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A gift is defined as something material or immaterial voluntarily given to a person, group of people or entity without any payment in return, to celebrate an occasion or provide support. Why do we give gifts, then, investing time and money into thoughtful presents without expecting anything in return
This principle of gift-giving psychology has been essential to humans as a society, to support each other and grow together. A group of researchers studying the effects of charitable donations found that giving activates a region of the brain associated with social bonding. Cool, huh
While ethics and transparency have always been critically important in the business world, industries have begun to get more stringent about their gift policies around giving and receiving business gifts. This includes, but is not limited to:
Within the past few decades, because the business world has become more concerned with ethics, they have introduced more policies around giving gifts: corporate gift giving policies. It is also known as gifts and entertainment policies.
Giving a gift from one person to another should be something simple, seen as an act of appreciation and kindness, right But back In the heyday of financial services and medical marketing, sales representatives and vendors would take their clients (decision-makers for major purchases) to expensive events and buy them luxury items.
In the U.S., the General Federal Bribery Statute (18 USCS prec 201(b)) defines a bribe as directly or indirectly corruptly giving, offering, or promising anything of value to any public official or person who has been selected to be a public official with intent to influence any official act, or to influence the recipient to commit or help commit fraud or otherwise act unlawfully.
In addition to addressing laws that govern gift giving, such as anti-bribery laws, a business may also be governed by additional industry-based regulations. Here are some company gift policy examples within a few of the more regulated industries:
When in doubt, be cautious and frugal. Gift limits can be set as low as $25 in some organizations. Most larger companies have established clear and specific gift policies as part of their codes of conduct.
If you need assistance a step deeper, our Send Curation team, aka in-house gift-giving experts, can help you navigate your gifting strategies for even the most regulated industries. Even if your client or prospect has a no gift-giving policy, we can help. Contact us today to see how it works!
Nancy A Shenker is a marketing consultant, writer, speaker, and Sendoso brand ambassador. Prior to launching her own company, theONswitch in 2003, she worked as a senior executive for major brands, where she often gave (and sometimes, unfortunately, rejected) gifts.
Gift-giving has its roots in pagan rituals held during the winter. When Christianity folded these rituals into Christmas, the justification for bearing gifts was redirected to the Three Wise Men, the Magi, who gave gifts to the infant Jesus. But in early modern Europe, it also had its roots in Christmas begging. At that time, Christmas bore little resemblance to the family-centered holiday celebrated today. During the holiday seasons, bands of young men, often rowdy, would "wassail" from home to home and demand handouts from the gentry, says Stephen Nissenbaum, author of "The Battle for Christmas." Christmas involved an exchange between the social classes.
But when Christmas was domesticated in the 1800s in the United States, the recipients of gift-giving shifted from the lower classes to children, given by versions of Santa Claus. It was then that a marketing opportunity was created, bringing us to the Santa-in-the-shopping-mall phenomenon that we recognize today.
Co-Workers: There are generally no legal restrictions on gifts exchanged among co-workers receiving the same pay. An employee may not accept a gift from a co-worker receiving less pay unless there i