Increase your program’s chance for success by understanding where many organizations go wrong. Here’s a look at six reasons why corporate giving and volunteering programs too often fail.
Reason 1: A Set-It-And-Forget-It Mindset
A set-it-and-forget-it mindset creates challenges for giving programs. Just like any other initiative inside your organization, corporate giving and volunteering require measurement and adjustments over time. For example, if you launch a program with the goal of reaching 50% engagement, you need to track progress toward that goal and make changes if necessary.
To keep your employees engaged, look for timely causes throughout the year. For example, Black History Month in February and Pride Month in June are opportunities to run campaigns that keep your employees engaged. Also, current events such as humanitarian relief in Ukraine or ongoing natural disaster responses can drive employee involvement.
Not sure how to stay on top of these opportunities and track engagement to recognize areas for improvement? Partnering with a technology provider who takes the relationship beyond the giving platform can help. Bright Funds, for example, collates nonprofits into campaigns for specific causes and events that we then make available to our clients. We also highlight upcoming holidays and themes in our monthly newsletter.
Reason 2: The Absence of Local Giving and Volunteering Options
Employees sometimes want to support national or global organizations such as the ACLU or Red Cross. But many are interested in supporting or volunteering with local organizations so they can personally witness the impact.
Employees appreciate options. Bright Funds supports this with a comprehensive database of both easily recognizable global and national organizations as well as thousands of other, potentially lesser-known, nonprofits working locally in communities across the country. In addition to being able to donate to any of the nearly 2 million nonprofits, employees can access more than 450,000 volunteer opportunities.
Reason 3: Overlooking Remote Workers
We live and work in a time when most companies have remote workers. Many companies now even operate with a remote-first mindset.
When creating campaigns, don’t forget about the workers who don’t come into the office. When planning your employee opportunities, hybrid giving and volunteering options that enable in person and remote access tend to work best. Offer options nationally or globally, but also offer virtual opportunities to get involved.
Reason 4: Missing the Cultural Opportunity
Successful giving and volunteering programs help create a culture of philanthropy that permeates a company. However, you cannot create that type of culture by raising money for a cause just once a quarter. You need regular and consistent engagement to create a successful program.
How do you do that? There are a ton of creative approaches:
- New hires: Consider welcoming new hires with giving credits to donate to their charities of choice so they are indoctrinated into a culture of giving from day one.
- Anniversaries: Use giving credits to help mark anniversaries and other special occasions.
- Rewards and recognition: Managers can use giving credits to recognize employees who are going above and beyond in their roles.
- Contests: Run contests to promote service and award the team with the most volunteer hours with giving credits as prizes to reinforce your company’s commitment to a purpose-driven culture.
- Volunteer Time Off (VTO): Include paid time off for volunteering as one of your company’s benefits to demonstrate your commitment and support.
In general, weave this culture of giving and volunteering into your everyday work in whatever way suits your organization best.
Reason 5: Not Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Organizations that want employee philanthropy programs to succeed need to give alongside their employees. Matching is one of the biggest drivers of employee participation. Here are a couple of options:
Donation matching: Organizations pledge to match employee donations. For example, an organization might match employee donations up to $1,200 per employee per year.
Dollars-for-doers: Organizations give credits (equal to dollar values) to employees based on volunteer hours performed, and those employees can use the credits to make donations to charitable organizations. For example, an employee who volunteers for 4 hours might earn $10 per hour to give to a nonprofit of their choice.
Reason 6: Skimping on Resources
While programs may start with grassroots employee initiatives, if they are to become part of your company culture and truly engage a large portion of your employees, you need to commit resources to your employee giving and volunteering endeavors. This initiative requires dedicated resources to be successful; including an administrator who can help with promotion, setting goals, and monitoring progress toward those goals.
Set your administrator up for success by ensuring that they have the capacity to run the program smoothly and to drive maximum engagement. When you have a full-time employee running your giving and volunteering programs, that person can help push the programs to reach their full potential. Then support them with the tools necessary, such as a SaaS platform, to easily and effectively engage employees and track program progress.
Select the Right Technology Partner to Drive Success
Choosing the right giving and volunteering technology partner can help ensure your program’s overall success.
Our Bright Funds platform and team help you create a culture of philanthropy to drive employee engagement. You’ll be able to program success, expand giving and volunteering options, support hybrid programs, plus more. In fact, our commitment to your success goes beyond our platform, as we continue to develop resources and share our experience to ensure your programs support a philanthropy culture and increase employee engagement.