10 Steps to Kickstart Employee Engagement Through Workplace Giving - Part 2

A 10 Step Approach to Increase Employee Engagement and Get Better Returns From Employee Giving and Volunteering Programs
Apr 27, 2011 2:15 PM ET

Do you hear that buzz? It’s the wow factor of workplace giving.  No longer a “nice to have” employee program, workplace giving matters now more than ever.  As a society, people care more about giving back and we have greater expectations that the companies we work for will help us support causes that matter to us.  Companies recognize the need to do more on the employee giving and volunteering front, both to support their corporate citizenship goals and to harness the positive employee engagement impacts that meaningful workplace giving programs deliver.

Employee giving and volunteering are now essential elements of companies’ employee engagement toolkits, forming a key part of any strategic Human Capital Management and/or CSR plan.  At the same time, many large companies are looking for ways to take their workplace programs to the next level – that is, how to increase their social and business impacts.  And many small and mid-size companies are looking for easy-to-implement and cost-effective ways to deliver workplace giving.

So how can you learn about and act on the best practices in workplace giving? Read on. In this article, we’ll focus on Part 2 of the 10 Steps to the New Workplace Giving: an approach to realize better returns from your employee giving and volunteering programs.  (See part 1 here).  Look for Part 3 to follow next week.

4.    Roll Out Workplace Giving Under Your Corporate Brand

Your workplace giving solution should be brandable (logos, colours, etc.) without costing a fortune, so you can implement workplace giving under your own identity to create a direct, more intimate connection between the company and its community investment strategy.  (This includes charity portfolios, campaign creation, even company-branded tax receipts!)

If you have corporate social responsibility/community investment pillars, you should create company-branded cause portfolios that address your corporate CSR/CI pillars and goals and roll them out for both employee facing and consumer facing CI/CSR programs.

Of course you can and should have relationships with charities and causes and at the same time, by rolling our workplace giving under your company’s brand, you can also build connections between your employees and your company by strategic branding.  You can take the concepts of consumer branding and marketing and apply them to your employee programs to deliver optimal impacts and brand benefits.

5.    Ensure Your Solution Enables Easy Campaign Creation And Promotion
Campaigns are key to encouraging participation and can help promote collaboration as employees work collectively toward common goals.  One of the most frequent reasons cited for non-participation in or poorly performing programs is a lack of communication and promotion.  This is especially problematic if the only campaign one offers is the annual Fall fundraising effort that so dominates the corporate landscape.

Your workplace giving solution should make it easy for you to set up a new campaign in minutes (with or without matching offers), and enable different campaign types so you can create employee giving campaigns around corporate CI/CSR pillars, support third-party campaigns and events, quickly add a charitable component to a corporate event or rapidly respond to crisis-based events requiring community support.  You can also promote your existing seasonal giving programs or corporate events with a campaign, complete with it’s own matching offer.  Imagine, a mechanism for year-round engagement around Giving Back rather than the October/November Hail Mary Campaign.

Equally as important is to think about how to promote your campaign:  in addition to traditional communication tools like kick-off events, company e-mail/intranet communications and “seeding” of giving accounts as incentives to take-up, also use blogging and social networking functionality to promote the campaign and share impact statements.  If you’re really keen on active participation and interaction, open up your giving blog functionality to the user base (mediated, of course ☺).

The technology you choose for your workplace giving campaigns will only ever be an enabler, but there is some functionality that is necessary for success.  Make sure you put yourself in a position to succeed through seamless self-service and promotion capabilities.

6.    Find A Way To (Conveniently) Track And Reward Volunteering
Corporate volunteering is having a moment.  And it’s not just because 2011 is the Year of the Volunteer.  It’s because giving time is a key part of employee giving; one that’s heightened in importance (especially since the economic crisis in 2008) as a way of giving that is important to most employees, especially Millennials.  

Employee volunteering programs are not new.  What is new is an increased appetite for corporate volunteerism and a desire - from both employees and employers perspectives - to make tracking, managing and rewarding corporate volunteering easier to spur increased participation.  

When considering your workplace giving program, be sure to address the importance of volunteering as a mode of employee giving.  And consider the best solution to encourage employee participation: think about things like easy, online ways to promote corporately-sponsored, partner and community volunteering opportunities to employees, the capability to create “campaigns” for volunteering opportunities, the ability for employees to easily select, plan and track their volunteering participation (including the ability to track hours via their mobile devices) and the ability for your company to easily reward participants with donation currency and generate reports on the metrics that matter.

We need to make it easier, people.  If you make it seamless, they will, er, go…

Stay tuned for Part 3 of "10 Steps to Kickstarting Employee Engagement Through Workplace Giving" where we continue with the following steps.  Here’s to igniting the light in your employees in 2011!


Introducing Spark! by Benevity
Spark! is an “out of the box” software solution that allows companies to easily and cost-effectively offer automated, outsourced, and engaging employee giving and volunteering.  Spark! helps companies save time and money, increase employee participation rates and deliver more strategic workplace giving programs that yield greater social and business returns.  Find out more at www.benevity.org/spark.

About Benevity
Benevity is a software company that helps businesses realize a better return on their increasing investments in social good programs, including cause marketing, community investment, employee giving & volunteering programs.

Benevity has developed North America’s first embeddable micro-donation platform, enabling socially responsible businesses to engage their customers, employees and corporate partners in optional charitable giving in new ways on their terms. Benevity lets companies integrate user-directed, tax receiptable donations and corporate matching programs into their existing transaction environments, using their own brands and systems. The Benevity platform helps companies build authentic and impactful cause marketing, workplace giving and other social responsibility initiatives that increase engagement, brand differentiation and return on social and community investment.

The Benevity platform also powers Benevity’s web-based products, such as Spark! workplace giving and The Givatron, the first charity-of-choice giving application for Android-based mobile devices. To find out more, visit us at www.benevity.org and view our short video at www.benevity.org/goodness3.0.