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Giving season is just around the corner! As you consider how your company can give back to the community, don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with your employees and understand what matters most to them.  Engaging employees in year-end company giving is not just a philanthropic endeavor; it’s also a way to boost employee morale, foster a sense of purpose, and strengthen community ties. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Get to Know What Matters to Your Employees.

Use your year-end giving process to better understand your team’s passions, values, and the causes that resonate with them.

    1. Surveys and Feedback: Conduct surveys or feedback sessions with your employees. Ask them about the causes they care about, their favorite nonprofit organizations, and their volunteering interests.
    2. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): If your company has ERGs focused on various interests or identities, involve them in the decision-making process. They can provide valuable insights into the causes and organizations that align with their group’s mission.
    3. Personal Stories: Encourage employees to share their personal stories related to giving. These stories can be inspiring and might lead to the discovery of new causes your company can support.
  1. Align with Company Values & Business Objectives.

Philanthropic giving and volunteering is a great way to reinforce and demonstrate company values to your employees and community.

    1. Review Company Values: Ensure that your year-end giving efforts align with your company’s core values and mission. This alignment will make giving a more integral part of your corporate culture.
    2. Consider the business benefits: A strategic community engagement strategy can help boost brand and customer loyalty and attract and retain talent. Understanding these connections can help build internal support and commitment to your giving program.
  1. Determine Resources and Identify a Giving Model that Works for Your Company
    1. Inventory your resources and understand what you have to give: Money, time, skills, space, products and services are all things that you likely have to give. Brainstorm a list with your team and use that to evaluate where you can have the greatest impact.
    2. Identify the model that works best for your company: There are lots of ways to give both money and time. From annual fundraising drives, fundraising events, in kind donations, service projects and skills-based volunteerism, there are so many ways to connect and support your community. Each model requires a different level of staff time and resources. Choose the model that is most achievable and sustainable for your company.
  1. Connect with your Community Stakeholders.

Engaging with your local community and nonprofit organizations is a crucial part of corporate giving.  Here’s how to build those connections:

    1. Identify Local Partners: Research and identify local nonprofits or community organizations that align with your employees’ interests and your company’s values. Reach out to these partners and establish relationships. Ask what they need help with.
    2. Events: Attend and sponsor events organized by nonprofit organizations. This is a great way to get to know the mission, people and needs of your community partners.
    3. Collaboration: Collaborate with local nonprofits on projects that involve your employees. Support your employees by providing paid time off to volunteer in ways that utilize special skill sets. These unique experiences lead to a greater sense of meaning and satisfaction and can spur innovation.
  1. Celebrate and Communicate
    1. Recognition and Rewards: Recognize employees who are actively engaged in community initiatives. Consider offering incentives or rewards to encourage ongoing involvement.
    2. Communicate Impact: Share the impact of your company’s giving initiatives with employees. This reinforces the connection between giving and your broader community engagement strategy.

Engaging employees in year-end company giving is a powerful way to strengthen your organization’s bond with its staff and the community. By getting to know what matters to your employees, building community connections and celebrating your collective commitment, you can create a culture of giving that extends beyond the holiday season. In doing so, you not only make a positive impact on the community but also foster a sense of purpose and pride among your employees, leading to a more engaged and motivated workforce.

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