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7 do’s and don’ts for a Giving & Volunteering programme

Sometimes, you come across research filled with such great insights that you wish it was your own! This was the case for us when we read a research amongst 1586 employees about Giving & Volunteering. We gathered and examined the most interesting insights from this research as well as our own view on it.

Giving & Volunteering at 87% of companies

It seems that by now, both employers and employees are at the same page when it comes to combining making profit and having a positive impact on the world. Do Good programs that fit the company’s values and mission are on the raise: 87% of companies engage in this type of activities.

Why Giving & Volunteering is more relevant than ever

While we are more connected than ever to our friends and colleagues through virtual channels, connections to our communities and co-workers have grown weak. Many workplaces have gone digital. By not sharing a workplace, many workers feel isolated from each other and have few opportunities to connect in person with their coworkers.

As a result of this disconnection, many workers are looking for meaningful opportunities to connect — both to their communities and to their colleagues. Besides this, people want to do more good in this fast changing world. Donating time and money to good causes provides a way to do both: restore connections that have been lost while at the same time doing more good in the world.

Giving & Volunteering fulfils desire for ‘meaning and connection’

Many HR and CSR professionals realize that workplace giving and volunteering have become avenues to restoring the connections that have been lost over time.

“The desires to give back and volunteer are important to our core sense of self,” said Junelle Kroontje, administrator for the King County Employee Giving Program in Washington. “But many people, when they look at all of their day-to-day responsibilities, they don’t have the time to engage in these activities. As employers, we’re providing a way to bridge the personal/professional experience.”

We’ve shared a lot about how companies start such programmes. But what actually motivates employees to do good and join such programmes at work? There are several motivations, such as ‘reconnecting with co-workers’ and ‘doing good as part of their work’.

Why employees join programmes

The research clearly outlines several reasons why employees join programmes. The following are key reasons why employees join Giving & Volunteering programmes because it:

  • makes them feel connected to something larger
  • makes their job much more fun, by having time reserved for doing something they really believe in
  • provides opportunity to build relationships with coworkers (41%)
  • gets them to work with coworkers that they normally don’t work with (41%)
  • provides opportunity to engage with company leaders (57%)
    A funny example: having senior executives at the bar resulted in an increase from 20% to more then 50% engagement for startup Optimizely

7 do’s and don’ts to get maximum engagement on your programme

Do’s

  1. Provide choice
    Nearly 3 in 10 employees that do not give through their workplace giving program say they don’t care about the causes that are offered as a choice.
  2. Enable paid time off to volunteer
    64% of employees really value the opportunity to do some good ‘during work hours’.
  3. Match funds for donations
    When employers provide a matching fund (“we’ll double the money you raise”), employees are extra motivated to join a programme.

Don’ts

  1. Pressure your employees or colleagues
    It’s important for employers to understand that there is a subset of their workforce that does not want to be pressured to give. And that’s okay. Don’t force it.
  2. Limit choice
    Employees will be most engaged when they have the opportunity to choose something that they really care about, or even suggest a cause themselves! At GoodUp, we see that our customers really value the bottom-up approach.
  3. Have limited giving & volunteering options
    Asked why they detract, employees give limited ability to give when and how they want as a main reason.
  4. Not much information is available
    People don’t just give their time and money away! You need to provide enough information to convince and provide a secure feeling.

How an online platform solves do’s and don’ts

A good online Giving and Volunteering platform provides the necessary support to companies in realizing the before-mentioned do’s and don’ts. Expanding the choice of where to volunteer and ability, providing important information and creating a space for matchfunding are some of the features of such a platform. Employees have the freedom to access the platform at their leisure, thus taking away any unnecessary pressure.

A platform also takes care of three other issues described in the research. (i) Showing the impact, (ii) registering of the (paid) volunteering time and (iii) allocation of the fund matching in an easier, accountable and transparent way.

70% of Traditional non-profits indicated that they struggle with demonstrating the impact, while 66% cannot show relevance to individual investors. And 81% have problems communicating effectively to corporate partners & individual donors. With the use of an online platform, many of these struggles are relieved as well.

Continuing the conversation

Interested to learn more about creating an online corporate giving or volunteering platform that actually does meet your employees expectations and creates most value for your company? Give us a call.


Source: Snapshot 2017: What US Employees Think about Workplace Giving, Volunteering, and CSR.