Building a solid, well-managed employee giving campaign focused around a cause that is important to your company can be a very rewarding experience. Engaging your employee base to make an impact in the community is the best action you could take in showing that your company is interested in more than just profit; not to mention the teamwork and morale that will be gained.
It takes a special skill-set to get your employees to open their wallets and hearts for workplace giving. People often consider charitable activities to be a personal venture separate from their jobs, so workplace giving may not always occur fluidly. Here are a few useful tips to help strengthen your ability to manage a thriving employee giving campaign:
1. Have a Plan
The most successful employee giving campaigns are based on a well-defined plan. Meet with others in your organization to brainstorm ways to make your campaign more engaging, and don’t be afraid to include creative touches. Develop a clear plan for communications, set a timeline for the campaign, and consider what kinds of things employees at your company would consider exciting to get them involved. Hold a small kickoff meeting with company leadership to get them on board with driving your plan forward.
2. Reduce the Headache
You’ll find it’s a great deal easier to work an employee giving campaign when employees know how easy it is to donate. Having a familiar, easy-to-use employee giving platform in place is the first step for making workplace giving second-nature for your staff. Employees are more likely to give if it’s only a few clicks away on your company’s intranet, and if you offer a payroll deduction option then they won’t even need to take out their credit cards.
3. Strength in Numbers
If a single employee donates $100 to a cause it will certainly have an impact. However, if 1,000 employees donate $100 each then that $100,000 donation can have an even greater impact. If your company offers a matching program, that donation could double to $200,000. Explaining the collective impact of pooled employee donations is a powerful leadership tool for motivating employees to give in the workplace.
4. Give the Employees Options
Allowing your employees to give to charities of their choosing is key to driving higher participation numbers. Younger employees especially tend to be more generous when they can give to the causes that are important to them, which may differ from the company’s chosen charities. Building an open campaign is a win-win situation: both participation levels and dollars raised go up.
5. Show Company Pride
Another useful method is to explain to employees how giving back can actually benefit the overall business as well. Provide examples in how being charitable can improve brand awareness for the company and develop closer ties within the community. This approach is especially effective for companies that have strong internal branding programs.
6. Don’t Forget to Say Please…
If you want employees to donate to a cause, you need to ask politely. The number one reason employees say that they don’t contribute to workplace giving programs is because they were never asked. Consider a number of different ways to ask for contributions, such as an official company email, a poster in the break room, or speaking with employees in person. Different communications channels are more effective with some people, so get the word out in as many ways as possible.
7. …And Thank You
When employees open their wallets for a cause, they want to know that it’s appreciated. Make sure you thank every employee who contributes to your workplace giving program and go out of your way to make sure the message of gratitude comes across loud and clear. A printed note of appreciation or a short phone call has a more personal touch than a mass email. Saying “thank you” is a simple step that means a lot to people and showing genuine appreciation can encourage continued participation in future giving campaigns.