Community wellbeing and workplace giving are integral to an organization’s success. Providing your people with opportunities to get involved within their communities, and supporting the causes and issues that matter to them, increases employee engagement and helps create a strong company culture. The key to a successful community wellbeing program is to ensure your people feel invested in the organization’s giving efforts. The more personally connected to a cause they feel, the more likely they are to participate.
At Gibson, we like to say that we are not only committed to protecting what matters most, we want to GIVE what matters most—time, talent, and treasure. The GIVE initiative was launched in an effort to make our corporate giving more focused and impactful. We surveyed our people in order to gain an understanding of the causes important to them. In doing so we were able to dedicate a large portion of our resources into an organization whose mission aligns with ours, Boys & Girls Clubs.
When seeking out giving efforts for your own organization, your focus should be on ways to engage your employees, as higher levels of engagement result in greater impact within the community. The most effective way to do this is to ask your people what they find meaningful. What types of giving are they interested in? What causes matter most them?
Once you’ve gleaned what it is they feel passionate about, you’ll be able to plan giving initiatives that are tailored to your people, and better support individuals with any community involvement they may already be partaking in.
When planning these efforts, get creative! Do your people love dress down days? Arrange a paid one and donate the proceeds to a local charity. Do they want hands-on service opportunities? Consider organizing a team for a Habitat for Humanity build. Do they love competition? Try a food or clothing drive where departments compete to see who can bring in the most items. Make giving something your employees want to be a part of, not something they feel obligated to do—it should be fun!
People and cultures are constantly evolving. In order to keep employees engaged, your organization’s community giving methods should change and expand as well. When considering potential giving initiatives for your workplace, take time to learn from those around you—your people, your clients, even other companies—about new ways to get involved.
Gibson is involved in a variety of community wellbeing initiatives – here are a few we’ve found to be particularly engaging:
- Boys & Girls Club: B&GC is GIVE’s main focus, so our employees are actively engaged with the organization. One of our most rewarding efforts is our annual holiday party with one of the club sites in St. Joseph County. Each year a different Gibson department leads the planning of a party for about 200 kids. Employees dedicate an afternoon to ensuring a magical time for the children by setting up games, crafts, snacks, and visits with Santa. By the party’s end it’s hard to say who’s having more fun!
- Hands-On Events: Giving isn’t limited to financial assistance. A person’s time can have a large impact on supporting an organization and raising awareness. From Habitat for Humanity builds and clothing drives for the YWCA, to Meals on Wheels deliveries, our employees organize and engage in a variety of volunteer efforts together! Participating in service activities with coworkers is also a way to promote social wellbeing, another critical element of workplace wellbeing programs.
- Supporting Individual Efforts: At Gibson we find it imperative our people feel supported in their individual giving efforts within the community. Our organization is always sure to provide time for employees to meet their volunteer obligations throughout the week, whether it be attending non-profit board meetings or tutoring for an after school program. For those who serve on non-profit boards, we show our support through monetary donations, providing in-kind assistance, and event sponsorship. The participation of one of our own, David Walters, in this year’s Dancing With Our Stars to benefit Center for the Homeless perfectly exemplifies this principle.
- Brackets For Good: Most recently, Gibson partnered with Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Centers for the 2017 Brackets for Good (BFG) tournament. BFG is a March Madness-style fundraising tournament in which non-profits try to raise more money than their opponents so they may advance to the next round. This was our first year participating in BFG. The friendly competition was a unique and fun way to get our people interested and involved!
There are so many ways to support the communities in which we live and work. Ensuring your organization is making workplace giving a priority will lead to improved communities and a more engaged workforce—a win for all involved!