Six Easy Steps to Creating an Engaging Philanthropy Program


Creating a corporate philanthropy program that boosts employee engagement can be a daunting task. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the planning or frustrated because you have too many activities with low participation.
At Rumblesum, we encourage our clients to organize a few activities, get feedback and grow a more formal program from there. Here’s how it works:

  • What philanthropy and non-philanthropy things are you already doing to boost engagement?  Donations, drives, volunteering, events, etc?
  • Were these started from the top down or bottom up?
  • What’s working to boost engagement? What’s not? Can you identify similarities?

Although your goal shouldn’t be to make everyone happy, it’s important to get your finger on the pulse of what most employees want via a short survey or focus group.

  • Do they know what your company is already doing? Do they participate?
  • What do they do to support their community on their own time?
  • What would they like to see your company do?
  • What causes are important to them?

The key here is to take in all the info about your company and employees and use it to create (or revamp) a few activities that can be implemented and tested quickly. For example:

  • Q1: Use an hour to create valentines for a local children’s home
  • Q2: Host a competitive blood drive
  • Q3: Coordinate a few days for people to rebuild trails
  • Q4: Host a team vs team cash and coat drive for a local homeless shelter 

Keep implementation simple – your goal is to identify what works and what doesn’t.

  • Host a lunch n learn to announce the new program and what you’re doing for the year
  • Create template emails, posters and intranet pages for each activity
  • Use simple sign-up methods to track participation
  • Send two questions out after each activity: Would you participate again next year? Why, why not?

Make sure employees see the impact. After each activity and at the end of the year, send photos, report hours and donations, share communication from the nonprofit you supported, post on LinkedIn, etc.
What worked, what didn’t? Next year, put more effort into the ones that did, ditch the ones that didn’t and test a few more.
Keep repeating this process and your philanthropy program will grow organically, remain relevant to your employees and make a big impact on your community.