Earlier this week, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were flooded with posts urging users to give back in honor of Giving Tuesday. As many Americans shift their spending to holiday shopping (if they didn't already do it all on Black Friday, that is), it's important to keep the giving spirit alive beyond November. The office is a great place to start. At Kiip, we were in a big giving mood and worked with one of our largest partners, Sweatcoin, to give to end hunger. I wondered with all this giving, what giving all year round could look like, and how it could affect us.
It's Great to Give
Giving makes us feel good, literally. Giving activates pleasure systems in our brains, the scientific explanation for why making a donation or volunteering our time makes us feel all fuzzy inside.
The benefits of giving go beyond the individual, though. In the workplace, it can help boost morale. In a study of 3,500 Australian employees, 86 percent said they were proud to work at a company that offered workplace giving through their payroll, and 79 percent were willing to recommend the company as a good place to work because of the practice.
To effectively keep up the giving throughout the year, it's important to examine why people give, in order to encourage them to continue their generosity all year long.
Giving Is Personal
We all want our employees to have good relationships with each other. Strong relationships can foster productivity and eliminate petty drama from the workplace. A great way to nurture these relationships is through a giving initiative. A recent study indicated that people were more likely to give to a charitable cause if the person requesting the donation was a former roommate, i.e. somebody they knew. A great way to utilize this information is by creating initiatives that are relevant to employees in your office. At the beginning of the year, consider opening up a discussion about what causes matter to your employees, and how the company can better serve those causes. A cause close to home will motivate employees to help one another out.
A Little Friendly Competition
Many colleges and universities host annual Dance Marathons, in which students raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Often, as the dancers raise more money, they receive rewards throughout the marathon, such as time to nap or a catered meal. These perks encourage dancers to go above and beyond and raise thousands of dollars for children in need. The competition, in the name of a noble cause, bonds fundraisers and ultimately results in more money raised for the cause. If you want to up the giving ante a bit, why not offer an extra vacation day or a restaurant gift card to the highest donor? The (slightly) increased stakes will yield more donations and add a fun element to your initiative.
Trust Is Key
Another factor that matters when it comes to promoting giving is reputability of the charity. In a recent Kiip survey, 56.4 percent of the company's network reported that a charity's reputation is a very important consideration when it comes to donating. Additionally, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that donors were more likely to respond to a donation-matching campaign if the match came from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, versus an anonymous source. Donors want to ensure that their money will be used responsibly and will truly have an impact on the communities it is intended for. It's great to give to organizations that do not have as much visibility as others, but always be sure that they are trustworthy and reputable, in order to encourage more employee participation.
Today For You, Tomorrow For Me
When we take the time to give to those who are less fortunate than us, we are reminded of all that we have to be grateful for. More than that, we are reminded of how much we are capable of, like ending hunger. We can accomplish even more when we work with our employees for the greater good. Join me in connecting with the world around you through giving!