Why Socially Aware People Are Also Gifters
Gifts are inherently social. They’re not just given to be nice; they’re a part of the social interaction between individuals. Done right, a gift is a statement of relationship. It bonds that relationship with a feeling of personalization and memorability, and it connects two individuals or organizations together.
It’s not surprising then that those people who are involved in social movements are also more involved in gifting. After all, both involve social engagement, interaction, and connection.
Gifting Is Social
Sociologist Michael Mauss stated:
“Each gift is part of a system of reciprocity in which the honor of giver and recipient are engaged.”
Giving a gift invites the recipient to participate in a relationship. As an individual receives a gift, he or she says yes to that interaction. By giving back, the recipient creates and sustains a social relationship.
It’s often that desire for personal engagement and connection that drives people to become involved in social movements as well. According to Psychology Today, “those who find personal meaning in current events are inclined to speak out for a cause.”
Humans act benevolently so that they can gain consciously or unconsciously. Just like gift-giving, social activism is an action that benefits all parties involved and brings them together in a relationship.
A Generational Shift
This connection between social participation and gifting is particularly visible in the case of Millennials. Millennials are in the workforce now, and they’re leading companies and in charge of creating those connections through business gifting.
According to the Business Gift Satisfaction Report, Millennials are twice as likely as Boomers to be influenced by social movements. Those Millennials are starting to move into the C-Suite in some companies, such as tech companies. In other industries, they are moving slowly upwards, but they don’t dominate the C-Suite yet. The inclinations of this generation will shape the way people do business, and this includes their business gifting practices.
Social Awareness and Business Gifting
In his book Social Movements for Good, Derrick Feldmann states:
“Millennials want to give back to their community and to the world.”
Social movements present Millennials with an opportunity to engineer change. They’re also focused on unity, bringing together many different people in a common cause. In spite of its reputation as an apathetic generation full of special snowflakes, this generation is uniquely engaged in their country’s politics and their local causes as well. For example, according to Vice, “a larger percentage of Millennials (65 percent) voted in the presidential election than the percentage of the American public (55 percent) did.”
What does this teach us about gifting in the business setting? While socially aware people tend to give many gifts, that social awareness spreads into all areas of business gifting. For example, 38 percent of people state that Made in the USA gifts are most preferable, while many also prefer gifts that are handmade, artisanal, or made by traditionally disadvantaged groups. Those who are creating gifting protocols for organizations need to acknowledge the desire for socially meaningful gifts and move toward that trend.
At Knack, we’re here to help you create and maintain your social networks through business gifting. Talk with us today about the many possibilities that we offer as you navigate the world of business gifting. Learn more about Knack today.