As we approach Giving Tuesday 2022, ACCP reached out to four of our CSR partners Benevity, YourCause from Blackbaud, CAF America, and DonorDrive for suggestions on how corporations can leverage Giving Tuesday to support their community partners and encourage employee participation.
As a CSR partner, what tips can you offer for corporations to leverage Giving Tuesday to achieve their overall philanthropy goals?
- Amplify existing initiatives. If you already have purpose programs in place, Giving Tuesday presents a powerful opportunity to rally your company and your people around the causes they care about. Incorporate easy-to-implement strategies to connect your people to the collective energy around Giving Tuesday and empower them to do even more good this year.
- Incentivize employee participation. Encourage teams to participate and show your company’s commitment by matching employee donations, offering charitable gift cards, or seeding giving accounts. The most powerful tool you possess is to incentivize giving – employees are twice as likely to donate when there’s a match involved.
- Encourage employee input. Invite employees to nominate charities for your corporate grants program, create volunteer events or donation drives, or launch peer matching initiatives. Reframe this time of year from charitable giving to empowering impact and action on the causes that matter to them.
- Make it social. Use your social media handles and encourage people to share their own stories and activities on social media. Giving Tuesday is a social activity that goes beyond just tweeting out the hashtag — it’s about people sharing the issues that matter to them and the changes they’d like to make. Giving Tuesday has grown rapidly and become a movement partly because of the massive audiences it reaches and the ability for people to showcase their passions and commitments to their communities.
- Ask for participation and feedback to help develop campaigns when planning your Giving Tuesday initiatives. Make it collaborative with cross-functional teams and easy for anyone to participate. You can even encourage a little friendly competition!
YourCause from Blackbaud:
Last year, we discussed using Giving Tuesday as a catalyst to increase participation with current giving campaigns or general employee giving around the end of the year. This year, it is essential to consider the financial strain many employees may be experiencing from the recession. It is necessary to think about how Giving Tuesday can fit in with all other initiatives you’re promoting to your employees. Here are a few ideas to encourage all kinds of giving around this holiday, not just employee donations.
- Time and Skills: You can still use the buzz from Giving Tuesday as a catalyst to plan and promote volunteer campaigns or events for your employees to participate in. Their investment of time can still go a long way in supporting nonprofits.
- Voice: Encourage support and conversations to build social awareness around a cause. You can use Giving Tuesday to spark employees’ interest to learn more and get educated on any moments that matter. Check out our toolkit for more resources on this. Get employees excited about sharing their Giving Tuesday story and encourage participation through internal channels or social media. Collect Giving Tuesday stories from senior leadership to communicate with employees leading up to the event.
- Corporate Donations: Offer efficient ways for employees to give and take advantage of matching gift funds your company offers. This could look like a donation match for the number of hours your employees give in that volunteer campaign. Get creative and consider creating a corporation donation when a participation goal is met for other employee engagement activities.
Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to remind donors why they give – which also extends to the corporate giving space. Charities worldwide use Giving Tuesday to communicate with their supporters to solicit donations as part of a more significant effort, and donors typically respond very strongly. On Giving Tuesday 2021, 35 million individuals donated $2.7 billion to U.S. nonprofits, representing a 37% increase compared to 2019 (GivingTuesday.org).
Companies and their employers may be tempted to give as usual this holiday season because they see their lives returning to normal. However, CAF America is tracking a number of developments around the world that mean that many lives continue to face extensive hardship and pain. The Russian Invasion of Ukraine has sent millions of people searching for shelter, food, and warmth across Eastern Europe as winter approaches. Flooding in Pakistan continues to disrupt the lives and livelihoods of entire regions. And charities that typically support people affected by emergencies and disasters have been beaten down by repeated crises beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the context of the continuing needs and pain felt in communities around the world, CAF America recommends the following strategies to build meaning into your engagement this Giving Tuesday:
- Choose a community to champion or commit to: The world is large, and even the biggest company cannot always help everyone. Selecting a place to focus your employees’ giving makes it easier to see their donations’ impact and can make a much more significant impact in individual lives.
- Choose charity partners on the ground in those communities: Once you have selected a community (or communities) to support, build meaningful partnerships with charities that serve them directly. Creating those networks brings your employees closer to the impact their giving will make, building more meaningful engagement and telling a more compelling story – leading to more significant donations on Giving Tuesday.
- Make your own investments in the community: Above and beyond simple matched giving programs, making a corporate commitment for a non-contingent donation showcases your company’s philanthropic values and inspires your community to give back.
Focus on impact. Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for companies to build off the excitement and momentum of a global movement and infectious appetite to make a difference. The best-performing campaigns share meaningful impact and give employees and customers the megaphones to share their connections to a cause. That means your branding on Giving Tuesday needs to boost excitement, highlight a mission your stakeholders care about, and tell a story that encourages supporters.
Be a mission-aligned partner. Creating a strategic partnership that aligns efforts and connects deeply with the mission will increase engagement and impact. When you and your partners can grow towards a common goal, it’s a win-win for both. Learn what charitable and volunteer opportunities your customers and employees care about to ensure alignment and impactful branding that will benefit all.
Diversify your support. Today’s supporters want to do more than open their wallets. They want to be part of a community and are willing to do more to support a worthy cause. Instead of always asking for donations, engage your employees and customers to be champions of the cause. They’ll be more willing and receptive to making personalized fundraising pages and asking their networks to donate, increasing your organization’s overall reach and impact.
How can corporations support their employees as they participate in Giving Tuesday?
During uncertain economic times, the need for generosity is greater than ever – especially for society’s most vulnerable. At the same time, employees may feel less sure about their ability to give back. It is more important than ever to provide your people with a sense of efficacy, connection, and impact. Your CSR program is the best tool to lift up employees, the communities you serve, and your business at a time like this – and to boost and support employee engagement and company culture.
So, on Giving Tuesday:
- Provide multiple ways for your people to get involved. Not everyone will be able to give during uncertain economic times, so it’s essential to meet your people where they are by providing different avenues to participate, including giving, volunteering, and small acts of goodness. On Giving Tuesday, Benevity encourages companies and their people to do just “One Good Thing,” including these 50 ideas to do good. If it positively impacts your employees, your community, or a cause they care about, then it’s worth doing!
- Lean into incentives (seeding, matching, volunteer rewards) to bridge that gap when employees may have less economic power to support causes with donation dollars.
- Empower your employee resource groups (ERGs). Your ERGs are closest to what your employees care about and are vital to keeping your people engaged. They understand the issues that are top of mind for each group and have the passion and power to influence their peers in the best possible way. In fact, 50% of employees said they would stay at a company because it offered ERGs. You can empower your ERGs — and garner more engagement — by boosting awareness of their initiatives throughout the company, consulting them when selecting which nonprofits to support, and providing them with resources to allow them to thrive and continue making an impact.
Increasingly, employers around the country are taking advantage of the Employer Disaster and Hardship Relief Fund (or Employee Assistance Fund – EAF for short) to provide a safety net for their employees facing emergency hardship. This year in the US, EAFs have been mobilized to support employees impacted by Hurricane Ian and other natural disasters, but CAF America has also seen this model deployed to support overseas colleagues; for example, EAF grants have supported Ukrainian employees of some of the largest US corporations as they escaped from the country following the Russian invasion earlier this year.
Some companies are marrying this tool to their employee giving campaigns, allowing team members in the US to donate to their corporate EAF so their contributions can directly support their colleagues in need when disaster strikes, adding a meaningful human dimension to the company’s philanthropic story.
CAF America is proud to work with leaders across the corporate philanthropy space to support these employee engagement programs. Our dedication to regulatory compliance, risk mitigation, and reputation protection – the 3 Rs of International Philanthropy – provides a solid foundation to build effective and impactful charitable programs anywhere in the world.
Make it count. Incentivize donations and create urgency by matching employee contributions. Not only will your organization commit to making a significant impact, but matching gifts can activate employees like never before.
Make it easy. Provide an easy-to-use, mobile-first giving solution with digital wallet giving options. Delays in load time, too many required fields, an overly complicated form, and layout, and other slowdowns could cause your employees to move on.
Make it empowering. Increase employee buy-in by including critical groups in the decision-making and planning, especially when selecting causes to support. When employees are empowered to give back, they feel more positive about themselves, their work, and their company.
Make it engaging. Ignite your employee engagement by fostering camaraderie with team fundraising and creating friendly competition with fundraising leaderboards. Inviting employees to donate and advocating for a cause can turn employees into fundraisers and prompt thoughtful conversations beyond the water cooler or video calls.