Partnerships and Christmas - Helping at Christmas time

Christmas is the season for giving, as the saying goes, and it can be a time where community business partners can do a bit extra to help each other out.

However it can also be a time where those in a community business partnership can be distracted or busy with other things – the Christmas rush for businesses or end of year reviews, functions and "housekeeping" for community groups. That means that sometimes the best way to do that little bit extra at Christmas could mean just showing a bit of understanding.

Following are 10 ways your business or community group can add some festive cheer to your partnership – either through additional activities, involvement, functions, or just that extra bit of understanding during this busy time of the year. These are just some of the things you can do to boost your partnership over Christmas – as for the rest, let your imagination go.
  • Be patient and flexible.
    • Sometimes Christmas can be a very busy time for both businesses and community groups. This can mean your business partner could be a bit too busy to make that meeting, or may need all staff on deck instead of having a couple on secondment or volunteer duties with a community group. Or it could mean your community group partner may have members away or busy with family duties during December – meaning some activities may need to be delayed.
    • If so, be patient, understanding and flexible – and if necessary, don't hesitate to reschedule activities to a time suitable to both partners.
  • Invite your partner to your Christmas function. 
    • Not only is it a good way to show your appreciation, you never know – you might get an invite to their function in return!
  • Organise a final working bee/gift in-kind/donation/sponsorship activity.
    • If you aren't too busy, give that little bit extra to your community business partner through an extra activity or donation.
  • Send them a thank you note in a Christmas card for all their help during the year.
  • Provide a Christmas hamper for your community group to raffle.
    • If the community group is holding a fundraiser, donate a hamper to the cause.
  • Buy a joint gift/donate jointly towards a Christmas appeal. 
    • Community business partners can also do their bit to make the community a happier place at Christmas by slipping a joint gift under a giving tree, donating a gift to a toy appeal or passing the hat around to raise money for a good cause. All sorts of appeals and ways to give can be found at: www.GiveNow.com.au.
  • Make an early New Year's resolution and join your community group partner's membership or board. 
    • If you haven't gotten around to it already, show your commitment to your partnership and community group partner and ask if they would like you to join their board. If you're already a member, renew that membership if the time is right.
  • Put an ad in the local paper or write a letter to the editor outlining what you have achieved through your partnership this year. 
    • Partners could work together on a letter to the editor or an advertisement thanking each other and outlining the partnership's successes during the year. Remember, many local papers shut down or work to short deadlines over Christmas, so get in touch with them and ask about their deadlines.
  • Finally – maybe just sit back and take a break.
    • Simply taking a break, sitting back and reflecting on the successes of a community business partnership over Christmas may not be such a bad idea – especially if everyone is very busy. Just make sure you make it your New Year's resolution to get back into the partnership after the Festive Season ends!