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Taking Your Employee Giving Campaign to the Next Level

Jacqueline Walsh
Published:  10/11/2018

Employee giving campaignsAdapted from a 2018 AHP Webinar Series event presented by Jonathan McCoy, Director of Annual Giving, INTEGRIS Foundation, and Becky Endicott, Leadership Gifts Officer, INTEGRIS Foundation

Employee giving is an important element of any health care system as it ignites and creates a culture of philanthropy within an organization. In fact, motivating employees to give back to your mission creates longevity and loyalty to an organization that is rooted in passion and commitment.

INTEGRIS, the largest Oklahoma-owned not-for-profit health care system, began its mission of escalating employee giving by critically examining its philanthropic reality. They found there was a lack of culture of internal philanthropy, low employee giving and a general lack of centralized messaging about philanthropic projects or initiatives. To combat these problems, INTEGRIS cultivated its approach from scratch, with the intention of creating something radically different that focuses on long-term employee giving.

The Strategy

  • Dropping the formality – Stop talking like a corporate robot. Throw the formal language out and go for a more conversational message and tone.
  • Multiple projects – Rather than one project to rally around, introduce multiple projects with commitment to annual impact.
  • Humanizing stories – Tell the stories of employees and patients to put a face to each project.
  • Visibility/viral branding – Branding and visibility are just as important to the messaging, so people can recognize the campaign.
  • Peer-to-Peer stewardship – Use other employees within the system to say thank you to their peers. Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note.
  • Simple (electronic) giving – Make it easy for employees to give.
  • Unlocking creative giving – Hospital employees typically have a long tenure with a lot of paid leave. Hours equal dollars. Allow employees to give their paid leave dollars if they wish to.

The result of these endeavors included a rapid participation growth from employees that has remained steady since its founding. So, how can you follow in the footsteps of INTEGRIS and take employee engagement and giving to the next level?

Game-Changing Shifts to Double Engagement

  1. Auxiliary partnerships: Treat them like the family they are and work to cultivate a matching gift commitment and ongoing relationships. This starts by finding auxiliary’s granting cycle and figuring out their passions.
  2. The $5 challenge incentive: Increase campaign’s visibility and impact message by incentivizing $5 per pay period gifts with a T-shirt. This supports campaign message of smaller gifts and offers instant brand visibility, in addition to the fact that it adds a sense of fun to the campaign.
  3. Impact-led staging: Allow your impact to speak for itself and launch the campaign in phases to maximize opportunity for upgrades, renewals, etc.

By utilizing these approaches and adapting these mindsets, INTEGRIS has now moved from 310 to more than 3,000 annual employee donors, achieved 80 percent donor retention with no automatic-rollover gifts and raised more than $4 million since launching in 2011.

To achieve similar success with your employee giving, change your approach and seek to remove gimmicks to humanize and treat employees like donors.

To learn more about how to increase employee giving, watch the full webinar here.

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Meet The Author

AHP logo
Jacqueline Walsh
Communications Team
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

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