Every socially conscious organization will want to give back to the community in ways that matter. One of the many ways to get staff engaged and connected is through an effective ‘Give As You Earn’ programme. Despite a perceived lack of ‘close’ connection that staff feel when they sign-up for charitable contributions directly from their payslips, it is still a simple approach to build momentum from within.
‘Give as you earn’ initiatives are growing in strength globally and many organizations encourage staff to contribute and make a difference in their own ways. The process is simple – employees can choose from a carefully curated list of charities and make a commitment to helping a charity of their choice. In return, apart from knowing which specific individual or initiative they are affecting, they also get tax benefits (in some countries like India) that come in handy. Giving directly, including handing cash to those less fortunate has wide ranging positive impact.
However, getting these initiatives the attention they deserve takes patient action and consistent communication. Below are a few ways to make the payroll giving programme sticky in your organization.
· Paint the big picture: It is important to give your staff a holistic view of the organization’s corporate social responsibility goals and practices. When the initiatives are communicated independently, your employees may not ‘get’ the full story. Sharing how the ‘give as you earn’ initiative adds up to the overall impact the organization makes; it is bound to gain more attention.
· Make it personal: Stories move us. Individual stories move us even more. Research reports have indicated that whenwe share personal anecdotes and focus on one individual vs a group, chances of emotional appeal increase a lot more. With permission, have your staff share their experiences of participating in the ‘give as you earn’ initiative.
· Highlight the collective might of staff: Most employees will be keen to pitch in when they know who else is contributing. Tapping this ‘giving’ power adds a whole new energy to the business. Talk of the collective impact – #of participants, the kind of charities funded, the value your staff are making, the types of people you are affecting and more importantly – how can others participate.
· Increase touch-points for connection: Use the opportunities at all possible touchpoints to raise awareness, remind staff about contributing, reinforce the collective impact that it makes and drive positive social change. One of the best places to talk about the ‘give as you earn’ initiative is the new hire orientation program. It helps to seed the idea and help new staff appreciate how they can start early or even transfer their ongoing commitment with an earlier organization to the one they are joining.
· Draw on research insights: It is evident that when staff know the real impact charities are making and how it is changing the lives of many, they are more inspired to give back further. Simple reminders and nudges at key points during an employee’s corporate journey can trigger more consciousness towards giving. Fueling this passion is a strong approach to increase giving and make it sticky.
With increased transparency, variety of choices, personalized connections and the ability to see direct impact the ‘give as you earn’ programme is an exciting way to engage and energize your staff’s collective social commitments.
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