Engaged employees are more engaged, productive, and at least 44% more likely to stay in their jobs (according to Gallup). As we settle into the new year, it’s time to open up that crisp, new calendar for employee engagement... full of empty days!
Looking at cause awareness events can provide great inspiration for ways to engage employees and recognize causes that are meaningful to them. In this article, we’ll give you some ideas for activities, tips on choosing days to align with, and a full list of cause awareness months, weeks, and days in 2023 (with a focus on the United States).
What can my company do to recognize cause awareness days?
Here’s a list of ideas – do one, all, or a combination of a few to recognize a cause awareness day:
- Plan volunteer events with local nonprofits
- Bring in a guest speaker for an educational lunch-and-learn
- Start a discussion in Slack, including statistics and resources to learn more
- Collaborate with employee resource groups
There are so many important causes… How do I choose?
Don’t let decision paralysis stop you from organizing great content and events for your employees! When you scroll down the list, take note of the cause awareness days that make sense for your company to plan around.
Here are some questions to help you with prioritization:
Does my business align with any of these causes?
Look at your business’s industry and customers. What do you do and who do you serve? Select causes that align with your work, mission, and vision. This can help to strengthen purpose in the employee experience.
For example, if your company works in property management, you could plan volunteer events and lunch-and-learns around housing and homelessness. Partner with nonprofits that address these issues locally.
How can I honor my employee population?
Review employee demographics and survey results. But don’t just go with the biggest populations – representation for minority groups is even more important to recognize. We also recommend collaborating with employee resource groups – build events and educational content together, and amplify their voices.
What are my employees passionate about?
If your company logs volunteer time off or has an employee volunteer program, check the data – where have employees spent their time? Find the cause areas of those nonprofits. (If you’re not tracking nonprofit engagement at the employee level, consider using a tool that does this for you.)
2023 cause awareness calendar
- 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- 22: Lunar New Year (through February 5)
- National Blood Donor Month
- National Mentoring Month
- 11: International Day of Women and Girls in Science
- 17: Random Acts of Kindness Day
- 20: World Day of Social Justice
- 19-25: National Engineers Week
- Black History Month
- American Heart Month
- 3: World Wildlife Day
- 8: International Women’s Day
- 21: International Day of Forests
- 22: World Water Day
- 31: Transgender Day of Visibility
- National Women’s History Month
- 7: World Health Day
- 22: Earth Day
Earth Day engagement ideas: Organize a trash-pickup volunteer event on Earth Day with a local nonprofit, like SOLVE in Portland. Start discussions in Slack leading up to Earth Day, like “What’s a sustainable action you take at home?” “What’s your favorite hike you’ve ever done?” “How do you connect with nature?”
- 1-8: National Robotics Week
- 3-9: National Public Health Week
- 22-30: National Park Week
- National Volunteer Month
- National Financial Literacy Month
- Stress Awareness Month
- 5: Teacher Appreciation Day
- 15: International Day of Families
- 17: International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
- 25: Anniversary of George Floyd’s death
- 25: Memorial Day
- 1-7: Children's Mental Health Awareness Week
- Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
- Mental Health Awareness Month
- 5: World Environment Day
- 10: National Get Outdoors Day
- 19: Juneteenth
- Pride Month
- Immigrant Heritage Month
- Caribbean American Heritage Month
- 4: United States Independence Day
- 12: Malala Day (Rights for Women and Children)
- 18: Nelson Mandela International Day
- 30: International Day of Friendship
- HIV Awareness Month
- 9: Indigenous People’s Day
- 12: International Youth Day
- 17: National Nonprofit Day
- 19: World Humanitarian Day
- Black Philanthropy Month
August is a great time to partner with local nonprofits for back to school supply drives.
- 5: International Day of Charity
- 7: Labor Day
- 8: International Literacy Day
- 10: World Suicide Prevention Day
- 15: International Day of Democracy
- 21: International Day of Peace
- 24: World Rivers Day
- Latinx Heritage Month
- Hunger Action Month
- 2: World Habitat Day
- 5: World Teachers Day
- 10: World Mental Health Day
- 16: World Food Day
- 22: Make a Difference Day
- 27: National Mentoring Day
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- LGBTQIA+ History Month
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month
- 11: Veterans Day
- 13: World Kindness Day
- 14: World Diabetes Day
- 15: National Philanthropy Day
- 20: World Children's Day
- 23: Thanksgiving
- 28: Giving Tuesday
- 13-19: World Kindness Week
- Native American Heritage Month
- Military Family Appreciation Month
- Hospice Month
November is a great time to partner with local nonprofits for holiday food and toy drives through December.
- 3: International Day of People with Disabilities
- 5: International Volunteer Day
- 10: International Human Rights Day
- 25: Christmas
- 18-26: Hanukkah
- 26-Jan 1: Kwanzaa
- Universal Human Rights Month