As a Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Community Relations or HR Professional, you may be tasked with community engagement, employee engagement, retention, productivity and so much more. All of which can be tough to support and maintain momentum year round. Is there any way to keep your workforce engaged and rally them around a cause while swimming last minute requests for funding, volunteer projects, changing schedules, open enrollment and much more?
The answer is closer than you think. Corporate Giving. Two words that have gained in popularity over the last few years, as companies heed the call of their employees and give them causes with which to align! We’ve entered an unprecedented period of giving whether that is time or personal funds, from individuals and companies alike. The workforce continues to find ways to get engaged during the course of the year, so why not have a year round employee giving program!
If this sounds like one more to-do for a long list, don’t fret! We’ve pulled together helpful ideas you can put into place in no time. Find an idea that is aligned with your company’s mission and resonates with your employees (tip: surveys can be a great tool to get feedback on what and how employees want to be involved in the community - try Qzzr or SurveyMonkey) and you’re well on your way to creating giving programs or volunteer events that will benefit the community and increase employee engagement, support retention efforts and improve productivity.
Spread a Little Warmth
In the winter, local missions are usually sorely lacking in blankets, quilts, warm coats and cold-weather clothing. To support these needs, you may have employees happy to give away gently worn blankets, warm clothes and piles of scarves. Keep in mind that this is one idea your employees’ families can also participate in, as children’s coats are sorely needed when temperatures dip! Select a day and ask employees to bring in any winter clothes they can spare (blankets too!)
Then cart them down to a local mission (call first) and see those practically new items get a second life! Winter isn’t the only season that help is needed. As Spring and Summer come along, umbrellas, rain boots, raincoats and anything helpful during a spring shower or storm is a must. Those on the street can use hats and sunscreen as well! Make sure to adjust your giving campaign to your location and general weather to serve your community best.
Animals Need Love Too
Have a dog or cat friendly office? Do you have a furry little mascot? If you’re an animal loving workplace, consider your local Humane Society or shelter as a place to volunteer during the year or even shortly after. Often, small animals mistakenly gifted are returned shortly thereafter, make this year a great time to round up your animal loving colleagues and go help bathe, feed or just play with our four-legged friends!
Support Future Employees
If you believe children are our future, then support that cause by hosting a book drive. It’s an unusual choice but a very worthy cause. Bookworms can share their love of great books (or their recent Kindle purchase!) by donating copies of books they’ve already read or their children have grown out of. ReachAChild, an organization that collects books for children who have gone through a traumatic event, is a great organization to partner with!
Clean out your Closet
A recent spate of Minimalist based philosophies can help with this initiative. Do you have a very professional office? Then challenge your employees to take a gander at their closets and donate some of those suits that no longer fit or heels that aggravate their bunions. Many organizations collect business wear to give transitioning veterans or women leaving abusive situations a leg up with a new professional wardrobe for things like job interviews!
Assisting Your Elders
Children and those in need aren’t the only ones who need assistance. The elderly and those in assisted living facilities can use support all year round! Find a local assisted living facility and find out what they need. Perhaps it’s someone to volunteer with a recreational activity like hosting a card game, or perhaps you can have an afternoon of packing care packages for patients who don’t have many visitors. If you’re a hospitality space, consider hosting a dinner or party for the generation before yours!
As we’ve said before, employee giving shouldn’t happen just around the holidays because it is a wonderful way to get your employees involved with a great cause all year! Learn more about employee giving programs and how your company can come together for the greater good this year.