Tips for Employee Giving Programs
This article is adapted from two sessions at the 2017 AHP Annual International Conference, An Employee Giving Campaign Guaranteed to Deliver Maximum ROI by Heather Parkinson and Katie Dennehy and Employee Giving: Overlooked and Underrated by Dena Cochran.
The Three Cs of Employee Giving
- Cause. Make sure the cause you are raising money for is compelling for your employees.
- Culture. Institute a culture of philanthropy in your office.
- Contact. Make sure to stay in continued contact with your donors (your fellow employees).
Promote a Culture of Philanthropy in Your Office
When onboarding new employees, make it clear that donating to the employee giving campaign is a highly encouraged option. Focus on participation, not dollars raised. The higher percentage of employees donating, the more the philanthropic culture in the office will develop.
Employee giving campaigns should strive for percentages, and dollar amounts will follow. Show how specific donations impact the organization. Share details about each fundraising campaign with your employees. Hand out and collect sign-up forms for employees. Be sure to include a “no” checkbox, so those who are not donating can still fill out a form.. Finally, make sure you have the support of executive leaders and the person who’s running your organization, whatever their title may be.
Make Donating Easy
Allow employees to donate regularly and directly via payroll deductions and online donation platforms. Permit pledges and one-time gifts from employees, but do not encourage them. Instead, encourage a payroll donation system. Employees should be able to choose how much they want to give, and giving them the option to select a percentage of their income to donate automatically makes it easy. Developing an online portal to donate can also be an effective strategy in employee giving. This allows employees to track their giving online.
Making your employee giving program sustainable is key to its success. Be sure to thank your employees for giving on a regular basis. Give regular updates on the campaign via email and consider sending out an employee giving newsletter. Host thank you events just for your employees, and have senior leaders within the organization give recognition to your employees who give. Most importantly, make giving fun.