Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than they are. Here’s how you can tap the potential of collective giving in your workplace. How to activate the power of collective giving in your workplace
It is no surprise collective giving is on the rise. It taps into the basic human desire to belong, and the desire to work towards a shared goal.
Research from the Department of Social Services shows that collective giving groups impact members’ giving behaviours, increasing the amount of money they give to charities and causes each year, and improve their sense of well-being. These groups are so powerful, the research concluded they have “significant potential to grow philanthropy in Australia”.
Here are three ways to activate these powerful forces in your workplace:
1. Ensure your giving program is branded as your own, and that your company makes it the heart of its corporate brand.
If you outsource your program to an externally branded website, you will lose the collective power of your staff giving as ‘one’ – which is your objective. Corporate giving is about individuals coming together under the united banner of your company, championed by their employer. To achieve this, it is important your giving platform integrates with your intranet, to give your staff a seamless experience. Even better if you can add single sign-on so they don’t have to enter multiple logins or passwords.
Catalyser gives you control to “white-label” and brand your platform which is about more than adding your logo. You can customise every detail from your FAQs, to how you communicate your value statements to your team, to ensuring the internal emails from the platform match your own. Catalyser co-founder, Aivee Robinson, says Catalyser aims “to help companies source and own their employee giving activities and program. We are white-labelled software, which means our brand is very much in the background. For us, success is when your employees don’t even know they are using the Catalyser Giving Platform, because the colours, the branding, the language, the image style, everything about the look and feel of your employee giving platform reflects your company’s own brand and social responsibility values. Our aim is for your team to believe your giving platform is proprietary software.”
2. Celebrate your team’s success on a constant, incremental basis.
If you make your employees wait for the annual report to find out what your company contributed to the community, the giving program will feel tokenistic, like it’s just another part of the corporate furniture. Instead, you can use your progress throughout the year to motivate and inspire. Your giving software should be able to do this for you in real-time – check that it can also calculate your matching totals and add them to your overall impact. It should also be able to add in the value of in-kind support, and the dollar value of the hours volunteered by staff.
Catalyser gives your company a dashboard that prominently displays all your live totals, so you can customise your reporting to display the metrics that matter to your team. “When and employee feels supported and that their charitable activity is recognised and backed by their employer, that’s a strong way to engage people to give more and champion the program,” says Robinson.
3. Focus your activities on causes that are aligned to your business and have strategic and shared value for you and your charity partner.
It’s more effective to reduce and focus the number of charities you give to, but have deeper relationships with them, than have a scatter-gun approach. If you spread yourself too thinly, your reporting will be diluted and your social impact story will be difficult to tell. For example, compare a situation where last year, each of your 100 employees gave $50 to each of 100 different charities – what impact is $50 a year really making to any of those 100 organisations? On the other hand, think of the impact you could have if you concentrated that $5000 between 2 charities that align well with the mission of your business. A charity can do a lot more with $2,500 than it can with $50. Choose the number of charities to support that makes sense for the size of your business, and the amount you aim to raise each year. Explaining this strategic approach to your employees will help them to feel part of a joint mission to make a difference, together. “Staff can become more engaged with the issues and start to understand the change that they are making,” says Robinson. “And they can really start to tell an important story about the commitment that their company is making to that social issue.”