Nonprofit organizations help make New Hampshire a great place to live, work and play. Nonprofits do everything from protecting our natural resources to welcoming new neighbors to making the arts available to all. Businesses, large and small, have always played an important role in strengthening and sustaining the New Hampshire community — in part, through their support of our critical nonprofit sector.
Placing giving and volunteering at the center of your organizational culture and identity is not only great for communities and the people in them — it also helps recruit, engage and retain great employees.
Research shows people want to work for companies that put generosity and community care at the center of their cultures. A recent Gallup survey showed that employees who believe that the organization they work for makes a positive impact on people and the planet are twice as likely to be engaged in their work. And when employees are engaged, all kinds of measures of success skyrocket — from retention to productivity to profitability. People want to work for employers who are invested in (and known for) making the communities where they work better for all.
At the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, we are working to help make New Hampshire a more just, sustainable and vibrant community where everyone can thrive. We work with many businesses that make generosity a centerpiece of their organizational culture, and we help to connect them with pressing community needs and high impact giving opportunities. Some businesses have established models of giving that are traditional, some innovative — all of which can serve as an idea lab for others.
Here are just a few ideas for putting giving at the center of your organizational culture — no matter how large or small your business:
State your charitable mission. Your business has a mission and values. But creating a charitable mission statement that is in alignment with your mission and values can be an important first step in organizing your giving and sorting through requests. It can be as simple as: “We care about people and the planet. So we give to support efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and to promote inclusivity and belonging in our communities.”
Create a giving committee. At the Charitable Foundation, we work with a number of businesses that have created philanthropic funds and then invited employees from all levels of the organization to advise giving decisions. Employees have the opportunity to learn about nonprofits and community need and engage in a meaningful way to put their company’s philanthropic values into action. One company has created a matching payroll-deduction program for its philanthropic fund, and a rotating committee of team members makes giving decisions for the year.
Offer a matching gift program. Offering your employees an annual match for their charitable giving is an effective way to encourage giving and increase giving power. You can offer a match up to a certain amount or percentage to nonprofits employees choose, or you can do a company-wide “crowd-sourced” gift to a single nonprofit — increasing the size and impact of the donation and building a shared sense of purpose. (And please consider giving general operating support, rather than directing donations to a specific project to ensure nonprofits have working capital to make the greatest impact.)
Give the gift of caring. To mark milestones, including retirements, consider a gift to a nonprofit that exemplifies a team member’s talent and passion.
Pay people to volunteer. Volunteering helps people feel connected to the wider community and to their team. Most people would like to volunteer — but the combined demands of work, family and home can make it a challenge. You can offer a day or more of paid volunteer hours, and/or organize team volunteering opportunities. The United Way’s Day of Caring offers options in every region of the state where teams large and small can pitch in for a day to help nonprofits.
Offer a United Way campaign. Local United Way chapters provide everything you need to launch and run a United Way campaign at work. United Way works by payroll deduction and is a familiar and time-tested way for people to “give at the office,” either as a standalone or in combination with other giving opportunities.
To learn more, please contact Melinda Mosier, vice president of donor engagement and philanthropy services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-225-6641 ext. 266.