Whether you’re planning the perfect Christmas morning for your kids, or donating presents to a family in need, giving is fundamental to the holiday season. This time of year can be busy, but it can also be the perfect time to implement small but meaningful changes that will benefit your business, your employees, and your community for years to come.
A solid Corporate Philanthropy plan can create unexpected positive results throughout your business. With a few small changes, you may witness a more positive work environment and increases in employee engagement. Employees want to work for companies they admire. This is especially true for younger generations in the workforce who are increasingly striving to give more.
Giving back can also have positive impacts on your business’s public image and customer relationships. As with many opportunities to give back, you may find that you gain more than you give.
We’ve compiled a few suggestions to help you get started.
Plan Service Days
Service days are like recess for adults. If it is logistically feasible, work with a local charity to organize a day for your entire staff to volunteer. This doesn’t have to mean that you shut down operations for a full day (but it can). You can have volunteers work in shifts, so they are only away from the office for a few hours at a time. This is great for team building, and the act of volunteering is often more powerful than a monetary gift.
If you are not able to organize a companywide service day, you can encourage individuals and teams to participate in volunteer work on their own. Grant a flexible “Service Day” as part of your company’s PTO plan each year. Make it easy for employees to volunteer by connecting them with volunteer coordinators at local organizations.
Match Your Employees’ Giving
What’s better than a single gift? A double gift. This can be easy to implement, and the impact can be huge. With gift matching, it is important to select an organization that aligns with your company’s values and your employee’s values. This is a great opportunity to get to know the people who work for you. Find out where they’re already volunteering and giving. For an added bonus, keep your employees informed after the gift is made - let everyone know exactly what was accomplished because of their gift.
Say Yes to Sponsorships
Help pay for those soccer jerseys, support the local fall festival, or be instrumental in bringing that exhibit to your museum. Opportunities to sponsor are not hard to find, and chances are your employees have some great ideas. Knowledge is power when it comes to making this type of initiative work. Make sure your employees know what types of sponsorships your business would be eager to participate in, the budget you have allocated, and who can help them with marketing materials like ads and logos. Sponsorships can make a big difference in your local community, and they’re a great opportunity to give back and promote your brand at the same time.
Partner with local colleges, trade schools, or grade schools. This can mean anything from one-on-one mentorships with young scholars, to a full collaboration on coursework and training programs related to your field. Inspiring the next generation of talent can start early!
Opportunities to give come in all shapes and sizes, and you don’t have to look far to find one that makes sense for your business. The best plan is a collaborative one, so look to your employees for suggestions, and invite them to contribute each step of the way. Happy Giving!
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