10.19.15

Shine a Light on Corporate Responsibility During the Holidays

Companies and organizations big and small can pool their resources to make an impact in their communities during the holidays. Corporate giving is an opportunity to help others who are in need and to encourage internal teambuilding when employees rally together for a cause. In planning corporate giving campaigns, a few helpful guidelines will ensure you reach your goals.

Involve your employees. Consider allowing your team to vote internally on your company’s cause so that you increase their buy in. Ask them how they want the company to celebrate the holiday season and consider ways to pull corporate responsibility into their daily lives, through signage or through planned events. Find employees who are passionate about charitable giving and designate them as “elves” or “cheer” leaders who will help organize donations and spearhead participation.

Announce your cause early. Be respectful of your employees and their budgets and schedules. If you are planning a corporate responsibility campaign that involves donations of money, goods or time, let your employees know well in advance (Before December!) so that they can incorporate giving into their personal budgets and schedules. Many people make budgets to keep holiday spending in check. By letting your employees know in advance that they have the opportunity to donate to a cause, you allow them a chance to include this kindness in their budgets and increase the likelihood that they will be able to donate.

Make it easy. Companies can increase employee participation in corporate giving through payroll deductions so people do not have to remember to bring a donation or to write a check. If your Christmas cause requires people to purchase presents for others, simplify this by allowing employees to take an extra half hour at lunchtime to shop, offering present wrapping in house to make gift giving a breeze or allowing employees to donate money that the company uses to buy presents to remove needing to shop as a barrier to participation.

Choose a cause that is close to your community or your mission. People are more likely to donate to causes that closely mirror their interests or groups that are making a difference they can see. Consider partnering with a charity that helps local families so your employees can see the impact they are making.

Tell your story with grace. Highlight corporate responsibility to both internal and external audiences through email marketing campaigns, social media posts and news releases, but do so with a focus on the good works your team is doing or supporting, not on your company’s bottom line. Helping an important cause should be the true reason for corporate responsibility.

Multiply employee donations. Set a policy that says your company will match employee donations to a specific cause or charity so your team’s contributions are multiplied. To ensure your company can plan for this in its budget, outline rules and spending limits. (For example, say you will match all donations, up to a set amount.)

Make corporate giving a year-round proposition. People are in need year-round, so consider initiatives that you can support from January all the way through to December and then highlight the overall success of your giving campaign through an end-of-the-year communications round-up.

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