We know that helping others makes us feel good. And we know when a company makes an effort to improve the community or help a cause, employees pride and joy in belonging to the organization increases. Pride brings with it loyalty and joy brings all sorts of emotional as well as bottom line benefits. There are also the occasional PR perks. Of course do it for the right reasons and the right intention – to help – and know that the time or money that you choose to give as an organization will come back in spades.
Winston Churchill’s quote resonates: Here’s an opportunity to make a life through making a living.
The usual go-to for help is to donate money. And while non-profits/causes need money, the employee experience of participating in helping another on behalf of the company is extremely powerful in creating that sense of pride.
Here’s a list of possible ways you can incorporate philanthropy, and the feel good of giving, into your company (from my least to most favorite):
1) Donate money to non-profits and inform employees of the contribution
2) Match employee financial contributions to their favorite non-profit (up to a certain amount)
3) Have the company choose a cause that’s related to the local community and make it a team effort/ team building opportunity for employees to participate in – example, building a Habitat for Humanity home
4) Donate time and/or money to a cause that’s related to the sustainability of the product/service the company provides – clean water, literacy, food bank
5) Give employees four hours of work time a month to contribute to their favorite non-profit and have them share the story of what they did with their co-workers
6) Donate company services/products to non-profits and have employees participate in the contribution – as well as be informed about it
7) Each month, have one employee/department pick a non-profit/cause, educate fellow co-workers on the non-profit/cause and create opportunities for employees to participate throughout the month