How to Tell Staff About Your New Employee Giving Program

Ryan Scott

The wrong way:
Email to employees that looks something like this:


On behalf of [company name], I’m proud to announce the launch of our new employee volunteer program. We’re working with Causecast to make volunteering easy, so look for opportunities and information on our new online volunteer and giving platform. You’ll be receiving more emails that walk you through our new program, step by step, and you can always contact Linda in HR with any questions.

We hope to see you at our Done in a Day event next Saturday, in service for the local food bank. As you know, this nonprofit is a special one to me, and your participation means a lot to me and the rest of senior management.

With our new volunteer program in place, I look forward to many more exciting corporate philanthropy opportunities ahead that will make a real difference in our community.

Go Team!

Joe Smith

The right way:
Live streaming video announcement broadcast to every employee at once, which goes something like this:


This company isn’t just a business. It’s a family.

Why do I feel that way? Because it’s filled with people who truly care, about each other and their communities. Over the years, many of you have demonstrated your compassion by volunteering for various nonprofits. I’ve been moved by your individual philanthropy. When you’ve come to me to ask for my support, I’ve always said yes.

[Company name] continues to grow, though. Of course this is a good thing for all of us, but I don’t want to lose that sense of family. And I certainly don’t want to start turning my back on the causes that you’re each passionate about. Seeing your individual acts of philanthropy has been so gratifying to me, and I want to continue to wholeheartedly support you and watch you fly.

So we’ve implemented some procedures to ensure that [Company name] is able to help every cause that matters to you. We’re formalizing our collective compassion into a unified program that will support you as individuals and strengthen our impact as a whole.

That’s why I’m proud to announce the launch of the [Company name] volunteer program.

Right off the bat, I want to highlight two benefits that are included in this program: an official company matching gifts program and Dollars for Doers benefits.

Here’s how it works:

  • Any organization that you make a donation to, I (or your company) will match – up to $x during the year.  If you donate your time instead of money to this organization, we’ll pay that nonprofit $20 per hour for every hour that you volunteer.
  • I’m so excited about banding together to create shared value for our company, our community, and our world. That might sound lofty, but it’s not; we have the potential to add rocket fuel to our good intentions and passions to really see the impact of our efforts. That’s why I’m sitting down with senior management to map out concrete volunteering and giving objectives that we can all get behind.

So here’s what you can expect from us:

  • A company-wide goal for our Dollars for Doers grants. We want to donate a lot of money to your causes, so make us shell out those funds by earning it through your service.
  • Executive challenges. I’m personally meeting with the leaders of every department in each of our offices to establish agreed-upon challenges for their teams, with matching funds waiting for their successes. Expect some adrenaline-pumping crowdfunding contests within departments and across the company to keep the competitive juices flowing, all for good causes.
  • Personal challenge. I’ve been fairly vocal about my support for the local food bank. I plan to submit to you an individual goal for what I hope to accomplish with this charity in 2015, because I want to feel you cheer me on for my favorite cause as much as I want to support you with yours.

Our new online volunteer and giving platform is going to make all of this so easy. It’s social, mobile, interactive and – most importantly – fun. You’ll see. We’re hosting a catered lunch and learn session in a few weeks to quickly get you acquainted with the program, with an awesome prize giveaway to the charity of your choice for one lucky participant. Save the date.

If you’re already a part of our [Company name] family, I hope that you’re as enthusiastic as we are to take our collective philanthropy to the next level and really harness our power as a company to make a difference. Together, we’re going to inspire each other, connect with our communities on a deeper level, humanize our work lives even more, and elevate the way we relate to this company and to one another.

I’m making sure that this broadcast is recorded so that anyone considering joining [Company name] going forward watches this message and understands that community service is a part of our business’s DNA. If corporate philanthropy isn’t your bag, we’re not the right fit. But if you want to be a part of a professional tribe that prioritizes working together to give back, this is the place for you.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Knock on my door, email me, talk to me in the hallway. Whatever it takes. Let’s share and grow together.

Team, I’m thrilled for our evolution as a company that keeps reaching for more ambitious goals as corporate citizens and as compassionate individuals. [Company name] is going to be an ever more exciting company to be a part of, and I’m grateful for your role in building a visionary future that’s meaningful.

Let’s make each other proud!

Joe Smith

Posted December 12, 2014 in CR Blog