Corporate philanthropy has a ton of benefits, not only for your company, but for the charities you support, your employees, and your clients and customers. Engaging in corporate philanthropy boosts your overall reputation and is a way to give back to the community who helped make your success possible.
However, corporate philanthropy can only be successful if your employees are aware of your programs, have bought into the idea, and are given opportunities to contribute in ways that work for them. Here are four ways companies can engage employees as fundraisers.
A matching gift program motivates employees to give, knowing that their dollars will go further than they would with a regular donation. The potential of matching gift programs to transform your overall fundraising efforts cannot be understated. According to Double the Donation, 84% of donors say they’d be more willing to give if their gift was matched in some way. But—it’s crucial to make sure employees know the program exists and how to take advantage of it. In fact, more than 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs, but over 78% of this group don’t know that their company offers such a program or know any specifics about how it works or how they can get involved.
To launch a matching gift program, start by setting parameters, including:
Once you’ve set your parameters and outlined the specifics, you’re ready to launch your matching gift program! If you’re fundraising for a specific community partner, you might consider offering a higher match ratio for gifts to that organization. Be sure to announce the program and effectively communicate with employees about the details and how they can sign up.
Give employees a chance to have fun while helping to raise money for good causes. One way to do that is by hosting a corporate fundraising event. Employees are more likely to support an effort that comes with incentives for them. For example, GolfStatus suggests hosting a workplace golf outing. Use it as a fun day of rewarding employees for their hard work, recognizing the top participants in the matching gift program, and engaging your community. Bring in dollars by inviting other businesses and the public to sponsor the event or participate as a team, and solicit donations throughout the day. You could also auction off a stay-and-play package to luxurious golf resorts to incentivize participation and raise even more dollars for your chosen charity.
If your company is large and has offices across the country, you might consider a virtual event that brings people together online. If you go this route, be sure it’s interesting enough that employees want to attend. A few ideas might include a panel discussion or speaker, a movie or sports event watch party, or a virtual talent show.
No matter what type of fundraising event you choose to hold, in-person or virtual, it’s key to keep employees interested and engaged. You might consider creating a recap video from the event to share with employees who weren’t able to attend that prompts them to make a donation to the benefiting charity.
Your employees likely want to participate in your company’s fundraising and philanthropic initiatives, but simply might not be aware of them. Ensure they—and the community at large—know about these efforts by launching a cause marketing campaign. Cause marketing combines a business and nonprofit for a common benefit. In this case, you’re marketing your charitable efforts to your employees and highlighting the work of the benefiting nonprofit.
One way you can engage employees through cause marketing is by creating videos. These videos should highlight your company’s philanthropic efforts as well as the work being done by your chosen nonprofit partner or partners. Work with the nonprofits to find beneficiaries to feature in the video, which helps employees put a face to the cause they’re supporting and feel more empowered to give. These can also be leveraged on social media to more broadly highlight the company’s contributions to charity, while also raising awareness about the mission of your nonprofit partners. Don’t worry about a big budget for such videos. You can shoot high quality video on your mobile phone, and there are many free or low-cost options for easy-to-use video editing software.
While volunteering may not be directly tied to raising dollars, studies show that volunteers are 10 times more likely to donate to the cause they’re supporting. What’s more, volunteers are an invaluable resource for nonprofits, helping with mission-critical tasks and day-to-day necessities, such as packing and distributing meals, reading to classrooms, data entry or filing, stuffing envelopes, cuddling shelter pets, and more.
Offering paid time off to volunteer for causes employees care about makes it simple for employees to participate, no matter how busy they might be outside of their workday. What’s more, a company volunteer outing builds camaraderie while helping a good cause.
Involving employees in your company’s philanthropic initiatives is key to success. So whether you’re hosting a charity golf tournament or organizing a company-wide volunteer outing, keeping your employees engaged will ensure their support and participation. You’re sure to see big results for your company and your community.