Tips and insights from our Fortune 1000 clients
By Nicole Campbell, Principal of Goodness Consulting at Benevity
How do you get more people engaged in your workplace giving program? It’s an important question that gets asked a lot, so we compiled 6 strategies that work, based on data from our Fortune 1000 clients, and the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals invited us to share our findings in a live webinar.
Now we want to share the recording with you (100% of participants who provided feedback said they’d recommend it to others, so hopefully you agree!), as well as the eBook that inspired it all. The webinar sparked a really meaningful conversation with attendees around their challenges and opportunities, so below are some additional reflections and tips that might help as you look to grow and sustain engagement in your program year round. Enjoy!
Get buy-in for new ideas and programs
One of the pain points we heard was that it can be difficult to get buy-in from others in your organization when there are new ideas or programs you want to implement. If your stakeholders like your current program and don’t see a need for change, or the budget doesn’t exist, there is a way to build a compelling case and convince them of the increased benefits to your people, company and community. Try building your business case around this effective formula: Logic + Emotion + Ease = Change. We call it The Science of Change and it’s extremely powerful in getting stakeholders on board with a new vision or goals.
Team up to spread the word and build excitement
We heard that communicating new programs or features is a big challenge. Think about partnering with other teams within your organization to create a network of CR, HR, Communications and Management people who can connect and work together to move the needle. And once senior leadership has bought in (see above!), it helps to involve them too. Having them “walk the talk” is a powerful way to create organic communication and will resonate with employees. Also consider simple ideas like creating a hashtag for your program that your people can use to spread a culture of Goodness across your company.
Embrace the power of AND
We were asked, “should employees be able to choose who they want to donate to, or should you steer them towards company pillars – even in the event of a disaster?” It doesn’t have to be a matter of “or.” We encourage an "AND" approach, where you find a balance between company pillars and open-choice. Giving is personal, and we know that people are five times more likely to participate in an open-choice program. Consider offering a special match for a company-supported cause, but clearly communicate that people can choose whatever cause(s) they want. In the event of a disaster, it’s still important to have an integration and think through some opportunities that can support immediate relief (primary care needs) as well as long-term relief (e.g. mental health care, animal rehabilitation).
Use technology to transcend borders
Our webinar attendees told us they saw a lot of potential in offering giving opportunities to employees outside of headquarter offices, and we couldn’t agree more. An international Goodness program, done right, is one of the most powerful ways to bring your people together and show that you support diversity and inclusion. Once a cumbersome and expensive process, international giving, volunteering and disaster relief has been radically simplified and made accessible with the right technology. Look for a solution that takes into account cultural nuances like language, currency and local relevant charity validation, as well as global payment disbursement.
Help your program run itself by empowering employees
If you’re strapped for time and resources, consider empowering your people as Goodness Champions to help you meet your awareness, communication and participation goals — and ultimately lighten your workload. Where do you find Goodness Champions? They’re likely people in your organization who are already highly engaged and enthusiastic about giving back. Have people apply for positions or ask your HR team to nominate someone. The initial time investment will be worth it when you see the work come off your plate!
Use technology to free up your time
The one challenge we hear again and again is that CR admins have to wear so many hats. Often they’re a team of one, struggling to do everything on their own. Finding the right technology and software that can do many of the burdensome administrative tasks for you can free up your time so you can (finally!) focus on more impactful program design and strategy.
There’s no end to what you can do
The biggest takeaway from this webinar and discussion is that people inherently want to do good. We’re all hungry for an opportunity to give back, and if you can harness that enthusiasm through employee champions, cross-functional teams, open-choice giving (all over the world) and the right technology, it’s going to be a whole lot easier to build engagement.
For the 6 strategies that started this conversation, check out our webinar recording. Or, check out the eBook if you’d rather read than watch. (Or do both!)