Doing good: How to start a corporate philanthropy program
Giving back is a top priority for SVG. It’s a big part of our effort to better engage our employees and truly live out our values as a company. In an earlier blog, we talked about the impact a philanthropy initiative has made on our organization and why you should make it a priority of your own. But how do you get started? Here are a few things to consider to help set yourself up for success.
Take stock of your people
There are a multitude of ways your organization can make an impact. You can donate time, money, goods, or services. You can partner with non-profits, match the donations your employees already give, or even just clean up the block where your office sits. What’s most important is choosing a way to give that resonates best with your employees.
When we first started in 2009, most of our efforts were focused on one organization and involved spending a few hours there putting hands to work. As we grew, we learned that we had to adjust our strategy to match our growth so in 2017, SVG sent all employees a survey asking how they prefer to give back. We took our findings and used that to plan out our philanthropy opportunities for the year.
Getting feedback from your employees about how they like to give is a great way to narrow your choices and ensure good participation. Asking your employees what’s important to them and how and where they’re already giving back outside of work also includes them in the decision, which helps drive them closer to the cause and your values as an organization. It’s a win-win-win.
Giving isn’t one-size-fits-all
Once you’ve determined where your team’s priorities are, it’s time to put it into action—but there’s no definitive answer to what will work best. Depending on the size of your organization and your unique mix of employees, you may choose to do one event per year or offer multiple opportunities for people to give.
SVG plans several different events throughout the year that let people get involved however they prefer. We like to mix it up with a variety of donation drives, fundraising events, field trips, and more. Some events are one-time events that draw 200+ people; some happen slowly over the course of several months. We use competitions between floors and departments to help drive engagement and we match donations our employees already give on their own. And we give employees a set number of PTO hours a year to spend outside the office giving time to organizations they feel passionate about.
Philanthropy is an awesome way to share the success of your business with others. It’s also a great way to boost company morale, help employees get to know each other better, live out your mission and values, and be more attractive to job candidates when you’re looking to hire.
Knowing what your philanthropy efforts look like involves taking the time to consider who you are as an organization, including your employees in the decision, and understanding all the different ways you can get involved in giving. The payoff is worth the effort and is quickly becoming a non-negotiable for employees looking for the right cultural fit.
If you want to be part of a team who loves to give back, SVG is hiring.
Check out our open positions to find your next dream job.