How to Involve Employees in Corporate Giving

How to Involve Employees in Corporate Giving

This article was updated on July 26, 2018.

A whopping 89 percent of employees feel positive about the idea of working on personally meaningful projects or those that impact society, according to the ADP Research Institute® report, The Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workplace. How can HR leaders tap into their employees' desire to do good, and involve staff in their corporate giving efforts?

Many engaged employees want to be organically involved in giving campaigns. In fact, Cone Communications found that 74 percent of employees say their job is more fulfilling if they have the chance to make a positive impact at work. Here are three ways to provide opportunities for your employees to take ownership of your organization's giving campaigns.

1. Ask Employees Where They Want to Give

One of the quickest ways to involve staff in your corporate giving campaigns is to poll them on where they'd like to see your philanthropy focused. Your employees will likely be happy to know that the organization is donating to local causes, but if they could choose between donating to the local animal shelter, an after-school program and a soup kitchen, they may be even more invested. When you send out these polls regularly, your staff may begin to look forward to the opportunity to help the organization choose where it makes donations.

2. Help Individuals Participate in Corporate Giving

Matching your employees' philanthropic gifts can be a great gesture. But if you want to involve your employees as much as possible, you may want to create an individualized system that allows your staff to give to causes they believe in on your dime and time. Consider creating paid time-off banks specifically for corporate giving so your staff can take time off to volunteer without losing any income. Another option is to provide small grants that employees can access and use to help causes that are important to them.

3. Create an Employee-Governed Board

Instead of driving your corporate giving campaigns from the top down, invite nonmanagerial employees to govern the board that develops and implements corporate giving strategies. Make sure the board is diverse and representative of different departments, and allow board members to oversee all or some of your organization's philanthropic efforts throughout the year. If you're anxious about losing control, start with a budget that must be approved annually by the board, as well as a member of your C-suite. Once the employee board is working successfully, invite the rest of your staff to submit bids for new initiatives throughout the year. Your board can then determine if the budget can sustain each individual request and evaluate annually whether its year-long efforts were successful.

It's clear many employees want to be involved in efforts that make them feel as if they're impacting the world outside your office doors. Involving them in employee-led corporate giving campaigns is one way to help them do so.