Employee Giving: Make it Year Round!

How to Create a Culture of Giving with Workplace Giving Programs that Engage People Every Day, All Year Long
Oct 6, 2011 12:30 PM ET

From the Benevity Just BeCause Blog

Many existing giving campaigns/programs tend to be seasonal, often limited to one annual fall campaign, even though employee engagement is an ongoing, year-round goal.  Employees are passionate about causes that matter to them all year long, not just in the autumn.  The challenge for the status quo is that for the other three seasons, companies are missing out on an important way to engage their employees and extend their brand in a meaningful way.   

Developing a culture of giving back requires workplace giving programs that engage people year round.  Creating a platform that can accommodate both annual campaigns and provide easy-to-administer ongoing opportunities to give back is key. 

Campaigns are an important way to promote corporately supported causes (especially with corporate matching as an incentive) to employees and to encourage employees (particularly those who otherwise may not be aware) to become involved.  Campaigns 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. Campaigns can be annual, quarterly and ad-hoc (for example, crisis giving to help out when a local, national or international disaster strikes). 

At the same time, giving is personal and employees have causes that resonate with them individually; providing employees with a year-round way to give to these personally relevant causes is also important. 

A related challenge is the lack of responsiveness in most workplace giving programs. Many workplace giving programs currently in place are unable to quickly address giving needs that arise in a dynamic environment, whether those needs stem from disaster relief requirements, local or employee giving needs.   A high profile examples is Haiti: many, many companies stepped up to the plate to provide assistance as part of their corporate philanthropy initiatives, though many of those same companies did not have a way to easily involve employees in those efforts, or defaulted to charity choices that may not have been the most effective in getting funds to where they were needed.

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 communicate and promote your existing seasonal giving programs or corporate events with a campaign, complete with it’s own matching offer.  Imagine a platform for year round engagement though giving back rather than a once a year “set and forget” initiative.

The ultimate goal is to make workplace giving a year round activity, part of the employee experience.  Employee engagement is a year-round challenge.  And employees are passionate about causes that matter to them all year long.  Creating a culture of giving requires workplace giving programs that engage people year-round.