Porpoise Blog

Developing an Effective Corporate Giving and Volunteering Strategy

23-Jul-2018 10:35:24 AM / by Caleb Dow

After analyzing hundreds of programs, and implementing and managing programs for companies of all sizes, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to work with budgets of varying degrees. One of our greatest takeaways was that you don’t have to spend millions in order to implement a successful giving program. In fact, many of the companies we work with are able to increase engagement and impact with ZERO net-new expense. That’s right- lack of financial and human resources isn’t what is holding your program back- its how you allocate these resources that are at your disposal.


It starts by shifting the way you think about your Corporate Social Responsibility programs. First, let’s consider your corporate donation strategy.

Corporate Giving and Donations 

Hone It In

Supporting a few causes consistently, will have a greater impact than supporting numerous causes sporadically. Also, do these causes align with your vision, mission and values? Do the causes relate to your brand? Start by selecting causes and organizations that directly align with the line of business that you’re in. If you’re a food company, partner with organizations that eliminate hunger. If your company provides software for the education sector, support causes that promote child literacy. You don’t have to tie it directly to your business model (Like Toms or Warby Parker), though the success of these brands is validation that a strong brand purpose can fuel profits.


Follow up

What was the impact of your donations? Gathering and communicating the impact of your donations provides a positive feedback loop for employees, investors, and your loyal customers. It also provides you with assurance that the resources you’re providing are being used effectively.


Volunteer Programs

 Be Flexible 

As for your volunteering program, the more flexibility and choice that you offer your employees, the more likely they are to participate.

Don’t be too prescriptive, remember that everyone cares about something. People like to give in their own way, to the causes that matter to them.

A one-size-fits-all, top-down approach will only engage a small percentage of employees. If you encourage employees to share how they are giving back on their own time, in addition to company-time, this will naturally increase participation. It will also show that your company cares about supporting and recognizing how employees passions and interests outside of work as well.


Evolve and Improve

Don’t opt for the set it and forget it approach to volunteer programs. If your employees only hear about the giving and volunteering opportunities in their on-boarding session, it won’t be long before they forget its existence.


Recognize and Make it Fun

When companies recognize the great things their workforce are doing to create meaningful change, employees are more likely to continue sharing how they give back.

Another way to improve engagement and participation is to gameify giving. Create a goal, track progress, reward, and repeat. Using leaderboards, badges, you’ll be more likely to make giving fun. For more on taking your program to new heights, book a free call with a Porpoise expert here.

Topics: Volunteering, Corporate Social Responsibility, Employee Engagement

Caleb Dow

Written by Caleb Dow