The Impact of Fundraising and CSR on Employee Engagement

 

Anni Hollings

Learning & Development Manager

I was recently running a management development day on Effective Leading of Teams. Several of the delegates were representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, not that I would normally disclose that information, but on this occasion it seems appropriate to share what they were very enthusiastically engaged in. Clearly their motivation and commitment had been captured by a new charity venture that they were wholeheartedly supporting… Bake Off. The Chamber had successfully run an internal competition to raise funds for their chosen charity and now the supporters were busy challenging other local employers to a Bake Off Competition. It sounded great fun and the Chamber employees were full-on with the challenge. Of course the ultimate winners were the charities that were being supported but I was drawn, once again, to reflecting on the impact philanthropy, volunteering and, especially, shared fund-raising have on morale and engagement.

There can be no doubt that fundraising has great impact on employee engagement and with figures for engagement being so poor, that has to be a big win. Recent research by Access and Wethrive suggests that the top challenge for HR this year is to improve employee engagement with 94% of their respondents putting it as the top target. Organizations that have been involved in fundraising report that their staff enjoys office-based activities because they’re fun, easy to get involved in and, more important, rewarding. Providing the opportunity and encouragement for your staff to take the first step into community investment, is a really good way of showing that your corporate values can align with those of the workforce. Fund-raising is a brilliant way of building a sense of corporate community too and there is little question about the impact of shared experiences that add value to personal esteem and self worth.

Fundraising allows your workers to help promote your organization outside. Fundraising provides the opportunity for employees to tell great stories that present the company in a positive light. Your best ambassadors are your employees and if they have real, heartfelt stories to tell about what impact they are having on others less fortunate, then the company beings to look like an employer of choice. We know that research has identified strong corporate values that reflect the desire to give back to communities as, for many millenials, a key recruitment decision. As such, strong CSR activities can have significant impact on talent recruitment and retention.  Linking your charity work with the vast audience through social media and digital marketing can play a key role in raising the value of your employer brand. What is fun and rewarding internally can have a direct positive impact on key areas of organization success.

We had a lovely surprise a couple of weeks ago when our colleague, Ange Hopwood received a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from Dougie Mac in recognition of her success as Charity Champion and top fund raiser for the charity. Ange specialises in Social Media and Digital Selling support for many local clients and her work gets her, and us, involved in all sorts of activities. Ange is our charity champion too and she is leading our campaign to raise funds for good causes. Ange will be sharing more of her experiences and strategies for success in a future blog, but please do contact her for more information. What really does work though is the sense of belonging to a caring, confident and community-sensitive workforce as we embark on another fund-top-up adventure. These challenges often leave me in awe of the inventiveness and audacity of professional people who will go the extra mile to look as daft as they can in pursuit a well earned pound. I love the challenges, I love the causes and I love my colleagues for what they do. Bring on the challenges… who’s for the Bake Off? Come on the Chamber…

Call Anni on 01782 969444 or contact anni@strategisloutions.co.uk.