Key takeaways from our April 23 webinar

Global Impact recently hosted a webinar exploring ways that organizations can connect with employees, support their stakeholders and approach engagement programs – all through a COVID-19 lens. In case you missed it, below are some key takeaways from the discussion. Reach out to our team with any questions or if you need help getting started! Please also feel free to review the webinar recording and slide deck.

How our corporate partners are responding 
Companies are responding to COVID-19 in a number of ways. We anticipate a continued evolution in these responses as communities shift through each response and recovery phase. Our corporate partners are currently taking on one or more of the following response approaches:

  • Starting new or leveraging existing Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).
  • Launching and matching for COVID-19 fundraisers.
  • Contributing in-kind donations.
  • Engaging employees and connecting virtually with their communities.
  • Arranging remote volunteering opportunities.

Best practices for communicating 
Maintaining communication with your stakeholders – customers, employees, board members – is always important. It’s even more critical now than ever before. At this time, all internal and external communication should be shared through a COVID-19 lens. This includes how your organization is being impacted locally and globally, your response, concern for your stakeholders and opportunities to get involved.

With these ideas in mind, here are some best practices around communication that we’re seeing from private sector partners right now:

  • Leadership letters. Communication from leadership about your company’s response is critical for both customers and employees. These messages should also express sympathy and concern for all stakeholders, conveying the sentiment that we are all in this together.
  • COVID-19 on your website. Establish one central location on your website with detailed information for all stakeholders, and create a quick way to access the page by highlighting it on your homepage.
  • FAQs. Consider potential questions stakeholders may have, and answer them. Include details on your response within the company and in the community.
  • Digital volunteer opportunities. Give your community a way to support your essential employees or front-line workers virtually.
  • Regularly communicate. With the lack of in-person connection, there is a need for additional communication with your employees. Connect with all of your stakeholders frequently, whether through letters, social media, emails, virtual meetings, etc.
  • Share! When you can, share across platforms – your website, social media and newsletters are all great examples. Openly sharing this information helps promote transparency and build trust.

Tips for developing your corporate response 
When you are creating a plan for your organization to respond to COVID-19, there are three key areas to consider: how to respond philanthropically, and how to engage employees through giving and volunteerism.

Stakeholder support 
Here are key actions to consider when developing your response to support stakeholders during this time:

  • Check in with current nonprofit partners and grantees. See where they need support, and build a plan from there.
  • Invest in your employees through EAPs. Global Impact can help you launch a program within 48 hours and can support everything from setup to managing the back end.

Employee activation 
One of the questions biggest questions we’ve been receiving from our private sector partners is around employee engagement: How do you virtually promote employee engagement? Here are some strategies on activating and boosting employee giving:

  • Help the helpers. Consider sharing the work that our Charity Alliance partners are doing on the front lines and share Global Impact’s Coronavirus Relief Fund as an opportunity to support nonprofits responding worldwide.
  • Offer employee matching. This is a great way to support your employees’ efforts if they are already giving!
  • Gifts in-kind. Reach out to charities and hospitals and see what supplies they need, then communicate that need to your employees. You can even hold a virtual collection drive!
  • Share your response. Make a point to talk about your corporation’s philanthropic endeavors, including employee response.
  • Peer-to-peer engagement. Give employees a voice and encourage them to share what’s important to them. Their message might inspire others to get involved.
  • Storytelling. Use photos, videos and more to tell a story of hope and show the difference your employees can make.

Promote employee volunteering 
Right now we’re all rethinking our global days of service. How exactly does volunteering work when we’re all working from home?

  • Reach out to nonprofit partners – they can help you develop virtual opportunities.
  • Check out Global Impact’s digital engagement ideas and consider integrating them into your strategy.

For more information specific to COVID-19, visit our coronavirus information and resources page. Contact us with any questions or for more information on how we can help support your COVID-19 response efforts.