According to the Giving USA Foundation, the people who donate the most (72%) are individual donors, not large corporations. In 2014, Americans gave to charity on average of $2, 964.00 a year, accounting for 2% of the U.S.’s economy. But employers are catching on, following their employees’ lead to give generously to charities. Apple, Verizon, and IBM donate money, software and hardware to schools in need of educational technologies. In 2014, Google employees (called Googlers) donated nearly 80,000 hours of service and $21 million to 9,000 global initiatives. Google matched their employees’ enthusiasm by donating dollar-for-dollar to charities important to Googlers.
According to Kellie McElhaney, director at the Center for Responsible Business at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley,“For today’s ‘millennials’ entering the workforce engagement in sustainability is a must-have, not a nice-to-have.”
“They don’t want to be told what the company is doing. They want to do it.”
Present day millennials are a conscientious demographic who want more than a regular paycheck, they want to know they’re working for “the good guys”.
Here’s what a company can do make sure they fit into that category:
Get on the Road
Being charitable doesn’t just change their lives, it changes the giver’s life too. People spend a majority of their lives with people they work with. In a successful work culture environment, people are happy to spend time together outside of work. Organize a trip to the soup kitchen or food bank, or give incentives to employees who volunteer their time in nonprofit programs that help needy kids, veterans, or other communities who need assistance. This is something your employees can do and they can get to know each other in the meantime.
Not only will this affect the lives of your employees, you will be filling needs in a community. Giving will empower your employees, and thus, your company.
Keep Your People
A Society for Human Resources Management study reported that companies with strong sustainability programs had 55% better morale, were 43% more efficient, and had an average of 38% better employee retention as compared with companies lacking in strong programs. In other words, corporations have opportunities to lead their employees into philanthropy with company-wide activities like matching donations to charities, food bank donations and the like.
As you empower your employees with doing good works, they will align themselves with your company’s mission statement. People want to be part of something great, and if they work for a company they believe in, they will more likely feel pride and commitment to their jobs. Making a difference can become part of company morale.
Promote Positive Philanthropy
Few things promote team-building more than knowing the work they are doing makes a difference in the lives of the people around them. It builds community inside and outside the workplace. Giving can enhance a person’s idea of themselves and their world around them. If a company can tap into that drive, they can empower their company and employees with a philanthropic spirit.
By taking an active role in what is important to their employees, a company can impact positivity in the workplace, and philanthropy in the community.