Through an annual charitable giving strategy, businesses reap the double reward of supporting their community while nurturing employee satisfaction.
A new year prompts us to reassess where we put our energy and to ask ourselves what fills our cup. What is important to us? What can we achieve? How can we fulfil our purpose?
At Spark we also ask: how can we not only improve our own lives, but those in our community? We believe it’s important to leverage your business success to help build a healthy, prosperous community; the same community within which you, your family, team members and friends live, work and play.
Developing a plan for your business to give back in the year ahead is one way to both fill your cup and fulfill the needs in the world around us. A win-win for all involved.
Yet another win: studies show that a positive company culture is proven to attract and retain better talent. It makes sense: employees who experience more job satisfaction are more likely to stick around.
Involving your team in identifying and supporting the causes that resonate best with them promotes a culture of meaningful giving that creates a heightened sense of employee fulfillment.
Choose a Cause that Aligns with Your Brand Values
Social engagement should be done from the heart, not as a marketing or PR stunt. Select your cause with thoughtful purpose and from a place of authenticity. Your brand values say a lot about what is important to you and your people, i.e. your employees and your customers.
Begin with the broad strokes about what fits. When you think of your brand, and what cause do you instinctively lean towards? Trust your gut – you know you best.
Once you’ve identified what causes align with your values, you’ll need to drill down to select which non-profit you want to support.
What programs need your help the most? Will you give them your time, your money or your platform make a difference? Or maybe all of the above.
Inspire Your Employees to Give
Studies show that adults under 35 are almost three times more likely to volunteer. Of course, millennials aren’t the only generation who identify with the drive to do good. We all have causes that inspire us.
If you want to motivate your employees to give back, we recommend doing your homework to see what resonates most with your team. Where do they currently invest their time and money?
Solicit their feedback and then have a vote. The key is to engage as many employees as possible!
Ways to Give
There are numerous ways your business can fuel a greater sense of employee fulfillment by giving back to the community. Some of these include:
Employee Charitable Giving Programs
If you have it in your budget, employee-giving and matching programs allow your staff to donate directly off their pay cheques. This is an incredibly effective and effortless way to encourage your team to support the causes they care about.
Fundraising for Charity
Another way to inspire your employees to spread the love is through peer-matching and friendraising programs, leveraging the power of their social media networks to motivate others to give.
Motivate your people with meaningful volunteering opportunities or incentivize them with rewards like donations for doers.
You can also empower your employees to host their own volunteering events that either take direct action for a cause like a beach clean-up or help to raise funds like a silent auction.
More Ways to Get Involved
There are numerous other ways for your business to get involved in your community. You might take on a role within your BIA, sponsor a local sports team, or support beautification efforts to refresh neglected neighbourhoods. There is no limit as to how you can pitch in and uplift!
Stay On Track to Make an Impact
To keep your business moving forward with your plans, you may want to create a social committee of your most passionate people who are dedicated to making things happen.
This team will work together to research opportunities, coordinate events, and promote your fundraising and volunteering efforts to your staff, customers, and community at large.
Depending on the size of your company or the scope of your ambitions, you may also benefit with outside help to provide strategic planning, guidance, and support for your giving initiatives.
Brokers of Good and Benevity are just two services that can connect you to a charity and track the power of your programs by managing employee engagement, community investment and customer engagement.
Or, if you’re a female entrepreneur looking to make a difference, Business 4 Social Good, a Social Impact Training & Consulting Company, works with female-led small and medium-sized businesses to inspire the greater good.
Our corporate responsibility as business owners should naturally extend beyond how we treat our staff and branch into asking how we can help our community.
How will your business make a difference in the year ahead? Have you considered collaborating with other companies to amplify your impact? Need a nudge getting started? We can help.