Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Like Christmas, the advertising industry and its collaborators have sucked the life out of it. Couples buy schlocky cards and last-minute sweetheart gifts, and go out for the obligatory romantic dinner in herds of two. Baaaa. It’s what’s expected, what’s done.

But are these efforts really from the heart? Wouldn’t a handwritten note or homemade meal be a more meaningful gift of the heart?

Katya Andresen, Chief Strategy Officer of Network for Good, blogged about a better way to celebrate gifts of the heart – Generosity Day.

Make tomorrow Generosity Day! The Cause page explains how.

“We’re rebooting Valentine’s Day as Generosity Day: one day of sharing love with everyone, of being generous to everyone, to see how it feels and to practice saying “Yes.” Let’s make the day about love, action and human connection.”

That sounds so much better, doesn’t it? Katya says: “Say YES on February 14th to every opportunity to be nice, help out, or delight with generosity.”

Yes!

You know me, I can’t help thinking: How could associations and their members celebrate Generosity Day?

  • Open up your member wall, if you still have one. Let everyone get a taste of your members-only benefits.
  • Make it a day of community service.
  • Spend time with students and young professionals – answer questions, give tours, invite them to work alongside you, provide guidance and mentoring.
  • Spend a day with elderly retired members who perhaps feel a bit forgotten.
  • Invite members to share how they’re celebrating the day. Everyone who submits a story gets a special promo code.
  • Buy your staff breakfast, lunch, afternoon treats or happy hour drinks.
  • Ask staff to submit anonymous notes about how they appreciate their colleagues, for example, “I appreciate Ralph because he always cleans the kitchen counter even when it’s not his mess.” Read one note about every person on staff. Remember those poor kids in elementary school who only got one Valentine’s Day card when all the other kids got 30? Don’t let that happen, make sure you have a note to read about everyone, even if you have to write it yourself.

Now, make a note to yourself about next year’s Generosity Day. Plan ahead and give your members a chance to spread love and happiness.

Generosity Day for Associations

Big Heart of Art by QThomas Bower (Flickr)