Starting an Employee Giving Program in 4 Easy Steps

To keep up with today’s competitive market, companies, big and small, recognize that doing good is good for business. Why? Because there’s significant data that connects successful workplace giving programs with higher levels of employee engagement. And companies with high employee engagement consistently outperform on financial measures. Whether you call it Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), workplace giving or employee engagement, it’s here to stay. And, to make your brand stand out, attract and retain top candidates, and appeal to prospects and customers, you’re ready to jump in.  

But where to begin? As part of a continuing series on doing good, great, we’ll begin here with a few keys to getting started.

  1. Seek Employee Feedback

Ask employees for their opinions about what they want when it comes to charitable giving or volunteering in the workplace. Why? Because in a study conducted by America’s Charities, when charitable choice is given, employee participation increases. (Source: America’s Charities 2013 Snapshot).  

Introduce the survey with a letter from your CEO stating the company’s commitment to giving back and encouraging employees to weigh in on what’s important to them. The more sense of ownership you create, the more successful your giving program will be.  Include questions about perceptions on any current corporate philanthropy, causes and issues they care about and support, what types of programs would they be more willing to participate in, and what options would make them more willing to participate.   

  1. Create a Budget

While launching an employee giving campaign might seem like a stretch on your budget, the investment is worth it knowing that happier and engaged employees lead to a more productive workforce and a happier, more productive team ultimately leads to a happier, more loyal customer base. Your initial program doesn’t have to be all fireworks and big world-changing initiatives. Companies can start small and still experience the associated benefits and rewards.

To get started, take inventory of all the good work your company is already doing. For example, how many hours have your employees volunteered so far this year, what company donations and sponsorships have you made, and what products or services have you donated back to the community? Use this as a starting point and then evaluate additional resources you might be able to contribute. Setting a budget will allow you to shift from reactively responding to charitable requests to a more strategic, thoughtful approach.

Also, consider whether you can allocate part of the budget to a matching gift program. Everyone loves to double their impact. For example, let’s say you discover in the budgeting process that you gave $5,000 through various charitable requests, we suggest you put that $5,000 into a matching gift program. If your employees collectively give $5,000 that you match dollar for dollar, everybody wins. The employee doubled their impact, the company doubled their impact, and some really great charities will get the funds to carry out their missions. Make your matching gift program as open and flexible as possible while still aligning to your core values. Employees like choice and will be more motivated to participate when they can support charities they care about and also receive a generous company match.  

  1.  Have fun with a launch!

A great way to start your employee giving program and rally the team is with a kick off party. Employee participation is going to be a key success factor to your giving program, so why not have a little fun to encourage involvement. Use it as an opportunity to provide information about the causes you’re supporting and to begin enrollment. Even better, invite someone with a local charity you wish to support and have a lunch and learn session or volunteer fair during the launch. All it takes is a little creativity! In addition to a company-wide kick off event, you could encourage a little interdepartmental competition to add to the festivities. Giving is social in today’s world, so make it fun, build in some recognition, and celebrate!   

  1. Keep them Engaged  

Your giving program succeeds when employees stay engaged. The best way to keep up  momentum after the launch is to communicate progress. Be sure to:

  • capture and share success stories big and small
  • share images, videos, stories as they occur, be it through a company social media page, your giving platform, or a newsletter
  • celebrate milestones achieved (dollars raised, hours volunteered)

Stay tuned to our upcoming blogs providing further guidance, tips on program ideas, ways to keep employees engagement, measuring your impact, and more.  And learn more about us at www.gooddonegreat.com.

 

Hop in the driver’s seat of your corporate social responsibility story

Drive the conversation

People are talking about you. Whether you’re part of the conversation or not, it is happening. The topic is your corporate social responsibility activities. Employees, stakeholders, and consumers are engaged and making decisions based on what they see and read.

The problem is that too often you are left out of the conversation because your side of the story isn’t being told. One is left to wonder how your absence affects your reputation in the mind of those that have high expectations of companies and want them to demonstrate a strong commitment to social responsibility.

Research shows consumers make purchasing decisions based on how socially responsible a company is and will boycott one that isn’t viewed in such a positive light.

For far too long, companies have been reluctant to tell their story. They were afraid it would come across as boastful or bragging. Somehow they felt that sharing the story would negate the good works that were being done.

I’ve talked to several senior corporate leaders in the last few weeks that have validated this reluctance. I’ve heard a consistent message. “We are doing good things, but no one knows about it. We need to do a better job of telling our story.” What was once perceived as bragging is now quickly becoming a necessity.

Corporations are increasingly recognizing that it is in their best interest to not only join but drive the conversation and share the story of how they are driving key social change.

We have learned that there is an expectation for companies to be involved. We’re also learning that there are business reasons for doing so.

According to the recently released 2017 Cone CSR Report, millennials are hopeful that businesses will take the lead to drive social and environmental change moving forward. The same report found that Americans still have high expectations for companies; 92% say they have a more positive image of the company if they support a social or environmental cause.

Here are some tips to help your company drive the conversation and reap the benefits that can come as a result.  

Understand why you are engaged

Before you can tell any story, you need to be clear on the purpose and the why. Companies would do well to think about these questions:

-What does CSR mean to our company, and why is it important?

-What are we trying to accomplish through our involvement?

-Who can we partner with to help us achieve our goals?

-How will our involvement benefit our company and our stakeholders, and help advance change in societal issues?

It is best when companies align their focus areas with their corporate goals and objectives, employee interests and needs, and community issues.

Clearly articulate what you are doing

Once you understand why you are engaged, articulate the value of your efforts. Being able to articulate your message is the difference between bragging and genuine commitment to good corporate citizenship and social change.

Corporate storytelling with Good Done Great

Tell the story using multiple communication vehicles

Make sure your story is being told using a variety of channels. The time-proven methods of annual reports and press releases are still valid. Recent years have seen a growth in the number of companies publishing an annual corporate social responsibility report. All of these are effective and demonstrate the company’s commitment to social change. More and more companies are turning to social media. All of these vehicles can and should be used.

The Cone Report found that 79% of consumers say they are more likely to believe a company’s CSR commitments if they share their efforts along multiple channels.

Use your partners to tell the story. They also have communication networks and channels. More storytellers make for a better story.

Engage employees as storytellers

Feature employees who are actively engaged in giving and volunteering. Use their faces and stories in your social media campaigns and printed reports. Additionally, encourage employees to tell the story to their friends and family. They can use their individual social networks to push out the story even further.  Engaging employees personalizes the story and demonstrates genuine commitment and authenticity.

The Cone Research report found that millennials are likely to tell friends and family about the CSR efforts of their employer and of companies that are committed to social change.

Promote partnerships and encourage participation

In your story, show how you have partnered with others to address a critical need and then invite those reading your story to engage with you. Consumers want to know what you are doing and how their personal actions can make a difference. They also said they appreciate a bold or daring message that makes them think differently. Use your story to invite their participation and action.

Companies are in a unique position to serve as the educator, the convener, and the catalyst for those wanting to make a difference. It all begins with joining the conversation and telling their story.  Be a driver and a catalyst for doing good and reap the benefits that come from being an engaged and involved corporation.

This post was authored by Steve Greenhalgh, our Managing Director of CSR Strategy.

Top 10 CSR social media accounts to follow today

Social media is the perfect platform to share images, facts, quotes, and statistics surrounding your corporate philanthropy efforts. More and more consumers utilize social media to discover information on CSR and engage with companies on CSR-related issues.

We’ve pulled together a list of our favorite brands and CSR strategists that we can all take some tips from to up our CSR social media game. 

1- PPG

PPG is a global company that provides paints, coatings, and materials. They utilize Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share information on their giving and volunteering initiatives. Their own CSR-dedicated Twitter account, @ppg_communities, highlights their PPG Foundation grants and volunteer program, #ColorfulCommunities.

PPG Good Done Great Social Media

2- Ecolab Foundation

Ecolab, the global leader in water, hygiene, and energy technologies, utilizes Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to educate consumers on water scarcity and food safety. These two cause areas correspond directly with their core business.

Their Twitter account, @EcolabFdn, features grant recipients and their employee volunteers. They tweet using #EcolabGives to highlight their work in the community.

Hashtags are a great way to encourage your followers to engage with and follow your content.

3- PwC Foundation

The PwC Foundation utilizes their Twitter account, @PwCFoundation, to promote their cause areas including veteran affairs and youth education. They share articles their employees pen surrounding their personal connection with cause areas. This is a great way to humanize the causes that the PwC Foundation supports.

4- Whole Kids Foundation

The Whole Kids Foundation’s Instagram feed is filled with colorful images of fruits, vegetables, and smiling faces of children who receive support from the foundation. This foundation, one of the Whole Foods Market Foundations, supports schools and inspires families to improve childhood nutrition and wellness. They encourage their followers to post photos with #growinghealthykids to share their work in growing gardens that support the health and wellness of children.

Good Done Great Whole Kids Foundation Social Media

Are you in need of facts and research that support your Corporate Social Responsibility activities? Look no further than these three twitter accounts…

5- @EdelmanPurpose

Edelman is known the world over for their work promoting and protecting the world’s most respected and trusted brands. Their Twitter account features research and insight on the latest CSR buzzwords and themes including finding your social purpose and demonstrating the business case for sustainability. If you are in need of helpful facts or the latest CSR research, follow @EdelmanPurpose.

6- @CECPtweets

We’ve been fans of CECP for awhile now as they bring together business leaders committed to social responsibility. Their Giving in Numbers report provides statistics and trends regarding current CSR programs of some of the biggest brands; this information helps other companies benchmark their efforts. Check out their feed for highlights surrounding current happenings in the CSR space.

7- @RealizedWorth

RealizedWorth works with companies to motivate employees to participate in volunteering and giving programs. Their inspiring and informational content spurs readers into action. Join over 11,900 of their followers to stay on top of content such as “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose: Framing the Volunteer Experience.”

Edelman, CECP, and RealizedWorth fill their Twitter accounts with CSR facts and statistics. Provide your followers with similar information, and they will view you and your brand as thought leaders.

To round out our list of top 10 CSR-related social media accounts, here are three of our favorite tweeters in this space.

8- Ingrid Embree – @trulyingrid

Ingrid, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, at GlobalGiving shares both informational and inspiring tweets featuring feel-good giving stories. If you are interested in staying on top of the latest in CSR and sustainable development, you will find Ingrid’s account filled with information on the SDGs, skills-based volunteering, and news on relevant causes including the refugee crisis.

9- Shannon Schuyler – @ShannonSchuyler

Shannon is the Chief Purpose Officer at PwC and the President of the PwC Foundation. Her Twitter feed features stories of her fellow colleagues and their personal passions and causes in addition to articles and facts on purpose in the workplace. She keeps her feed current by featuring events including Teacher Appreciation Week and Military Appreciation Month. These celebrated days feature new causes that inspire us to give back.

10- Aman Singh – @AmanSinghCSR

Aman has years of experience in CSR from her role as VP, Business + Social Purpose at Edelman to her work with CSRwire and her current role at Futerra.

Her 19,000+ Twitter followers receive news on everything from the circular economy to climate change and open positions in sustainability. In 160 characters or less, she inspires her followers to take action.

Ingrid, Shannon, and Aman engage their followers with content that not only informs but inspires. Successful social media accounts inform their followers while inspiring and encouraging them to take action.

If you are looking to up your Twitter or social media game, these ten brands and individuals serve as inspiration and provide invaluable CSR research. Take example from the above accounts and turn your neutral stakeholders into positive CSR brand ambassadors!

Media roundup of Good Done Great’s acquisition of WPG Solutions

Several media outlets reported upon our acquisition of WPG Solutions. Check out their pieces below.

LowcountryBizSC 

Business Examiner

Charleston Regional Business Journal

Good Done Great Acquires Tacoma-Based WPG Solutions

CHARLESTON, SC AND TACOMA, WA 

(May 11, 2017) — Good Done Great, a leading Corporate Social Responsibility technology and services provider, announced today the acquisition of Tacoma, Washington based WPG Solutions. WPG Solutions is a workplace giving software and solutions provider offering an array of services to meet the social and philanthropic needs of companies, employees, and administrators.

“We’re excited to be offering Good Done Great’s unified enterprise CSR platform to our clients, as we know it will prove invaluable to amplifying their giving and volunteering efforts,” said Brandon Fix, President and CEO of WPG Solutions. “I look forward to joining the Good Done Great team and adding to Good Done Great’s portfolio of high-caliber clients.”

Brandon Fix, President and CEO of WPG Solutions, joins Good Done Great as the Vice President of Enterprise Business Development. He brings over 20 years of experience as a CSR evangelist and proven problem solver, working closely with Fortune 1000 companies. Before WPG Solutions, Brandon founded DonationDepot.com later acquired by Kintera (KNTA) in 2004.

“By adding WPG Solutions’ expertise in working with corporate workplace giving programs to Good Done Great, we further our goal of providing the best CSR experience for businesses of all sizes,” said David Barach, Founder and CEO of Good Done Great. “I am excited to be working with Brandon. We produced great results together at Kintera, and I look forward to witnessing his continued success growing our enterprise business.”

About Good Done Great

Through innovative technologies and engagement practices, Good Done Great inspires, supports, and expands the charitable aspirations of corporations and individuals. From personal giving accounts to scalable Corporate Social Responsibility platforms, Good Done Great provides solutions that eradicate barriers to giving and facilitate meaningful, lasting connections between givers and the causes they care about.

As ardent believers in the power of business to effect positive change. Good Done Great was one of the first certified and registered Benefit Corporations (B Corp). To date we have processed more than $500 million in donations on behalf of tens of thousands of charities around the globe.

Charleston Business Magazine highlights Good Done Great’s platform for SMBs

Charleston Business Magazine highlighted our CSR platform for small to midsize companies. Read it here.

Business Examiner features Good Done Great’s product launch for SMBs

Business Examiner highlighted our release of our CSR platform for SMBs on their website. Read it here.

Silicon Harbor Magazine highlights Good Done Great’s platform for SMBs

Silicon Harbor Magazine featured our SMB platform launch. Check out their article here.

LowcountryBizSC features Good Done Great SMB platform release

LowcountryBizSC posted our release surrounding the launch of our CSR platform for SMBs. Check it out here.

Good Done Great releases new CSR platform for SMBs

Today we’re super-excited to announce Good Done Great’s release of our new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform, designed specifically for the country’s nearly 30 million small to mid-sized business (SMB) population. You can read our official release here.

Not only do these companies represent the life’s blood of the nation’s economic engine, their owners and employees already provide a variety of support – donations, goods and services, and volunteer hours  – to countless community (and global) charities.

Our new SMB platform is designed to help these companies create innovative new giving programs and, just as important, track, record, and report on the results of those efforts. This is important because as most of our readers (and all of our enterprise clients) know, CSR is the new ‘killer app’ for brands eager to do their part for a worthy cause as well as to stand apart from the crowd.

“Research consistently shows that when it comes to socially responsible brands, consumers want to buy from them, the best and brightest want to work for them, the markets want to invest in them, and local governments want them to set up shop in their communities,” notes our CEO and founder, David Barach. “With our new CSR solution for SMBs, millions of SMBs at last will be able to reap those same benefits – benefits which, until now, were only available to the CSR programs of the Fortune 500.”

Details of the SMB Giving Platform

Our new SMB platform scales in functionality depending on the size of the company and its CSR aspirations. For small businesses (up to 100 employees), the platform costs just $29/month. For mid-sized companies (up to 5,000 employees), the cost is $299/month.  Features include:

  • Ability to easily set up a variety of giving programs, including campaigns around employee-chosen causes, disaster response, and matching gifts
  • PayDay GivingTM
  • Employee rewards of charitable gift cards
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals alignment
  • Giving history and tax-deductible reporting

SMBs can learn more about the offering or sign up for a free 30-day trial here, and any employee can volunteer to serve as the company’s CSR administrator. All donations are processed by DonateWell, a national Donor Advised Fund (DAF), and disbursed directly into the designated charity’s bank account.