Impact on the Ground: creating engagement around international days

Two people participate in Doctors Without Borders' mapping exercise
Kim Gube, Global Impact’s mid-Atlantic and southeast region director, shares some examples of how companies have used international days to create activities and awareness about the causes their employees care about.
End Poverty Day 
Last year, in honor of End Poverty Day on Oct. 17, I attended a day of global activities hosted by the World Bank Group at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. The event kicked off with an interactive panel discussion highlighting the issues raised by the new poverty and shared prosperity report released by the World Bank. Throughout the day, charities including Africare, CARE and ChildFund International shared their impact with innovations and solutions in the fight against poverty.  The event also featured several interactive activities, including a graffiti wall for participants to share their thoughts and experiences, a poverty quiz booth and an opportunity to participate in an interactive time-lapse video of human letters spelling the words “End Poverty #IDA”. 
MLK Day of Service 
In January, the International Monetary Fund took the opportunity on MLK Day of Service to host volunteer activities and a charity fair for their employees. More than 300 employees came out to learn about the work of several charities and participate in volunteer activities coordinated by Smile Train and Doctors Without Borders. Employees decorated get-well cards for children recovering from cleft lip surgery, mapped missing geographic data used to more easily access communities in need, and chatted with more than 20 charities about their interest in donating to and volunteering with their organization. 
Key takeaways
These examples show how easily a company can leverage an observance day to engage employees and charities. In addition, companies can innovate around a global issue to make a connection to company goals, employee benefits and retention strategies. Although these days were not directly tied to the company’s campaign season, it was the perfect way to engage employees, showcase support for a cause and feature the impact charities have on that cause.
Interested in learning how to leverage a cause area or observance day to support employee engagement? Contact [email protected] for more information.  

This article first appeared in in Global Impact's April 2019 campaign and charity newsletters.