Create More Dynamic Programs For An Evolving Workforce

The tides are changing and so is the definition of volunteerism. What was once strictly defined as giving back through time, now encompasses a broader spectrum of behavioral habits or acts of kindness. Think of giving blood, donating goods, or getting a booster shot—these are all ways of giving back, so why not incorporate them into your company’s volunteer activities. By broadening the scope, you can make volunteerism more flexible and accessible than ever before, which allows employees who can’t give back through monetary donations or don’t have time for traditional volunteerism to participate in your company’s corporate philanthropy programs. As an added bonus, even more causes reap the benefits—it's a win-win! Beyond that, action-based giving can be done from anywhere, so whether your employees are working from home, an office, or both, everyone has the opportunity to participate. By offering more flexible forms of giving, your employee participation will skyrocket! 

A great way to incentivize participation in your expanded volunteerism opportunities is through a Dollars 4 Doers (D4D) program. By matching your employees’ efforts with a monetary donation, you’ll demonstrate that you recognize and appreciate their work to give back. Here are a few creative ways our Impact Makers have already begun to increase participation with Dollars 4 Doers programs. 

 

3M logoThe American Red Cross continues to face significant blood shortages and, in response, 3M has enabled a Dollars 4 Doers program for all US employees who participate in a blood drive during 2022. The company will make a financial match each time an employee donates blood for up to $500 per year. 

 

Bank of America logo 2

In January, Bank of America announced they would donate $100 to a local food bank for every one of its employees who received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot before the end of the month. In addition to giving back to their local communities, Bank of America has encouraged its workers to get vaccinated and boosted since last summer, and has offered other incentives, including paid time off, to receive shots and $500 credits toward their health benefit premiums.

 

Programs like these are the perfect way to tap into employee purpose with action-based opportunities to support causes that are impacting society today. Leveraging a Dollars 4 Doers program that aligns with current events is on the rise and can significantly boost employee participation. The awareness factor coupled with a sense of community and the ability to take immediate action makes these programs both appealing and accessible. 

Now that we’ve outlined its value, let’s dig into how to activate a Dollars 4 Doers program. 

The What, Why, and How of a Dollars 4 Doers Program 

Simply put, a Dollars 4 Doers program is a corporate giving initiative in which a company provides monetary grants to nonprofits where its employees regularly give back. Listen to your employees and figure out where they’re allocating their time and energy. Do they align themselves with current events? Respond to natural disasters? Give back to their local community? Once you’ve identified those causes, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to implement a Dollars 4 Doers program and show your employees you’ve been listening. 

How Does a Dollars 4 Doers Program Work? 

Before we delve a little deeper, let's unpack the different names you may encounter while researching if a Dollars 4 Doers program is right for you. Here are a few common aliases: 

  • Volunteer Grants 
  • Matching Time Programs
  • Dollar for Hour Programs
  • Grants for Time Programs 
  • Team Volunteer Grants
  • Community Grants
Whether you call it Volunteer Grants or Matching Time Programs, they’re all run in the same way. A Dollars 4 Doers program generally follows six key steps:
 
  1. An employee gives back to a nonprofit or cause of their choosing. 
  2. Afterward, the employee logs their “actions” within their employee giving portal. 
  3. Next, the employee submits a request for a Dollars 4 Doers grant. 
  4. Once the action and nonprofit have been verified, the employer makes a donation to the select nonprofit.
  5. Then, the employer can calculate the total “impact” based on the action and the match amount. 
  6. Finally, the employer can share impact numbers internally and publicly and encourage employees to share on social channels. 
While the standard processes are fairly generic, your company may want to define some guiding principles when implementing a Dollars 4 Doers program:  

  • What will you consider eligible types of organizations (e.g., health and human services, arts & culture, disaster relief, etc.)?
  • Is there a minimum number of volunteer hours required to be eligible for a Dollars 4 Doers grant? 
  • What are the grant amounts per volunteer hour or per threshold passed? 
  • Can action-based giving like donating blood or receiving a booster shot be considered?
  • Which employees are eligible (e.g., full-time vs. part-time)?
Now that we’ve outlined how a Dollars 4 Doers program works and offered some guiding principles, we’ve got one final consideration for you. 

The Value Proposition

Companies that employ volunteer matching programs increase employee participation, deepen community impact, and demonstrate authentic support for causes that matter to their employees. Still not convinced of their value? Here are more reasons companies—and their employees—can benefit from a well-executed Dollars 4 Doers program: 

  1. Employees can make a difference in their communities and earn recognition for their efforts, even if they are unable to make a cash contribution. 
  2. Employee grant programs provide brand recognition and greater visibility in the community—it’s great publicity! It can also help recruit employees. 55% of employees would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if it meant a lower salary.
  3. Companies can boost employee engagement. Employee giving programs are proven to improve employee morale and create a healthier work environment. These benefits can reduce employee turnover and increase workplace satisfaction. 

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