Corporate Programs Posts

Forget the Growth Hacks: 3 Tips for Startups to Get ROI from their CSR

Team Brainstorming at a Breather Space

Do you think your company is too young, scrappy, and hungry to allow for the luxury of “do gooder” programs? It is an unfortunately common misconception that social responsibility activities should wait until your company or product is at least generating sustainable revenue. After all, that early capital is for plain old growth, right?

Maybe not. In fact, the case is quite the opposite.

Though effective methods of measurement are still debated, there is some solid evidence emerging (for example, from researchers at Kellogg) that suggests companies that invest in social responsibility tend to perform better financially.

This starts with your employees—especially your millennial employees. A recent study by Cone Communication found that 62% are willing to take a pay cut to work for a responsible company. Plus, positively engaged employees tend to stay longer and are more productive, leading to additional cost-savings.

A similar story is true for your customers—especially your Millennial customers. This consumer generation is expected to spend $200 billion a year by 2017. Where will that spending power go? Brands and companies that take social responsibility seriously, we hope. More than 9 in 10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause.

Sustainability isn’t just how you package things; it is about more effective and efficient employees, more loyal and engaged customers, and better financial performance overall.

You don’t need a corporate foundation—or even dedicated resources to do this well. Cause marketing can be an effective, low-cost activity for early-stage companies, or as part of new product launches, to propel a social responsibility strategy.

Here are 3 things all startups should consider in their approach to corporate social responsibility.

1. Seek strategic partners, not vendors
Breather is a great example of a hot startup taking this to heart.

Called the “Uber for private workspaces,” Breather lets you unlock private spaces on-the-go and on-demand where you can work, meet, and relax. The company recently closed another round of funding, and rather than employing some growth hack like discounted prices this holiday season, Breather is donating $50 through GlobalGiving for every full-day reservation through January 15th.

For their cause marketing, Breather sought a partner like GlobalGiving as opposed to just a vendor. We collaborated to develop a co-branded landing page and a larger promotional strategy for social media.

The end result of a partnership tends to be more impactful and effective because both parties have an opportunity to add value; in this case, the campaign benefits from promotion through both GlobalGiving’s and Breather’s networks.

2. Match brand with cause
One of Breather’s primary causes for this campaign is homelessness. They are directing donations through GlobalGiving to a project of United Planning Organization called “Help UPO Help the DC Homeless” and a project of Latin American Youth Center called “Help 100 Youth Exit Homelessness in Washington, DC”. It makes sense given Breather is a company that provides access to safe and secure physical spaces. A strong parallel between your brand and your chosen cause is vital for the success of the campaign. In a study by BrandStar, 65% of consumers are unable to make sense of a business’s or brand’s social responsibility programs. A close coupling of brand and cause will make it easier for your audience to understand your values and therefore more willing to engage.

3. Measure to learn
Made possible by the co-branded landing page, Breather is using tracking links to monitor where users come from and where they go. This provides an opportunity to establish evidence that the campaign was effective—that it inspired people to use Breather for a meeting space because it would also help at-risk populations. But the important thing here is not to measure just to publish the results; instead, measure for the sake of feedback so your next cause marketing campaign will be data-driven and more effective. (We call this, “Listen, act, learn. Repeat.”)

Breather is just one example of great, early-stage companies or new product launches GlobalGiving has worked with to power low-overhead, meaningful customer engagement.

For more information on Breather, email washingtonDC@breather.com.

Grantee Spotlight: Range of Motion Project

The TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation partners with GlobalGiving in awarding grants to organizations that  relieve the suffering of people around the world.

Fabiola consults with Breyner about the fit of his prosthesis

Breyner’s path to mobility

Fabiola, a prosthetic technician for Range of Motion Project (ROMP), welcomes Breyner with a warm smile as he walks through the doors. A year prior, seven-year-old Breyner’s leg had been removed during his battle with cancer. Breyner and his mother Gabriela had made the two and a half hour trip to ROMP three months earlier after hearing that the organization provides free prostheses to children in need. For three months, Breyner used the prosthetic leg provided by ROMP to walk, run and jump. But as Breyner continued to grow, his prosthesis became uncomfortable, and he was forced to begin using crutches again to help with his mobility.

Fabiola measures Breyner and finds he has grown two centimeters in the last three months. His prosthesis will need to be lengthened slightly to enable him to walk comfortably again. Carlos, a prosthetic assistant, adjusts Breyner’s prosthesis in the ROMP workshop, changing out the rod that serves as Breyner’s lower leg for a slightly longer one. With his newly adjusted prosthesis, Breyner strolls confidently through the parallel bars and proudly shows off his mobility for the ROMP team.

TripAdvisor employee engagement: the beginning of a partnership

Though Breyner and his mother had to travel long distances to receive help from ROMP, the time investment came with a significant reward—realization of Breyner’s potential for mobility.

Patrick Mathay, former TripAdvisor Team Lead for Owner Support, also invested heavily in ROMP, though in a different way. In 2009, Patrick began volunteering with ROMP, conducting effectiveness surveys and providing fundraising support. During that time, he met patients like Breyner, whose lives have been altered by ROMP’s services. Seeing ROMP’s impact for himself inspired Patrick to take action through the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation, which accepts grant proposals from nonprofit organizations that have been engaged with a TripAdvisor employee on a volunteer basis for at least six months. Patrick supported the ROMP team as they applied for the funding that would allow their organization to maximize its potential and reach more patients like Breyner. His initial support resulted in a significant reward for ROMP— multiple grant awards from the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation and GlobalGiving over six years.

GlobalGiving partners with the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation to vet, moderate, and manage all grants made through TripAdvisor’s Employee Grant Program. GlobalGiving has awarded more than a hundred grants in excess of $7 million in partnership with the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation.

security in Guatemala

Patrick Mathay, Executive Director

Employee engagement grants: Investment in ROMP’s growth

The grants that the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation has awarded in partnership with GlobalGiving have helped ROMP become a prosthetic industry leader in underserved communities. The ROMP clinic in Zacapa, Guatemala started as a single room where prosthetic technicians saw patients and built prosthetic molds. Today, ROMP is a full-service rehabilitation center that’s served more than 3,000 patients. It now boasts two patient rooms, a waiting area, parallel bars, a workshop, and a 3D printing lab.

Investment in ROMP has strengthened its operational foundation, helping it to transform from a volunteer-based organization to one with a strong team of professionals. ROMP is lead from their office in Quito, Ecuador by Patrick Mathay, a familiar face to ROMP who now serves as Executive Director, and Diana Antony, who serves as Operations Officer. Employee engagement with TripAdvisor is still ongoing following Patrick’s departure, and ROMP has continued to benefit from the skills of TripAdvisor employees, who have helped in areas such as social media and branding strategy. TripAdvisor’s volunteer engagement and support, recognized through a GlobalGiving grant, is allowing ROMP to make the adjustments needed to realize its potential.


ROMP’s mission is to provide high quality prosthetic care in underserved populations, which enhances mobility and unlocks human potential. ROMP believes in equal access to prosthetic and orthotic services that facilitate independence through mobility.

What 2015 Taught Us About Improving Employee Engagement

Employee engagement and culture issues are the number one human resources challenge for companies according to Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends study. More than 85% of respondents cite this challenge as “important,” including 50% who say it is “very important.” But for all the recent buzz around employee engagement, misconceptions around the true meaning of the term are still common.

A Forbes contributor defines employee engagement as the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. But on corporate employee engagement strategies, Gallup Business Journal contributors note, “Many make the mistake of prioritizing the easy, shiny stuff — hip office space, remote work arrangements, and inventive benefits — over the elements that will strengthen emotional ties and connect employees more deeply to their managers, teams, and companies.”

This may be part of the reason why a low 13% of employees worldwide are engaged.

 

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Gallup estimates that employees who fall into the “not engaged” and “actively disengaged” categories collectively cost $319 to $398 billion annually in the U.S. alone. And two important CSR target groups, managers and millennials, have low levels of engagement: Millennials, who are set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2030, are the least engaged generation, and only 35% of managers are engaged in their jobs.

Implementing strategies that reach the individual emotional level can be a logistical challenge, especially for global companies with diverse workforces. Luckily, with companies’ increased prioritization of employee engagement, there has been a flood of research on the topic.

Here are 3 ways companies can bridge the divide:

1. Recognize your employees, with a focus on values-based recognition

The O.C. Tanner Institute finds that recognition has a direct impact on causing great work, increasing engagement, encouraging innovation and productivity, improving trust and manager relationships, and attracting and retaining talent. In particular, HR leaders and practitioners reported in the 2015 SHRM/Globoforce Survey that values-based recognition programs significantly contribute to bottom-line organizational metrics – engagement, retention, safety, wellness, employer brand, and even cost controls – and help employers create a stronger culture and more human workplace.

EMC, a global leader in information technology as a service, has aligned its recognition program with its overall CSR strategy. Each month, new hires and employees celebrating a service anniversary are sent a $25 GlobalGiving e-gift card that can be redeemed in support of global projects aligned with EMC’s Giving Back strategy supporting causes such as education, food, water, and disaster relief.

2. Offer year-round workplace giving opportunities

For the past three years, the America’s Charities Snapshot Series has tracked changes in workplace-centered philanthropy and employee engagement. Snapshot 2015 – The New Corporate DNA: Where Employee Engagement and Social Impact Converge finds dramatic shifts in employee-giving models from past years. This year, almost two-thirds (60%) of corporate respondents say they offer year-round opportunities for employees to give.

In 3BL Media’s webinar on the report, Heather Lofkin Wright, Director of Corporate Responsibility at PwC US spoke to this change, “There’s no shortage of experiences, news items, interactions that move someone to want to give back. And we as a corporate entity are not in the position to put a time frame on that. So having things available 365 days a year for our people to do is really critical for giving through the workplace to be a significant onramp and opportunity that our people will take advantage of.”

3. Provide your employees with skills-based/pro-bono volunteering opportunities

The BCCCC’s 2015 Community Involvement Study found that among companies that measure the connection between volunteering and employee engagement, 89% found a positive correlation between participation and high engagement scores. Company representatives also report that volunteering helps to establish positive brand within operating communities and displays organizational values in action.

Tech companies are increasingly encouraging their employees to volunteer tech skills to organizations that lack proper funds and staff. For example, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Advising program allows HPE employees to offer their professional expertise and advice to nonprofits and entrepreneurs at no cost. In the past, HPE employees have helped in a variety of key business areas, including branding and marketing, IT, business planning, managing staff, and recruiting volunteers. Through its partnership with GlobalGiving, HPE has been able to provide support to more than 200 international nonprofits.

Rethinking your employee engagement strategy in 2016? Reach out to our Business Partnerships Team to learn what other companies are doing to build a more motivated workforce: https://www.globalgiving.org/companies/contact-us/ 

GlobalGiving Powers Philanthropy Behind The Sustainable Development Goals

SDG_SocialSharePostOn September 25, 2015, GlobalGiving announced a new initiative, GlobalGiving for Global Goals, in support of nonprofits around the world that are contributing toward the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with their work in their communities. As world leaders have come together to commit to 17 Global Goals to end extreme poverty, fight inequality & injustice, and fix climate change during UN Week in New York, GlobalGiving is mobilizing individual donors, corporations, and philanthropists to take action around these goals.

The Millennium Development Goals, the predecessors to the SDGs, shaped the international development agenda over the past three decades. Since 1990, more than 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, cutting the rate of poverty in half worldwide. But there is still much work to be done, and this time, the new SDGs aim to foster a more inclusive effort by governments, the private sector, and civil society to finish the job. GlobalGiving is supporting thousands of vetted nonprofit organizations around the world that have long been working to address the issues laid out by the SDG agenda.

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The new GlobalGiving Global Goals initiative features sustainable development projects that address each of the 17  Goals. GlobalGiving has vetted each of the featured nonprofits, and they are among GlobalGiving’s highest-ranked organizations; those that are committed to learning and effectiveness.

“We believe that locally-driven organizations committed to listening to their communities are in a powerful position to make lasting change in regard to poverty, climate change, and inequality. The launch of the SDGs is a great opportunity to raise the profile of those local changemakers, whose voices are vital in this conversation, and also to help individual and institutional donors identify opportunities to make meaningful contributions toward the goals,” said John Hecklinger, Chief Program Officer at GlobalGiving.

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It is not only individuals who are interested in new ways to make strides toward the SDGs. Private companies, grantmakers, and other philanthropic organisations are also working with GlobalGiving to channel funding toward local projects addressing the goals. The SDG Philanthropy Platform aims to build a means for philanthropy to engage with, and participate more effectively in the Post-2015 Agenda, and amplify the voice and action of grant makers and grantees in determining and achieving international targets and strategies. GlobalGiving is proud to partner with the SDG Philanthropy Platform to help philanthropists support effective development outcomes around the globe. Visit SDGfunders.org for more information.

Learn how you can get involved with the GlobalGiving Global Goals at GlobalGiving.org/sdg.

CHIME FOR CHANGE: Takeaways from a successful girls and women campaign

Picture2In the world of philanthropy, the conversation around girls and women continues to pick up steam. Recent articles by Bill Gates and the NoVo Foundation highlight the importance of empowering girls and women, and here at GlobalGiving we’ve seen a spike in corporate interest in the topic.

We’ve learned a lot from running campaigns on this topic, like the highly successful CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign, founded by Gucci and partners Salma Hayek Pinault & Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Here are five things that have made this cause marketing effort stand out.

 1. Relevant Theme                                     

When Gucci and its partners launched CHIME FOR CHANGE, there was a clear connection between the business and the campaign’s focus on education, health, and justice for girls and women. They chose to support a cause their customers and ambassadors can easily connect with and join, which increases any campaign’s chance for success.

Key Takeaway: It should go without saying that the cause a company decides to champion should be relevant to its business. Marketing an unfocused idea that leaves the public wondering “Why?”  can be a costly distraction that won’t do much to benefit your cause, so double and triple check that the focus is intuitive to your audience and relevant to your business.

2. Global Reach, Local Impact

When CHIME  first launched with Catapult, and subsequently partnered with GlobalGiving, Gucci and its partners were looking for locally-driven projects they could impact through the campaign. Focusing on their chosen themes of education, health, and justice for girls and women, we’re using our expertise in crowdfunding and international vetting to source local projects from around the world to be featured on the CHIME FOR CHANGE website. Through its efforts to date, the campaign has raised more than $7 million to fund more than 420 projects run by 144 nonprofit partners in 88 countries. 

Key Takeaway: It may seem daunting to go global and local at the same time — from reputational risk to tax law, there’s a lot to consider. Luckily, there are organizations that have expertise in navigating the international nonprofit sphere and measuring local impact. They do it so you don’t have to and so your company isn’t left behind in the race to be both global and local with giving.  

3. Share Stories of Impact

Telling stories has been central to the CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign. From Erin Helfert’s triumph in gaining a conviction in her rape case in Moroccan court to Razia Jaweed’s journey in learning to speak upwww.chimeforchange.org features stories of women who have been empowered to make changes in their lives and communities. Managing Editor Mariane Pearl explains: “Their stories are shaping a different story for mankind, a new narrative built from the heart and made of hope.”

Key Takeaway: With so many great causes around the world worth supporting, we all wish we could just say “Please help!” and that would be enough to mobilize the world. But let’s be honest: in the fight for the global consciousness, persistent humanitarian issues don’t have it easy. Using stories can help you draw emotional connections with your audience, making your cause feel more personal and real. For tips on how to tell a great story, visit http://stillmotionblog.com/storyfirst/.

4. Help Me Help You

On the CHIME website, users aren’t in danger of clicking themselves into a confused frenzy trying to figure out how they can be a part of the cause. The first thing you see on the homepage is a Take Action link that, when clicked, prompts you to either #CHIMEIN on Facebook or Twitter or donate to support a project. Powered by GlobalGiving’s API services, anyone can easily donate to featured projects such as “Help Young Women Rebuild Nepal” or “Healing for Sexual Violence Survivors in Colombia.”

Key Takeaway: “This story really hit home for me. How can I help?”  If there’s one question any cause marketing manager can expect from the public, it’s this. Just take a look at the comments section of this recent New York Times piece. Readers were touched by the compelling story of a mother separated from her son and wanted to know how to take action. Don’t make your audience do the heavy lifting. You’ve already inspired them to want to help your cause, so all that’s left is to give them an easy way to do it. 

5. Demand the Spotlight, and Keep it Alive

CHIME FOR CHANGE certainly didn’t waste time waiting for the spotlight to fall on their campaign. Team CHIME has been busy since the start using a variety of mediums to reach different target audiences.  Just last week it was announced that CHIME has partnered with Global Citizen to present the September 2015 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park.  As a result, a tremendous amount of attention is being paid to the issues surrounding girls and women worldwide. How do they do it?

  • Earning the support of leading celebrity women like co-founders Salma Hayek and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
  • Launching global events like the Sound of Change Live Concert Event, which featured performers like Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding and John Legend, and the upcoming Global Citizen Festival®
  • Features on the world stage at prestigious gatherings like TEDWomen and International Women’s Day.
  • Harnessing the power of technology to drive change by launching Twitter campaigns like #CHIMEHACK and recent #CHIMEHACK 2.

Key Takeaway: Build it and they will come…right? Not so much.  During a time when the public is constantly bombarded with information, commanding the attention of your audience is crucial. Take a leaf out of CHIME’s book by trying different modes of communication to reach a broader audience.

 

To donate to a project through CHIME FOR CHANGE or learn more about the campaign’s work with girls and women, visit: www.chimeforchange.org

If you need help with your cause marketing campaign give GlobalGiving a call at 877.605.2314 or visit us at: www.GlobaGiving.org/corporate-partners