According to Charity Navigator, the world is becoming considerably more charitable as continue existing; in fact, a record-setting $410 billion was given to charities in 2017 – the third straight year that the giving record was broken worldwide. And while corporate giving regularly tops the $10 billion mark year over year, the vast majority of donations come from individuals.
A simple and effective way of combining corporate philanthropy and individual giving is to craft a mission and means of allowing the people in your company to get involved. Encouraging philanthropy on a team-wide or company-wide level is an easy way of building camaraderie while simultaneously giving back to your community.
WHY – CAMARADERIE & TEAM BUILDING
While it might not inspire the same vigor as a company happy hour or pretzel day at the office, getting involved as an organization remains a fantastic way of building team unity. Studies have shown that company culture can improve drastically in organizations that organize charitable events as a group around the holidays.
WHY – MORE TENURE AND HAPPIER EMPLOYEES
According to Nielsen, over two-thirds of all people enjoy working for companies that put a focus on giving back to their community. To put it simply, people like working for employers who care about the world around them.
HOW – GIVING DAYS OFF AND MATCHING DONATIONS
Many companies offer 401k matches, but significantly fewer go the extra mile to offer donation matches. Large organizations like GE, Gap, and ExxonMobil offer to match their employee’s donations, sometimes dollar-for-dollar, up to a certain amount. This effectively doubles employee donations at absolutely no extra cost to the individual!
Smaller businesses, however, aren’t always in a position to do something like offer matching donations. Many companies are beginning to see the benefits in giving employees paid time off to volunteer in their communities and have begun offering the benefit. A day off devoted solely to getting involved in the community and give back – whether it’s planting trees, volunteering at a shelter, or wrapping gifts for those in need – gives employees a sense of doing good and brings everyone together on a day they’d normally be at work.
HOW – FIND THEIR PASSIONS
The most effective way of finding a philanthropic cause that will maximize engagement, donations, and attendance? Find a cause that your employees care about. If the people around you feel impassioned about helping care for animals, find a charity in your area that helps to find permanent homes for pets; if they’re more interested in educational or environmental initiatives, find local organizations that put a focus there.
You’ll quickly find that by pursuing endeavors that your company feels most passionate about, both the organizations and the individuals involved will reap immense rewards.
David Jeansonne is a successful entrepreneur based in New Orleans, Louisiana. His goal is to help the less fortunate and improve his hometown community. Read more of his philanthropy blog or check out his Twitter!