Welcoming a new year means it is also time to welcome another set of resolutions. This year, while you make your plan to read more, eat healthier, and re-connect with that friend you haven’t spoken to in years, don’t forget to also include your workplace goals and intentions.  

Now more than ever, your philanthropic programs probably need a refresh. Philanthropy and work cultures look very different than they did a few years ago, and your employee giving program needs to reflect these changes. People are looking beyond traditional fundraising to fulfill their charitable goals including advocacy, volunteering, and donating items, and with most companies accommodating a more permanent shift to home offices, we’re facing an unchartered work atmosphere.  

Take this time to reflect on your workplace philanthropy program and how it fits within this new landscape. To help get you started, here are three areas of focus that can make a big impact in your campaign:  

Be Inclusive 
People have begun turning to their workplace as a source of purpose in their lives and those who find it tend to be more productive and loyal. Investing the effort to ensure all your employees feel more connected pays off, and employee giving programs are a great way to fulfill those needs. But how can you create a program that is meaningful for all when you have such a diverse workforce?  

Your employee program needs to be accessible to employees at all levels and locations. There are often disparities in how frontline or non-desk employees feel compared to their peers in feeling fulfilled in their work and connected to their company’s values. Here are some great solutions to engage employees: 

  • Make sure your promotions or communications around the campaign are located where all your employees can access them., Placing posters in break rooms and warehouses, flyers at reception desks or on a company-wide intranet, as well as easily accessible guides on how to participate makes it easy for employees to jump in. 
  • Host campaign events and engagement opportunities in various environments, whether it is virtual to reach employees across multiple locations or during off-hours to accommodate different schedules. 
  • Structure your program so that employees paid hourly can participate and consider donation channels for employees who don’t have access to computers or have accessibility challenges, like having pledge forms or assigned agents to complete the donation process by proxy.  
  • Engage your employees beyond just donating or volunteering. Include eager employees in steering committees, as campaign volunteers, and in employee resources groups. 
  • And most importantly, don’t forget to recognize their contributions to the program! 

Celebrate the diversity in your workplace by featuring “choice” in your giving program. Your employees all have unique stories, cultures and backgrounds and their philanthropic interests will reflect those individual experiences. Employee giving programs that offer more causes and charity options perform better, and your employees will feel more connected to your program. You can even highlight the different causes featured in your campaign by implementing cause-based marketing in your campaign plan. The CFC features a different cause area each week – inviting charities in that cause area to speaking events, highlighting them on the program’s social media and featuring them in their marketing efforts 

Effectively Engage Your Employees 
Donating charity dollars is no longer the only channel people are using to make a difference. The idea of philanthropy has evolved, and people have found new ways to fulfill their giving spirit. As employees look to your company to help them connect further with their purpose, your workplace giving program can offer diverse engagement opportunities to support their diverse giving desires. 

We are seeing more people driven by causes and current events when donating. By running special campaigns around natural disasters, emergencies, or major crises you can provide your employees an easy channel to support charities directly responding to the causes they care about. At Global Impact we have been hosting these types of funds for many years and have made it easy for companies to integrate signature funds for major global events into their programs.  

Donors are also looking to donate beyond dollars. Whether it’s volunteering, advocacy or physical items to contribute, you can help them reach their goals by supporting these various ways to give. Increase employee participation in your program by hosting team engagement activities, providing a menu of charity volunteer opportunities or managing a drive for clothes, toys or food. 

Another great addition to your giving program is an Employee Assistance Fund. These funds provide your employees the opportunity to support each other in times of hardship. Employees can apply for relief funding when affected by natural disasters, personal hardships, or other crises, while also allowing employees to donate to the fund knowing that their dollars will go directly to helping their colleagues in times of need.  

Strong Data is Your Best Friend 
The best tool when assessing your program is having strong data and reporting results. Collecting data around key parts of your campaign will allow you to evaluate what strategies, programs and aspects of your campaigns are working and what is not. You can secure this information through surveys and donor reporting. 

The best way to receive useful and honest feedback on your campaign is to go straight to the source. Surveying your employees can give you great insights into your campaign and will also allow them to feel even more connected with the program. You can use a survey to learn what motivates employees to participate in your giving program, what channels were effective in promoting the campaign, how they participated in the campaign (attending events, donating, volunteering, etc.), what cause areas they care about, and more.  

Meanwhile, having strong campaign reporting can provide you key data on how your campaign is performing. You want your data to be able to tell a story and provide insights on your employees’ giving/participation journey through your program and reveal where it is excelling and what aspects may need to be reevaluated. Key data points to capture include: 

  • One-time versus recurring donors  
  • New donors and acquisition channel 
  • Top causes 
  • Average gift size 
  • Possible peaks in giving based on an event, promotion or cause day 

Compiling this data can help you: 

  • Strengthen program strategies  
  • Identify key giving days to maximize donations 
  • Decide which promotions or events were most effective 
  • Determine the most involved employee groups or departments 
  • Establish employees’ preferred causes  

All of this information is vital to help you maximize your employee giving program. 

To ensure your program remains accessible, impactful and relevant you will need to meet your employees where they are. By dedicating the time and resources to refresh your employee giving program to keep up with your workplace culture and employees’ giving trends shows that you’re invested in making a difference and providing a fulfilling experience for your employees.  

While we may not be able to ensure you reach your 2023 resolution to make it to the gym three times a week, we do have the resources and expertise to help with your employee giving program in 2023 and beyond. With insightful planning and strategic groundwork, your revamped program can be a total success. As always, Global Impact is here to help as you refresh your campaign and help you design an inclusive and fulfilling workplace giving program.