If you are looking to start a Corporate Giving or Employee Volunteering program, kudos to you! We’ll chat through 5 quick steps to starting a corporate philanthropy program. Whether your team has something currently or did in the past, here’s a first step to ensure success in your corporate giving and employee volunteering.
As a quick note, you can do all of this without a company budget to start! Review the 5 steps to start toward your Employee Giving & Volunteer program.
1. Assess the Situation
Take a look at the past few years. Has your team been involved in corporate giving in some way or another? Maybe look at least the past 5 years, as COVID had a few extra challenges. Your leadership could have a corporate giving program in place. Perhaps, they are donating to some causes currently from company dollars. Or they may be donating as individuals.
Further, someone on your team could also be passionate about this. They may already have a rough outline for an employee volunteering program. Perhaps an individual asked about a group volunteering Day of Service previously, hopeful to allow employees time to volunteer during a workday (volunteer time off – VT).
2. Find a Leader
Depending on what you find from assessing the situation, it’s helpful to have a philanthropy leader. This ambassador would help in the following 3 steps. This person could be you! Or this person could be a co-chair with you. In any case, very helpful to have one or two people to help start your corporate giving or employee volunteering program.
From multiple surveys of the workforce, there are many employees who say they want purpose in the workplace. Regardless of size of company, you will likely find a colleague eager to help or eager to co-chair your volunteering and giving program. Once you start looking, you will find!
3. Create a Quick Purpose / Mission
Taking the extra time here is important. Many of the readers will want to skip this step. It seems obvious, right? We know we want to help others in the world. We are encouraging employee volunteering because we know it’s a good thing! What more do we need to say? Yet, it’s important to slow down for a minute to ensure the success of your employee giving program.
This mission statement or purpose statement will help be a guide. You can always edit this or change it, yet helpful to get a few thoughts out there. This will help explain to fellow colleagues what you hope to do or achieve. It clarifies your speaking points and your co-chair’s speaking points. It does take time, yet this will ultimately help lead to the success and longevity of the program.
4. Phone a Friend / Review Some Resources
As people, we like to learn from others. We like to see reviews on Amazon. In this section we suggest speaking with others that you may know. Perhaps your friend at another company has already developed a company giving program. They may have great virtual volunteer examples from volunteering with their team over the past 2 years. Or perhaps they have a good example of a group volunteer activity in your area, if chatting with a friend in the same city.
Additionally, we recommend checking out a few movements on ways to give back. Pledge 1% or 1% for the planet. The Selflessly team also wrote a blog series on Pledge 1% to provide a quick overview and ways to get involved. You can check that out here.
5. Start with some Freebies
You can always start without a budget! Having a budget is a great, yet we know finding money in a budget can be a challenge. If your team doesn’t have a corporate philanthropy budget yet, no problem!
A free corporate giving example is a Food Drive, Coat Drive, or even a School Drive. Employees can bring in items for food banks, shelters, school kids, or other local nonprofits. Further, a free employee volunteering resource is VolunteerMatch. You can simply link to – This can be a spot on your intranet or employee resource tab. If nothing else, you can again ask a friend for suggestions or local nonprofit for their greatest needs.
Regardless of your current corporate philanthropy state, these 5 quick steps are a great way to start or review your employee giving and volunteering program. Like any initiative, there are many layers that we can add once the initial plan is started.
It’s always great to assess your current state, ask others for examples, and review free resources. Naturally, there are many ways to expand your Corporate Philanthropy program. A few examples are Dollars for Doers, Employee Matching Gifts, & Nonprofit Grants. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out anytime: [email protected].