by Jennifer Landis
Companies that give back attract consumers who care about making the world a better place. It’s also a good way to share in the benefits of owning a business and allows you to support a cause you’re passionate about.
Workplace giving raises about $4 billion every year. If you’ve not worked with charitable contributions before, it’s difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, there are some great ways your company can give back, and ways you can encourage your company and co-workers to give back.
Giving back tip #1: Get everyone involved
If you want employees to care about the charity work you’re doing, allow them to have a voice. For example, take a vote on what charity you’re raising money for. Those who didn’t vote for that charity still need to feel a sense of purpose in trying to raise money. One way to accomplish this is to form teams and have competitions for which team gives back the most. Reward the winners with a lunch out at a local restaurant or some other perk.
Giving back tip #2: Offer Free Time
One proven technique that encourages employees to give back is to allow them to have paid time off specifically designated for volunteer work of some sort. Volunteering on the clock helps employees feel more fulfilled in their jobs, and may even reduce churn. Charity work time should be separate from vacation or sick days, and the charity should be one of the employee’s choice.
Giving back tip #3: Organize Group Events
Another way to create opportunities for your company to give back is to organize group events. While your workers won’t be completing work tasks during these events, they can lead to stronger teamwork and a better focus on returning to work. Group events include things such as charity walks, volunteering at a local nonprofit or fundraising events for a charity of choice.
Giving back tip #4: Host a Fundraising Event
An alternative suggestion is to host an annual fundraising event to raise money for the charity of your choice. Are you passionate about bringing fresh water to Third World villages? Hosting an annual “Clean Water for All” dinner is a great place to start. Not only is the event fun, but everyone in the company gets involved in planning the table décor, menu, selling tickets and finding the best speakers possible.
Giving back tip #5: Give a Charity Allowance
Instead of throwing a big check at a single organization, create a charity budget and give employees a small amount to donate to the charity of their choice or any good cause. You can either require them to give to a 401C nonprofit, or you can allow employees to propose a use for the money, such as a neighbor they’ve noticed is struggling to buy groceries. Be aware of tax laws and what you as a company are allowed to deduct, and decide if that matters to you or not.
Giving back tip #6: Create Bonus Structures for Charity
Do you reward your team for meeting specific revenue goals? If so, consider adding a charity component. This strategy allows employees not only to work toward their own bonus but to work toward a bonus for their team’s favorite charity. They gain benefits for themselves, as well as others while adding another level of purpose to their work.
Giving back tip #7: Do Pro Bono Work
No matter what industry you’re in, there is likely some way you can help someone in need. If you sell office equipment, you can gift new machines to a startup or a longtime family business that is suddenly struggling. If you offer a service, you can donate a certain dollar amount of services to one of your clients struggling to make ends meet. Listen to your customers and get to know them, and eventually, a need will present itself.
Giving back tip #8: Sponsor a Local Team
Youth leagues often look for sponsors to help with the cost of uniforms and equipment. Sponsoring a Little League team not only gives you an opportunity to give back to your local community, but it also serves as publicity for your company, which is a win-win for both you and the sports team. Take it even one step further and go to the games of the team you’re sponsoring, take them snacks and throw them a pizza party at the end of the season, complete with little trophies for all the players and coaches.
Giving Back Makes You Feel Good
Giving back to the world is a way of living. Small changes begin to add up, and you and your employees will want to do more and more to make the world a better place. Hopefully, you’ll also encourage other businesses around you to give back as well. Generosity is contagious, so go out and spread a bit of goodwill in the world! You’ll see how small changes have a huge impact.
What are the ways that your company chooses to give back? Comment below!
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