How To Make The Giving Season Last All Year Long
The holiday season is in full swing. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have all passed and, now, so has Giving Tuesday. Born out of a desire to capitalize on increased consumer buying power, Giving Tuesday is a global movement in its eighth year, focused on encouraging people to give back to the community via donations, volunteering and other philanthropic ventures.
This Year, total Giving Tuesday contributions through CyberGrants reached an all-time high (+15% vs 2018), and other key metrics were up versus last year as well. More clients participated (+19%), more employees donated (+24%), and more organizations benefited (+28%).
Make #GivingTuesday last.
Giving Tuesday is increasingly popular, and the phenomenon has been integrated into many corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, engaging employees all over the world to take part in their company’s programs. The bad news: we have to wait an entire year before the next Giving Tuesday. The good news: building a culture of giving and engagement in your organization doesn’t have to wait another day. Here are some timeless ideas to foster a giving culture that’s year round.
Though fall is on its way out, winter holds just as many celebrations of family and traditions, many of which rely on food and material needs. This is especially true as the air becomes brisk and unpredictable. Consider local charities or organizations that help families during these blustery months. Coat drives, blanket making, potlucks and non-perishable food drives are all wonderful ways to encourage employees to help the community they live in, as well as build team cooperation.
The wonderful thing about donating material goods is the ability to watch the collection grow. It also provides the unique opportunity to see individuals like CEOs, managers and other leaders participate in the team effort. In fact, 40% of managers are more likely to be influenced to donate when they see their CEOs engaged. Coworkers like to work together and alongside their leaders for a common goal. It’s what you do on a daily basis for work projects and this is an extension of that process, but for community giving.
Think Beyond the Dollar Signs
When we think of giving back or donating, we almost always think “cha-ching”. While money is a welcome sight for every charitable cause, it isn’t the only thing worth giving. Volunteering time can be just as valuable as a monetary donation. In fact, beyond providing charities with much-needed help, the workforce desires volunteer opportunities. For example, 61% of Millennial's want to work for a company with volunteer opportunities and 77% want to volunteer with their coworkers.
Consider setting aside a few hours each month in which employees are allowed to volunteer on company time. Many people see volunteering as something for which they simply can’t make time. The newly freed up hours can be put toward community building, allowing your employees the chance to aid a personal passion as well as heighten their engagement when in the office. Research shows that employees that are able to build on their strengths (Skills-Based Volunteering) are more engaged and have more self-awareness in their work. Employers are seeing the value in having employees apply their skills and knowledge to their volunteering efforts.
Find a Cause You Can Get Behind
Sometimes the perfect cause is right under a company’s nose. Employees may have a very near and dear cause they are involved with on a regular basis. Depending on the size of the team, it is very possible that multiple people in the same office have a close identification with similar causes. Explore those commonalities and put them to use, placing faces on charities with the same goal and inspiring the whole team to participate in raising money or resources for it. People appreciate the personalization, in fact, 90% of global citizens think companies should leverage their unique assets like people, products and knowledge to support community needs.
Encouraging things like monetary donations can be difficult sometimes, but there are some wonderful ways to put things into perspective and encourage giving. For instance, consider what would be a round and realistic number that’s attainable for each member of the team. Create a simple statement or graphic that compares how that minimum can be applied to the real world: “If everyone donated $5, we would feed a family of 4 for a month” Make this statement your mantra and include it within all communication about the program.
Giving Tuesday may have concluded, but we still have plenty of time left in the holiday season for giving. The even greater news is that giving doesn’t and shouldn’t have to conclude when the holidays do! Take some time to explore options that your company can put their best resources towards. What causes are your employees most passionate about? Can a few office hours be spared for time in the local soup kitchen?
You don’t have to do all the work of implementing a corporate philanthropy program by yourself and honestly you shouldn’t. Corporate philanthropy partners like us can not only provide and implement configurable software programs like matching gifts, giving campaigns, volunteering and other employee cause benefits programs, that drive employee participation and engagement, but can also provide strategic guidance around program design and development for long-term success.
Don’t sweat missing a step. Download our Guide to make year round giving a powerful directive for good at your location.