The end of the year often means offices filled with gift baskets and promotional holiday goodies from sales teams and business partners. While client gifting is undoubtedly a fun way to spread cheer and show appreciation, the team at Upwave decided to rethink our approach to giving this year.

In place of sending physical gifts to our clients, we were proud to participate in Season Without Swag, an industry-wide initiative launched by social impact company, Givsly, in partnership with Advertising Week. This innovative and first of its kind effort encouraged companies to redirect budgets previously spent on company swag and gifts towards meaningful charitable donations.

According to Givsly, each year in North America, $25 billion is spent on promotional swag, with a significant portion of that focused on holiday gifts. In a year as trying as 2020, when so many nonprofit organizations are in desperate need of funding, our team was inspired by Givsly’s call to utilize our holiday budget for good.

We were excited to make a donation in our clients’ honor to Save the Children International. This highly-rated organization is dedicated to transforming the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities. This year, in particular, Save the Children has provided meals, school materials, and health care to children and families in 88 countries, focusing on relief for those most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Our clients can feel proud knowing that the funds for their usual end-of-year gifts have instead contributed towards making a meaningful impact around the world.

We were humbled and honored to be among the 32 companies across advertising, media, marketing, and other industries who made donations to the nonprofits of their choice. Together, we helped the first-ever Season Without Swag initiative raise over $341K — truly cause to feel merry this holiday season.

Of course, giving back shouldn’t just be limited to the holiday season. Check out these two recent stories about how Upwave gives back through pro-bono industry partnerships.