Company Culture

10 Ways to Give Back at Work This Year

Vanessa Kahn
December 12, 2023
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The importance of corporate social responsibility has only increased over time. 55% of employees would take a pay cut to work at a socially responsible company. Moreover, employees who participate in corporate giving have 75% longer tenure with their companies. 🤯

Unfortunately, many employees think their companies aren’t doing enough. Gartner recently found that just 16% of employees believe their organization has a strong culture that supports sustainability, and only 31% say their organization provides resources to support environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. 

In order for your giving back initiatives to be the most impactful with your employees, consider the following the golden rules of giving back at work: 

  1. Align your efforts with your company’s culture
  2. Ensure giving back happens consistently throughout the year, not just during the holidays
  3. Model the importance of giving back from executive and leaders

Now that we’ve been over the rules, let’s get to the fun part: here are 10 ways to give back at work this year and beyond!

employees helping around the world

Ways to give back at work 

1. Survey employees on what they care about

Number one on our list is surveying your employees. It’s first on our list for a reason; we think it’s a great place to start! Your employees create your culture, so ask them what’s most important to them in a simple survey. They likely have ideas for how your company can support the issues that mean the most to them. Plus, by crowdsourcing ideas, you will create internal champions for your giving-back program. 

2. Enable employee donations and consider matching them 

Like any great people program, giving back at work should be easy for employees to participate in for maximum engagement. Think about existing programs at work and how you could incorporate giving back. For instance, do you ever give out employee rewards? Could you offer donations as employee rewards? You can even consider a charity of the month program aligned with your company core values, employee interests, and timely happenings. Lastly, consider a recognition and rewards program that lets employees donate their hard earned cash to causes they care about! 

donating to food bank


3. Host an annual volunteer day

Whether you’re remote or in-person, give employees the day off work to give back to their communities. If you work in person, organize a few options to volunteer together. Not only does this allow you to give back to the community, but it increases connections and camaraderie throughout your organization. If you are working remotely, you can provide a list of approved organizations from which your employees can choose to volunteer. ‍

4. Service Awards

One way to celebrate employees who prioritize giving back is to create a service award for team members who have made a difference in their communities. Recognize these employees publicly on a regular cadence as a model to the rest of the organization. 

5. Partner with organizations that align with your company’s core values

Everything you do as a people operations team should be aligned with your company’s culture, and your giving back efforts are no exception. Think about your organization’s values and how you could align giving back efforts to your mission. For a fun example, Ibotta partners with their largest clients to offer a free Thanksgiving meal to all! This is directly aligned with their mission of making every purchase rewarding. 

6. Incentivize earth-friendly activities

Knowing that U.S. companies contribute their fair share of greenhouse gasses, companies need to do their best to minimize their footprint. As part of your giving back program, consider incentivizing earth-friendly behaviors like biking to work, working from home, carpooling, and recycling. You can even put together a task force of employees passionate about the environment to help you come up with ideas to prioritize environmental initiatives.

7. Offer product discounts to nonprofit organizations

If you have a physical or digital product, consider offering a discount to nonprofit organizations. It might allow them to purchase your product when they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. 

8. Gift your employees with a donation of their choice

When the holidays roll around, people ops teams often scramble to put together an employee gift. While employee gifts are great, one easy and impactful gift idea is to allow employees to donate to a cause they care about on your dime. 

9. Create a skills bank 

A skills bank is a database of skills and talents your employees possess that can be tapped into by local nonprofits or community organizations. How it works: your employees can choose to donate their skills to a nonprofit or community member in need. This idea works best when there is a dedicated employee who can serve as a liaison between local organizations to match needs with skill sets. A skills bank is great because it allows employees to give back on their terms in a way that is meaningful to them.

10. Host a virtual food drive

If your team works remotely, consider hosting a virtual food drive. Instead of having employees bring in physical food items, facilitate donations through a simple link. Every $1 will aid in feeding ten families in need and will allow your employees’ dollars to go much further than they would for a physical food drive.

The takeaway 

There you have it—our 10 ideas for putting altruism at the center of your culture. As we said, your giving-back program should be as unique as your company culture, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

If you’re looking for a way to operationalize year-round donations, Bonusly can help. We’ve facilitated over two million dollars of donations through our smart and fun recognition and rewards platform. Want to learn more? See for yourself with our risk-free free trial, or schedule a demo below.

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