Need a gift for a CEO who has it all? We suggest trying something you can’t get in any store, something one-of-a-kind—your own unique brand of thoughtfulness. Because when it comes to someone this impossible to shop for, it really is the thought that counts.
Here’s a list of gifts CEOs will never forget (or throw away) even if it seems like they already have everything they could ever need or want.
If your CEO is outdoorsy…
The gift: A vintage compass
What makes it memorable: You don’t see many compasses these days (unless you count the mobile apps, which we don’t). These rare instruments, classic symbols of exploration and adventure, capture a certain nostalgia that any outdoorsy CEO will appreciate for years to come.
The gift: Trailhead leather notebook
What makes it memorable: This 192-page notebook will hold all your CEO’s hiking notes and musings for the next several years. It might even stay on the living room bookshelf forever. Your CEO might even pass it onto the kids to continue the adventures.
The gift: Donate to a National Park near you
What makes it memorable: Your CEO will think of your thoughtful gift on every visit to the National Park, and since your CEO is outdoorsy, your gift will be remembered often. Plus, this charitable gift will help keep National Parks running.
The gift: GRAYL® Portable water purifier
What makes it memorable: You can claim any gift “keeps on giving,” but when you’re giving a portable water purifier, that hyperbolic statement is 100% true. Whether it’s on the trail, in a kayak, or on a climb, this gift will keep on giving your CEO clean water. GRAYL water purifiers feature a one-press filtration system that removes viruses and filters particulates to provide clean water anywhere—anytime. Your CEO will thank you while hiking, musing about how awesomely handy your gift is.
The gift: Wilderness Essays by John Muir
What makes it memorable: This collection of wilderness musings will touch any outdoorsy CEO’s heart. John Muir explored the West when it was still wild, and his work helped preserve some of our most stunning natural spaces. According to the National Park Service, John Muir played a critical role in creating the Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Kings Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Mt. Rainier National Parks. His essays will help any busy CEO reconnect with the wonder of nature. What gift could be more memorable than that?
If your CEO is playful…
The gift: A football/basketball/baseball signed by your team
What makes it memorable: A signed ball beats a card any day. The ball will probably end up on a fancy stand in your CEO’s office, inspiring a giant smile with every glance.
The gift: Etch A Sketch
What makes it memorable: An unexpected and nostalgic gesture, giving an Etch A Sketch will make you stand out in your CEO’s mind as someone bold, fun, and in possession of impeccable taste. An Etch A Sketch can easily find a home on even the most crowded desk, and it provides just the right amount of understated playfulness that your CEO will appreciate.
The gift: A vintage tee
What makes it memorable: This gift earns major nostalgia points, but it works only if you know what your CEO’s favorite things were growing up. If you play your cards right, your CEO might make this gift a gym-bag favorite…or an under-blazer standby that adds a little flare.
The gift: Coach’s whistle
What makes it memorable: With hope, your CEO won’t actually start using the whistle to round up the team for status meetings. This gift symbolizes commaradie, leadership, and all the fun your team shares.
The gift: Bop It
What makes it memorable: Any playful CEO probably already has a fidget spinner. Go old school with the original toy for fidgeters—a Bop It. The toy speaks commands, and you have to pull, twist, and bop as fast as you can to obey them. Five minutes with the Bop It would make a great presentation warm-up for any CEO.
The gift: Razor Scooter
What makes it memorable: Your fun-loving CEO will love turning heads as she sails around your open office space, dishing out high fives and smiles to everyone on your team.
If your CEO is health conscious…
The gift: A ridiculously personalized gym bag
What makes it memorable: This functional, practical gift lets your CEO show off some style during the daily gym visit. This gift option gives you a chance to get personal in picking out the design, and it also gives you a chance to deliver a gift that will make your CEO’s life easier and more fun.
What makes it memorable: Health conscious CEOs probably already do quite a bit of meal planning, and they’ll love organizing their culinary ventures and grocery lists in this pretty planner, especially if they digitally organize all their other tasks. Using a tangible planner will turn meal planning into a more satisfying ritual.
The gift: Matcha tea set from Matchabar
What makes it memorable: Your CEO might just start welcoming clients with a traditional matcha tea ceremony. The set provides relaxation and invigoration in one, giving busy CEOs a hands-on way to take a soothing break while simultaneously doing something that feels calming, yet productive. This starter kit from Matchabar is perfect for novices.
The gift: A container for salad on the go
What makes it memorable: Any health conscious person struggles to find a way to eat salad on the go without making a mess. This environmentally friendly solution makes your CEO’s life easier and healthier. Plus, these lunch containers are sleek and stylish enough for any boardroom lunch meeting.
The gift: Fitdeck playing cards
What makes it memorable: The people who work out the most need the most fitness inspiration to keep the passion on point. These cards will give your health-conscious CEO a fast and easy way to freshen up the fitness routine. Basically, by giving this gift, you’re giving the gift of endorphins.
The gift: SnackNation
What makes it memorable: The snacks, duh. If your CEO doesn’t like snacks, he or she might be dead inside. Ok, we kid, but SnackNation isn’t just for offices. You can gift boxes of great tasting, better-for-you snacks to all the health-conscious folks in your life. Build your own or have our snacking experts curate a best-in-class mix over at SnackNation Market.
If your CEO is planet conscious…
The gift: Seasonal produce calendar
What makes it memorable: Give your CEO the knowledge of produce seasonality. This calendar makes for a nice office or kitchen conversation piece, and it also delivers a wealth of valuable knowledge on when to buy produce to get the best flavors while doing the least harm to the planet. (Purchasing produce out of season contributes to a food-shipping enterprise with potential environmental risks.)
The gift: A solar charger
What makes it memorable: With the ability to recharge devices using the power of the sun, your CEO can stay connected anywhere while taking strides to keep the old carbon footprint in line. Solar chargers haven’t quite gone mainstream, so using one will also make your CEO an eco trendsetter.
The gift: Help nature with the Nature Conservancy
What makes it memorable: A gift from the Nature Conservancy gives your CEO more than just a token of your thoughtfulness. It also makes your CEO part of some real action in protecting animals, lands, and waters. For example, a sea turtle nest gift offers far more than an adorable plush; it also helps preserve sea turtle habitats.
The gift: Compost bin
What makes it memorable: Your CEO will never forget how you gave a garbage gift and we mean that in the best possible way. If your planet-conscious CEO isn’t already composting, then this gift will provide just the push necessary to inspire a major reduction in garbage production. And if your CEO already has a compost bin, then they can use this one in the office!
The gift: Lush charity pot
What makes it memorable: Lush’s charity pot delivers luscious, sweet-smelling skin, but that’s just an added bonus. The real gift of this pot lies in generosity. For every pot purchased, Lush donates the price to grassroots organizations focusing on human rights and conservation.
If your CEO is woke…
The gift: A Revolutionary Mug
What makes it memorable: This mug gives your CEO an empowering vessel for daily coffee. It’s a constant reminder that there are bigger issues facing the world than the morning meeting. In short, this mug provides radical inspiration for any woke CEO.
The gift: Pronoun pin
What makes it memorable: Woke CEOs will love a wear-with-anything reminder to be gender-neutral in speech and writings, an in-demand skill in the modern workforce.
The gift: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
What makes it memorable: Woke CEOs will love this deep exploration of race, identity, and love. The book’s compelling messages speak to those of all races and genders. Your CEO will love loaning out this new favorite book to other woke friends and leaders.
The gift: “Deeds not words” embroidery
What makes it memorable: Kitchy embroidery preaching “deeds not words” makes the perfect addition to any CEO’s office. The message is perfect for those with deep activist inclinations as well as those simply trying to do good things for the company.
The gift: Slingshot year planner
What makes it memorable: For most busy CEOs, events and ideas don’t really exist until they are in the calendar or the day planner. Help your CEO prioritize activism with a planner that lists important radical dates every woke person should know about.
If your CEO is geek chic…
The gift: Onnit Star Wars fitness equipment
What makes it memorable: From a Death Star slamball to Vader-head kettlebells, these geek chic fitness products will earn your CEO plenty of envy at the gym. (That means you earn plenty of brownie points.)
The gift: A Book tote
What makes it memorable: Your geek chic CEO will love a beautiful bag that also holds all the books. Your CEO will no longer have to pack books with food and electronics and risk tragic spills, tears, and irreversibly bent pages. Plus, the design on these totes is just subtle enough to inspire curiosity and impromptu conversations.
The gift: Transgender deathly hallows lapel pin
What makes it memorable: A pin this subtle will allow your CEO to take a little geek along for any occasion, even the most stuffy of investor meetings. Without bright colors or distracting text and logos, the pin avoids upsetting any Muggles who aren’t keen on the world of wizardry.
The gift: Lego® Architecture Sets
What makes it memorable: Playing with toy bricks will help any CEO connect with the inner geek kid within. Plus, these challenging sets are for grown-ass geeks only, offering building challenges that capture impressive landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to the Great Wall of China. If your CEO keeps the geek on lock—no worries. These worldly structures are desk-appropriate in all settings.
The gift: The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
What makes it memorable: Getting your CEO a comic book is a bold move—and a memorable one at that. It screams to your CEO’s stifled inner geek, “See, I really know you.” This gift might even make your CEO comfortable enough to confide in you about some geekier leanings. Bonding points!
Bonus: Generally awesome gifts for all CEOS
The gift: Chia pet
What makes it memorable: It’s a Chia pet! Need we say more?
The gift: A funny name plate for desk
What makes it memorable: This gift is the perfect way to memorialize any casual inside joke. It will bring a little humor to your CEO’s desk, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love that?
The gift: Wine with a custom label
What makes it memorable: Wine may be a “safe” standby, but there’s a good reason for that. Most people love it, and it won’t gather dust because it will be gone soon enough. Add a little extra thoughtfulness to your wine gift with a custom label you design with your CEO in mind.
The gift: A handwritten note and a homemade treat
What makes it memorable: This gift works every time. It demonstrates impeccable thoughtfulness and a great deal of effort, even if your cookies aren’t as perfect as you want them to be or your note isn’t as profound as you had hoped. This gift is pretty much guaranteed to warm your CEO’s heart.
The gift: A surprise party!
What makes it memorable: Team up with the whole office to scrap the gifts and throw an unforgettable surprise party instead. No one ever forgets a surprise party.
Tip: Take lots of pictures at the surprise party, and voila—you have a gift (a framed picture) for your CEO next year.
What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received? Help us all elevate our gifting game by posting why you loved the gift in the comments below.