According to the 2017 Giving Report by Blackbaud Institute, the landscape of philanthropy has changed dramatically in the past year due to political divides and natural disasters. While there is still uncertainty regarding the impact tax reform might have in 2018 giving behaviors, one thing is clear: individuals are still deciding how and where they contribute to charity. Corporations must start thinking of their employees as individuals who want to make their own choices, and they need to offer those individuals the necessary tools to engage with the causes they care about.
The good news for corporations is that modern technology can help launch multiple individual employee engagement initiatives which are highly visible and have a high ROI without putting additional stress on resources. Still, many CSR executives find that they don’t quite know where to start. Here are four simple ideas corporations can enact to help deploy individual engagement strategies in 2018:
- Re-invent Casual Fridays: For years people have been wearing casual clothes to work on Fridays. However, with the fast growth of casual work environment, casual Fridays have lost some of its appeal. Re-ignite the tradition and give it new meaning by adding a fundraising component to casual Fridays. Employees can make a small donation to a selected charity on casual Fridays and enjoy happy hour in their best casual attire.
- Support Affinity Groups: Chances are your corporation allows employees to participate in some form of affinity groups. These groups often support a cause that is aligned with the group’s common interests, and they might already be fundraising by using tools outside the corporation’s ecosystem. Why not provide them with a co-branded fundraising portal that allows them to support their favorite cause? The corporation benefits from increased visibility on the causes employees care most about and the “halo” effect gained from the ability to co-brand the portal.
- The “new” Food Drive: Traditional food drives have logistical complications (such as food must be purchased, carried, sorted, and delivered to the local food bank.) Modern technology allows corporations to deploy virtual food drives and help employees support their local food bank in a streamlined way. Virtual food drives reduce soft costs by minimizing complex logistics and they also help corporations expand the impact of the initiatives. This is accomplished by sending money directly to local or national organizations which benefit from purchasing in bulk.
- Encourage fitness and well-being with giving: Thanks to the increased awareness of the positive effects of fitness in the workplace, many corporations have launched employee wellness programs in recent years. Wearable technology helps individuals track progress and stay accountable towards their goals. So why not make wellness programs more meaningful by adding a giving component to them? Fitness tracker integrations with modern fundraising platforms make it possible for employees to tie their fitness efforts to the ability to fundraise for an organization of their choice, and increase motivation by knowing that their efforts have a tangible impact in other people’s lives.
Launching an employee engagement initiative that leverages giving doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Accessible giving technology combined with an increased desire from employees to make an impact can be your formula for success. All that’s necessary is to give your employees the tools they need to actively participate.
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