International Women’s Day, Earth Day, World Hunger Day and Giving Tuesday are all reasons to celebrate and take action. Those are just a few of the many international cause awareness days that happen every year. Observance days in a workplace giving program are an easy and powerful way to promote philanthropy, foster a sense of community and enhance employee engagement. Global Impact celebrates these days year-round and produces a free calendar annually.
Here are seven ways your company can leverage observance days to create opportunities for giving and community building. (I even added a few resources from our Employee Giving Hub to get you started!)
1. Choose a day that aligns with your program or overall CSR work.
The calendar is full of them, so it can be hard to know which ones to focus on. Choose an observance day that aligns with a cause or social issue your workplace giving program or corporate social responsibility work supports. For example, if you focus on education, you could celebrate World Literacy Day (Sept. 8) or Universal Children’s Day (Nov. 20). Organize activities such as panel discussions, guest speakers or volunteering opportunities that raise awareness about the cause and encourage employees to contribute to related initiatives.
Resource: Tips & Tricks for Cause Awareness Days
2. Collaborate with charities.
Year after year, we hear from employees that charity involvement in their workplace campaign makes the strongest impression and can often be a deeply meaningful experience. Why not invite nonprofits to join you? Charities can participate in or help lead observance day celebrations. The options are endless, from kit-packing events to lunch and learns featuring experts to virtual reality tours. By working together, you can leverage the expertise and resources of these organizations while providing meaningful engagement opportunities for your employees. This partnership can also strengthen the impact of your workplace giving program and enhance the sense of community among employees.
3. Encourage employees to pick their own observance days.
Each of your employees has something they’re personally passionate about. Encourage them to take the lead in organizing observance day campaigns related to their causes. For instance, an employee interested in addressing climate change can spearhead activities for Earth Day (April 22), such as organizing a local trash pickup event or hosting a documentary screening. Create a platform for employees to propose and lead initiatives, allowing them to showcase their dedication to a specific observance day. It could be as simple as an online submission form!
Resource: Send employees to our Find Your Cause Quiz if they need help narrowing down cause options.
4. Amplify employee stories.
Use observance days as an opportunity to highlight employee stories and experiences related to giving back. Feature employees who have made a significant impact in their community or have personal connections to the causes being observed. Share their stories through internal communications channels like newsletters, intranet articles or social media. This helps create a sense of pride, inspires others and encourages employee engagement in your program.
5. Ensure that you’re celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion observance days.
There are so many days and months that celebrate diversity and inclusion, such as Black History Month (February), International Women’s Day (March 8) or Pride Month (June). Use them as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of equity and inclusivity in your workplace giving program. Organize educational workshops, panel discussions or film screenings that promote understanding, respect and dialogue around various dimensions of diversity. Encourage employees to contribute to nonprofits or initiatives that support marginalized communities and advocate for equality.
6. Build in a day for volunteering.
Commit to a dedicated company-wide volunteer day. You can pick your own or align it with an existing day such as International Volunteer Day (Dec. 5), National Volunteer Week (April) or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January). Encourage employees to participate in community service activities that resonate with the values and goals of your workplace giving program. Provide employees with paid time off or flexible schedules to participate, demonstrating the company’s commitment to giving back. If you have access, encourage and incentivize employees to log their volunteer time on your employee giving platform like Benevity or YourCause.
7. Host an appreciation day for donors and volunteers.
Celebrate the contributions of employees who actively engage in the campaign and volunteer. Create an internal observance day to recognize and honor their efforts. Host a special event or ceremony where you publicly acknowledge their contributions and share success stories. Consider presenting awards or certificates of appreciation to highlight their commitment to making a difference.
Resource: Ways to Thank Your Donors and Volunteers
Remember, when planning observance day activities ensure they are inclusive and respectful of diverse perspectives and offer opportunities for employees at all levels to get involved. By integrating observance days into your workplace giving program you can create meaningful experiences that boost morale, foster a sense of purpose and create a culture of giving.
Global Impact is your go-to resource for building meaningful observance day celebrations. Sign up for our Employee Giving Hub to receive all of these listed resources (and more), and we’ll include you in future communications that help you plan for all kinds of observance days and employee engagement activities. You might also want to subscribe to Greater Giving Weekly, which includes the latest in philanthropy, employee engagement, disaster response, corporate social responsibility and more.