather volunteers from your coworkers, and set a schedule.
  • Organize a carpool.
  • Once a month, invite a person who is food insecure to share a lunch with you and your co-workers.
  • Organize a home-alone safety class for children or self-defense workshop for people of all ages.
Habib Todd Boerger, Brett Johnson, Brian Klocke, Ellis Jones, Ross Haenfler in Practicing Democracy at Work by Habib Todd Boerger