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December 19, 2023

Helping Nonprofits: Corporate Outreach Ideas

While the holidays are the season of giving, employers can do their part by supporting nonprofits year-round. When they involve their employees in their corporate outreach efforts, they also boost employee engagement and satisfaction.

How Corporate Philanthropy Benefits Businesses

It’s human nature to want to feel like you’re making a difference in the world. People want their lives and work to be meaningful. When they don’t feel a sense of purpose, they may become unsatisfied and unengaged.

According to research from Deloitte, corporate volunteerism boosts morale. In a survey, 74% of respondents said that volunteerism provides an improved sense of purpose, 70% that volunteer activities are more likely to boost morale than company-sponsored happy hours, 77% that company-sponsored volunteer activities are essential to employee well-being, and 89% that companies that sponsor volunteer activities provide a better working environment compared to those that do not.

Research published in the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine supports the idea that corporate volunteerism boosts employee morale. The study found that employees who volunteer have greater levels of wellbeing, engagement, and job satisfaction. To reap these benefits, employers should sponsor volunteer activities.  

Corporate outreach also demonstrates a company’s values, which can be critical in recruitment and retention efforts. Most people want to work at companies that share their values. In a survey from Qualtrics, 56% of respondents said they wouldn’t consider working for a company that has values they disagree with and 54% said they would be willing to take a pay cut to work for a company that shares their values.

How to Involve Employees in Nonprofit and Community Outreach

There are several options to engage in corporate philanthropy in a way that involves your employees.

  1. Provide paid volunteer days. Many people would like to volunteer but don’t have the free time to commit to the charities of their choice. Employers can help by providing paid volunteer days. This let’s employees select the nonprofit organization that means the most to them.
  2. Sponsor volunteer events. Instead of asking employees to schedule their own volunteer days, you could organize events where all your employees participate. This is a good way to incorporate team building into your volunteerism.
  3. Match employee contributions. Donation matching is a good way to increase the impact your employees make while supporting the charities that matter most to workers.
  4. Collect donations at your locations. Many companies work with local charities to collect food, toys, and other donations, especially around the holidays. You could also sponsor and collect items for a family.
  5. Host a charity event. Many companies host holiday parties. Use yours to support a good cause by turning it into a charity event with proceeds that benefit one or more nonprofits.

Making Your Corporate Outreach Successful

Corporate outreach can be a fantastic way to boost employee morale, support employee engagement, and demonstrate your corporate values. However, common mistakes can cause your corporate philanthropy to backfire. To avoid potential pitfalls, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Let employees help select the nonprofits. Since corporate philanthropy works best when it aligns with the values of the employees, involve them in selecting nonprofits to support.
  • Focus on your community. Corporate volunteerism can be a great way to help your employees feel connected to their community while building your brand’s reputation. For this reason, consider focusing on local nonprofit organizations.
  • Avoid controversial causes. Whereas some of your employees may appreciate your support for controversial causes, others may be offended. When selecting nonprofits, focus on causes that appeal to everyone.
  • Celebrate your employees’ contributions. This is not the time to be modest – congratulate your employees for their hard work. Tally up their contributions, thank them for their efforts, and show everyone how your team is making a difference in your community. In addition to raising awareness for your company, this will help your employees feel good about their contributions.

Heffernan Insurance Brokers is dedicated to giving back to the communities we serve – and our employees are a critical part of this. In 2022, they donated an average of $2,500 per employee. Learn more.

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