in lieu of holiday gifts

at my day job i occasionally hire keynote speakers through a great canadian talent pool called speakers’ spotlight.

i think that a lot of buzzing around the december grand holidays is severely overrated, especially when the buzz comes from corporations, and i loathe seeing the corporate branded holiday cards littering every office i go into, including our own.

what i can tolerate and even appreciate a bit more however, is when corporations announce their ongoing social initiatives in conjunction with the holidays, with emphasis on the word ongoing. speakers’ spotlight is doing something right with their profits year round, as indicated by the card i received today:

We want to thank you for your support and belief in us. Again this year, in lieu of sending out holiday presents, we have decided to do something special.

As you may know, Speakers’ Spotlight has partnered with Free the Children and has adopted a village in the Maasai Mara region of rural Kenya.

Every time we book a speaker, we send “our kids” medical supplies on our clients’ behalf. We are proud to let you know that this year we have sent $200,000 worth of supplies.

We are also excited about our schoolhouse being built right now – using your donations from Showcase 2007.

And for the holidays, we will be purchasing all the textbooks needed for the schoolhouse. We do this on your behalf.

And we thank you for making it possible.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Speakers’ Spotlight.

sure, it’s a great feelgood marketing strategy to put something of alleged value into customers hands, but assuming the partnering organisation is valid and honourable, one can’t deny that it worked.

do you know of other organisations that do *ongoing* social initiatives like this, something that lasts throughout the year? i’d love to hear about them.

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