On August 27, more than 30 corporate and nonprofit professionals gathered at Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest for a series of roundtable discussions focused on the theme “Aligning Efforts to Deepen Impact”. The goal of the event was to share best practices on how to further an organization’s mission in the community by leveraging employee passion but still remaining true to a company’s vision. The event included three hosts from various CVC members who each presented on a topic in their small group and then led an open discussion based on that topic. As a result, attendees were able to learn from each other and crowd source feedback on how to continually improve their own employee engagement strategies.
Topic 1: How to create a successful Employee Giving Campaign that appeals to employees
Host: Megan Wagner, Associate Manager, Social Impact at Best Buy
At Best Buy, employees are encouraged to connect with their community through volunteering or making a personal donation to eligible organizations. In order to increase participation, incentives such as a TagTeam Award for group volunteer events and company matches to enhance the impact of giving serve as motivation. The group discussion opened up a dialogue about what challenges each company faces in terms of engagement and people swapped strategies on how to increase participation among employees.
Topic 2: How to coordinate and communicate an impactful global/national/multi-branch volunteer program
Host: Jessy Annoni, Community Relations Specialist at C.H. Robinson
C.H. Robinson has made employees’ passions the heart of their giving strategy with gift matches, volunteer time donations, and team volunteer grants as components of the annually giving campaign. In order to expand their efforts across their global network of offices, C.H. Robinson launched Robinson Cares Committees, which are employee driven groups at each office that lead community involvement in their local region. Discussion participants dug into the challenges of measuring impact, distributing funds, and tracking volunteer hours when there are numerous employee groups to manage.
Topic 3: How can companies connect “employee choice” with the company’s giving direction
Host: Camille Pearson Walz, Community Relations & Well-Being at Liberty Diversified International
The focus at LDI is to deepen their staff’s engagement through employee choice for volunteering and donations. While this isn’t a new concept within community relations, it has been ingrained in LDI’s culture for 101 years. Through a “Choice Giving Campaign”, employees have the opportunity to use paid time off and a matching dollars program to give back to the community. As a part of the session, attendees discussed the concept of “gratitude” and how to show appreciation for community impact.