Leadership Resources: Article Library

Employees Give by Choice—and Everyone Receives

By Susan M. Heathfield
Monday December 7, 2009

You want involved, engaged, satisfied employees. You also want to be a good corporate citizen with the reputation as an employer of choice so that you attract and retain the best employees.

At the same time, you need to make a profit so you can make money, pay employees, see what you can create, ever more effectively listen to and serve your customers, and provide a work environment in which people want to contribute. You want more than their forty hours; you want the discretionary energy that employees decide whether to contribute at work–or not. Successful departments, functions, and companies get it all.

Corporate Philanthropy for Employee Motivation

Large corporations generally have well-defined corporate philanthropy programs that may include foundations, major event sponsorship, and corporation-wide employee involvement in volunteerism and organized giving, often to a well-organized charity such as United Way. But, corporate philanthropy presents an astonishing opportunity for small to mid-sized companies and organizations, too.

Key to the success of your corporate philanthropy efforts is the enthusiasm of the team that leads the charge, That team's understanding about what fellow employees find motivating and interesting is another key to success. A range of activities that include volunteering, cash donations, cash donations with a company match up to a certain limit, and run/walk-type activities for active employees involve all employee groups.

Corporate philanthropy can range from a can of food donated at a holiday food and clothing collection event to a developer volunteering to build a website for a local nonprofit over a weekend. Employees have tutored students in subjects necessary for their profession and supported local nonprofits that promote learning in their field of work. Your only limit is the imagination of your employees.