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With all the costs, travel, expectations, and family responsibilities associated with the holidays, it is no wonder that 31% of Americans describe the holiday season as “frantic.” Here are some ways to minimize stress and maximize joy so you can better enjoy the holiday season:

Take a Deep Breath

  • Even with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is important to take some time to relax. Whether you take a yoga class, go a hike, meditate or journal, being mindful of your breathing has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Research has also shown the effectiveness of aromatherapy in easing depression and providing comfort during moments of anxiety.

Get Outside

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a sleep disorder linked with the lack of daylight. Prevent the winter blues by spending time outdoors. Need some ideas? Check out this list of active winter ideas.

Keep Your Finances Under Control

  • Make your list and check it twice before you hit the stores or go online shopping for Christmas gifts. This helps curb impulse shopping and provides an easy way to visibly see your holiday expenses.
  • American Consumer Credit Counseling provides this holiday budget expense tracker to help you stay as close to your budget as possible.

Be Kind to Yourself

  • It is okay to indulge in your favorite holiday treats, just be sure to do so in moderation. A glass of eggnog or a few pieces of your favorite fudge will not derail a healthy lifestyle.
  • Here are some ways to make healthier holiday choices plus a list of healthy holiday recipes. (Mia, link to healthy recipes.)

Say “No” (It won’t make you the Grinch!)

  • Be realistic about how much time and energy you have. Say “yes” to events and activities that bring you joy and “no” to those that will cause you stress or anxiety.
  • Exchange FOMO (fear of missing out) for JOMO (joy of missing out) and savor those quiet holiday moments by yourself or with your loved ones. Often, the greatest gift you can give is time, so be selective in who receives it!

DYK: Holiday stress is disproportionally felt by women (44% of women vs. 31% of men feel that stress increases around the holidays)? Be sure to connect with our Women’s Health Resources to keep the rest of your life in healthy balance during the holiday season.

Want to dig deeper? Check out our mental health resources.

The holidays are a wonderful time to visit family and friends. If you plan to travel and look and feel your best, follow these tips to keep your energy up and your immune system strong:

  • Cover your cough and wash your hands often
  • Bundle up by dressing in removeable layers
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Be sure to get your Zzzzs and stay on a regular schedule if possible
  • Continue to exercise; visit our exercise resources or active winter ideas
  • Get the flu shot and browse our list of flu resources
  • Limit your alcohol consumption and avoid overeating
  • Prepare for unexpected delays by packing movies, books/e-books, mind games and puzzles, or other items to occupy your time (don’t forget your earphones!)
  • Bring healthy snacks (think protein and high-fiber foods like nuts, dried fruit, or cheese) and be sure to drink lots of water to avoid becoming dehydrated and hangry
  • Manage your stress through breathing or meditation – you can do this anywhere, any time to lower your heart rate
  • Give yourself plenty of time to prevent having to frantically rush through the airport or stress about traffic

Need a little more encouragement? Listen to The 12 Ways to Health holiday song from the CDC.

Whether you’re attending a holiday potluck or cooking for family gatherings, it’s often hard to make the meal healthy. Check out these crowd-pleasing healthy recipes from our nonprofit partners American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, plus the Mayo Clinic.

BRUNCH

Avocado Blueberry Muffins – substitute avocado for the butter or oil for a scrumptious breakfast muffin

Banana Bread Smoothie – whether as a breakfast treat or a dessert, the oats in this recipe are healthy for your heart

Breakfast Burritos – a low-cal version that uses an unusual ingredient we guarantee you already have in your pantry to make light, fluffy scrambled eggs

Cauliflower Quiche – your guests will never know about the hidden main ingredient in this recipe

Greek Frittata – a Mediterranean flavor infused brunch recipe you can make in a slow cooker

Morning Glory Muffins – using whole-wheat flour and applesauce, this recipe packs warm flavors

Popovers – this four-ingredient breakfast treat is quick and easy to customize with toppings such as salsa, avocados, pico, and cheese

Pumpkin Oat Muffins – low in fat and loaded with vitamin A and fiber, pumpkins are good for more than just fall decor

Sliced Fruit with Honey-Vanilla Yogurt Dip – any fruit can be dunked into this American, no-cook yogurt dip

Steamed Pumpkin Bread – a moist and delicious update to the traditional steamed brown bread recipe

APPETIZERS

Caprese Kebabs – an easy appetizer that combines the colors of the season: red cherry tomatoes, green basil, and white mozzarella

Creamy Spinach Feta Dip – a lighter, heart-healthy version of the favorite dip sure to change the mind of any spinach “disliker”

Crunchy Cucumber-Dill Salad – this dish provides a refreshing option that doesn’t weigh you down

Festive Tuna Roll-Ups – Bright red and green pepper rings dress up this easy appetizer

Ginger-Pumpkin Bisque – This recipe adds richness without the fat of heavy cream

SIDE DISHES

Acorn Squash Wedges with Walnuts – this slow cook recipe incorporates a brown sugar and walnut sauce that makes “browning” simple

Baked Mushroom Mac-n-Cheese – create this comfort food staple with a healthy twist

Cauliflower Mash – this side tastes so much like mashed potatoes that no one but you will know the truth

Creole-Style Black-Eyed Peas – It’s believed black eyed peas bring good fortune when eaten on New Year’s Eve; the beans in this dish are an excellent source of folate and fortune!

Green Bean Casserole – this recipe includes a homemade white sauce instead of canned cream of mushroom soup, which cuts the sodium significantly without sacrificing flavor

Maple Syrup-Glazed Sweet Potato Casserole – slash the calories of this classic dish by incorporating whipped egg whites for a light and healthy side

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower – add crunch to your meal with this flavorful and eye-pleasing dish

Simple Squash Salad – a light dish you can serve hot or cold

MAIN DISHES

Curried Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Chutney – the sweet and tart cranberries add a seasonal twist to this holiday meal

Festive Turkey Rice Salad – use your leftover turkey to make this quick, two-step meal

Herb-rubbed Turkey Au Jus – instead of adding butter to the turkey and serving it with gravy, this healthy version is complemented with an herbal run and a flavorful au jus

Mom’s Roasted Turkey with Butternut Squash and Asparagus

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Salsa – pineapples, cranberries and cinnamon combine in a tangy salsa that great’s for winter holidays

Orange-Rosemary Roasted Chicken – The piney flavor of fresh rosemary makes for a festive addition

Turkey Medallions with Sweet Potato-Walnut Mash – a festive one-skillet dinner that’s delicious any time of year and easy enough for a weeknight

DESSERTS

Apple Bread Pudding – whole grain bread, apples and cinnamon make a sweet dessert that is healthy too!

Baked Apples and Pears with Almonds – this dessert uses honey and fruit to satisfy any sweet cravings without the guilt

Baked Sweet Potatoes and Apples – this warm seasonal recipe makes a great breakfast dish, side dish, or dessert

Cheese Latkes – top this dessert with fresh fruit for a healthy and warm end of meal treat

Honey and Spiced Pears – a delicate and easy dessert using seasonal fruit

Fruited Rice Pudding – make this protein-packed dessert ahead of time, refrigerate and serve cold or serve it straight from the oven and warm

Mint-Chocolate Meringue Cookies – bite-size cookies bursting with flavor you would never guess were low in calories and fat

Read more about how our nonprofit partners are making a difference in communities across the nation here. Feel moved to act? You can celebrate the season and give the gift of hope by donating today.

Focus on fitness and family fun to stay happy and healthy this holiday season

It’s easy to hibernate and become a lonely coach potato, zoning out with electronics when it’s cold and dark outside. The kids can get bored during winter break and adults often skip exercise. Prevent cabin fever in your home and stay healthy and happy with these fun activities. Remember, The American Heart Association recommends at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate intensity physical activity every day.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

  • Take a family walk to a park or playground or visit a new neighborhood
  • Build a snowman, make snow angels, or go sledding
  • Have a snowball fight, or hang a target in the tree and let children take aim with snowballs
  • Catch a parade or outdoor festival
  • Go ice skating
  • Volunteer to walk the dogs at your local animal shelter
  • Participate in winter sports (snow skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, etc.)
  • Go birdwatching; make your own birdfeeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed
  • Create a nature book by collecting twigs, leaves, and flowers on a winter hike; or iron leaves or flowers between waxed paper
  • Head to the zoo
  • Make snow castles using buckets and shovels from the summer months
  • Shovel an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway
  • Visit the local botanical gardens or other public park to view the holiday lights
  • Make snow paint out of water and food coloring to paint your yard
  • Go mini golfing
  • Take a family hike at a national park
  • Bundle up and run laps at your local track

INDOOR ACTIVITIES

  • Build a gingerbread house or make cookies
  • Go caroling at a nursing home
  • Declutter your home and collect gently used toys, household items and clothes to donate to charity
  • Make holiday cards for sick children, veterans, or the elderly (see our Volunteer on the Spot Guide for indoor volunteer activities)
  • Find volunteer opportunities near you
  • Donate food to a soup kitchen or food bank
  • Volunteer to pack holiday food baskets or sort food donations
  • Shop for children in need (backpacks, holiday gifts, etc.)
  • Tour local museums, aquariums, science centers, or other places with free or low-cost admission
  • Make fruit baskets or homemade bread and preserves/jelly for neighbors
  • Create a scavenger hunt around your home
  • Have a family dance-off or talent show in your living room
  • Do a workout video or fitness video game or try yoga or gentle stretching
  • Start an indoor garden
  • Fight the winter blues by journaling; make a gratitude list and write encouragement cards
  • Visit the local library, take part in story time and other activities, or volunteer to read to younger children
  • Do a puzzle together
  • Have a Lego or block building competition
  • Play board and card games like Uno, Sorry, Monopoly
  • Visit friends and family, set up play dates, or meet up for coffee
  • Visit indoor playgrounds, bounce houses, or trampoline parks
  • Cook together and experiment to make your favorite holiday recipes healthier
  • Play freeze tag, charades, hopscotch or Simon Says
  • Shoot hoops at your local recreation center, take an exercise class, or swim indoors
  • Use outdoor toys (jump ropes, hula hoops, balls, push toys, etc.) inside
  • Create an indoor obstacle course or play hide and seek (you can hide a stuffed animal as well)
  • Go roller skating or bowling as a family
  • Invest in an indoor mini basketball hoop, Nerf ping pong, pool table, or air hockey table
  • Use your imagination! Build and paint cardboard boxes to create spaceships, castles and more
  • Visit an indoor rock climbing facility
  • Join (or start) a book club; don’t forget the healthy snacks
  • Take an art class or learn a new craft every week
  • Be sure children get the sleep they need
  • Set step goals and compete as a team; reward meeting goal with a fun family outing
  • Do “winter cleaning” or chores together; kids often enjoy helping rake leaves, shovel snow, wash dishes, paint, vacuum, clean closets, etc.
  • Plan a fun overnight trip to an indoor water park or hotel with a pool (find a deal on Groupon or another discount site)

It’s easy to build stronger, healthier communities by supporting Community Health Charities on Giving Tuesday, this holiday season, and throughout the year.

Here are 5 ways you can help:

  • TWEET: Benevity is donating $100,000 this #GivingTuesday and will donate $10 to your favorite charity. On Tuesday, November 27, find the @benevity pinned tweet (Be the Good video) here, and retweet with a comment, mentioning @healthcharities with hashtag #BeTheGood. Example: “I want to #BeTheGood for @healthcharities.”
  • DOUBLE YOUR DONATION ON FACEBOOK: This #GivingTuesday, make a bigger impact by donating to Community Health Charities on Facebook on November 27 to receive the $7 million Facebook match — in just two easy steps!
    • Log in to Facebook at 8 AM ET tomorrow, visit Community Health Charities Facebook page, click the fundraiser “Donate” button, and select the amount you want to give. Or click here. After selecting your donation amount, select “Friends,” then click the green button to share. This will automatically post to your page and promote our #GivingTuesday efforts.
  • RUN A FACEBOOK FUNDRAISER. Want to make a bigger difference on Facebook? Create your own Fundraiser to support Community Health Charities on Giving Tuesday.
    • Select “Fundraisers” on the left side of the menu tab or click here. Then select “Raise Money.” You will be prompted to create your own Fundraiser. Keep selecting “Next” and it will automatically post to your page.
  • DONATE: Make a gift directly on our year-end holiday giving page to help children, women, and veterans.
  • SHOP: With Amazon smile, every order raises money for Community Health Charities. Just shop at smile.amazon.com.

For a step by step visual guide on the ways to give, click here.

When it comes to giving, there’s good news and bad news. The good news? Giving was up 5% in 2017, with Americans giving $410 billion to charities, according to Giving USA’s latest report.

The potentially bad news? The impact of tax reform is not yet known. With the standard deduction doubling from $12,000 to $24,000 for joint filers, many families may no longer be able to write off their charitable deductions. Will it matter? Will they give less? The jury is out. A possible bellwether could be that giving declined 2.4% in the first three months of 2018; this could be a fluke, or it could signal a downward trend.

What can you do to stay prepared and maximize giving? Read the full article on Forbes

 

We’re proud to honor our United States service members, veterans, and their families. After serving our country, many are still fighting due to mental and physical health challenges. Veteran suicide rates are 1.5x higher than the general public, and 1.8x higher for veteran women. Approximately 20% of veterans have a service-connected disability. But our veterans don’t have to fight alone. We can help by providing support, resources, and healing, so our service members, veterans, and their families can thrive.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Give to our Hero’s Health cause fund to support paralyzed and seriously injured veterans; provide military families with free lodging close to loved ones hospitalized for an illness, disease, or injury; offer 24/7/365 peer support; and provide mental health services.
  • Share our Military and Veteran health resources—for crisis peer support, mental health warning signs, PTSD assistance or housing support, scholarships for military children, or to donate frequent flyer miles or hotel points.
  • Use our Volunteer on the Spot Guide to coordinate a volunteer event in your office. Write cards for veterans in hospitals, make snack packs for family members visiting their loved ones, or design your own event. You can also visit our volunteer locator to find volunteer opportunities by zip code and keyword.

For more information, check out media coverage and other news:

With more than 700 moms dying in childbirth and pregnancy this year, the U.S. is the most dangerous developed nation in which to give birth, with preterm birth rates on the rise. Join Community Health Charities to find out where your state ranks in the 2018 Premature Birth Report Card. Raise awareness by sharing these Facebook posts, turn your profile picture purple for world Prematurity Day on November 17, or show your support for #BlanketChange.

According to Nonprofit Tech for Good’s recent Giving Report, the donor community worldwide is made up primarily of women (65%) who have a liberal ideology (53%), characterize themselves as religious (72%), and give between $100-$1,000 annually (43%). Learn more about what donors find important here.

According to recent research, despite understanding the benefits of investing in CSR, company executives fail to do so because they have a positive ideological view on the market economy. In other words, good business will result in a good (read: morally driven) society. In order for CSRs to be successful, executives must become more sensitive to the social and environmental issues in their area (from both a geographical and corporate perspective). Read more

According to the State of the Sector Research, “41% of charities surveyed expect to be partnering more with private sector organizations over the next three years.”

Larry Fink, Blackrock CEO, confirms this trend and urges organizations to follow suit and take responsibility for their impact: “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” Fink wrote. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.”

Read the full Realized Worth article.

Community Health Charities exists to empower people to take action to improve health and wellbeing; we want help your business build healthier communities and prioritize corporate social responsibility. We offer giving options, causesvolunteer opportunitieshealth resources, strategic partnerships, cause marketing solutions, campaign materials and resources, and more to help you engage your employees and customers while impacting communities. Contact [email protected] now to find out more. For more information on these resources, or if you have questions, email [email protected] or call (800) 654-0845.

When it comes to charitable donations, Americans favor health above all other causes.  Grey Matter Research and Opinions4Good asked a demographically representative sample of 1,000 donors to name their one favorite donor-supported organization (excluding a local place of worship).  This wasn’t a measure of which organizations pull in the most funding, but of which brands donors favor – and fully one-third of them named a health-related organization. 

This includes 24% who favor an organization fighting a specific disease (such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, JDRF, American Cancer Society, or Alzheimer’s Association), plus 8% who name a more general health-related charity (such as Planned Parenthood or a local hospital).  Much of this is driven by donors age 50 and older, who are twice as likely as younger donors to want to support a disease-related organization above all others.  But the bad news is that lower-income donors are significantly more likely to favor disease-related organizations than are wealthier donors.

The researchers also investigated each of the hundreds of individual brands named – their Form 990 income, theater of operations, overhead ratio, and whether they’re faith-based or not.  For instance, we learned that very low overhead ratios rarely have a strong impact on what charitable brand donors favor, and that Americans tend to prefer very large organizations working globally rather than small, local charities.

For more information (and to get a copy of the full research report), go to Grey Matter Research’s Website.

This report is also covered in The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article, “Donors Were Asked What Charity They’d Support if They Could Pick Only One. Half Chose the Same 20 Groups.”

At Community Health Charities, we work to increase the capacity of our nonprofit partners. That means we support you and constantly work to empower organizations and individuals to connect with your mission and support you in building stronger, healthier communities.

Nearly one-third of annual giving occurs in December. The Combined Federal Campaign raised $177.8 million in 2015. The upcoming months are pivotal for nonprofits. We are hard at work connecting organizations to your mission and finding donors passionate about your cause.

While we support you in the coming months, compound our efforts by taking action:

  • Participate in the Combined Federal Campaign. The 2018 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) runs September 10 through January 11. If you’re registered to participate, remind your eligible donors of the impact they can make by supporting your organization: Email donors that have previously given through the CFC; advertise your CFC number on the main page of your website and on supplementary materials; participate in charity speaking events at local government office; and work with Community Health Charities to reach new federal and military donors.  We represent our nonprofit partners during the campaign annually; multiply our efforts by reaching your donors as well.
  • Seek workplace giving opportunities. Typical workplace giving programs take place in the fall. Work with Community Health Charities to find organizations in your area with caring employees looking to support causes like yours.
  • Don’t fall behind on end of year giving. It’s only August, but end of year and holiday giving can begin as early as October. Start preparing now: Work on social media campaigns, emails to existing donors, direct mail strategies, and more.

For more information on ways to empower your donor base, or if you have questions, email [email protected] or call (800) 654-0845.

As the end of the year draws close and you begin to prioritize your end of year and holiday giving, make sure you’re giving to organizations that truly have intentions of building stronger, healthier communities.

BBB-Wise Giving Alliance has compiled 7 guidelines to ensure you’re giving to nonprofits that are genuinely raising awareness for health and wellness.

  1. Get the charity’s exact name.
  2. Resist pressure to give on the spot.
  3. Be wary of heart-wrenching appeals.
  4. Press for specifics.
  5. Check websites for basics.
  6. Check with state charity officials.
  7. Don’t assume that every organization is a tax-exempt charity.

When you’re looking to give, remember that Community Health Charities works with more than 2,000 of the most trusted health nonprofits across the United States. Make the world a better place and support the causes you’re most passionate about with Community Health Charities.

As an organization focused on connecting talented business professionals with nonprofit organizations to build capacity for the social sector, Common Impact is excited to see an increased appetite for pro bono service across companies of all shapes and sizes. Our experience tells us that when done right, skills-based programs hold tremendous potential for corporate volunteers and the nonprofits they support. While it is great to see so many companies bought into the concept, we know from our nearly twenty years of practice that for programs to be most effective, they need to facilitate meaningful cross-sector partnerships and generate transformational community impact.

This is a concept we call “The Knitting Factor”, coined in our Stanford Social Innovation Review article, “The Promise of Skills-Based Volunteering”. The Knitting Factor brings together three key conditions that enable skills-based engagements between the private and nonprofit sectors to create strengthened, sustainable solutions that don’t come undone when partners part ways.

  • A Panoramic Perspective:  Taking a bird’s eye view when crafting partnerships, by looking at people and organizations beyond their titles and sectors and allowing value to transcend profit
  • Skill Sharing: A focus on two-way talent exchange, where pro bono professionals and their companies are learning as much from the nonprofits they work with as those nonprofits learn from them
  • Sticky Relationships: A commitment to building long-lasting partnerships that drive nonprofit missions and business engagement forward

An example of a program that embodies all three of these characteristics, is Skills for Cities, one of Common Impact’s newest models for community engagement in partnership with IMPACT 2030 and SVP Boston. Skills for Cities is a citywide, cross-company day of service event that activates regional skills-based volunteers across industries and invites participation from smaller organizations without traditional pro bono programs. The first of these events will be launching in Boston, MA this September and will bring together community-minded professionals and impactful local nonprofits to tackle some of the city’s most pressing social issues.

Here’s a snapshot of how Skills for Cities Boston hits all three characteristics of 
The Knitting Factor:

  • A Panoramic Perspective:  Skills for Cities Boston brings together leaders from across industries and backgrounds to direct their talents and expertise towards a targeted and shared purpose – making an impact in the communities in which they live and work. The idea for Skills for Cities initially started in collaboration between senior leaders in the public and private sector, leveraging the cross-sector expertise of Common Impact, SVP Boston and Berkshire Bank’s Gary Levante, who runs the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. Gary played an integral role in getting this program off the ground by leveraging Berkshire Bank’s strong footprint within the Boston community, as well as his regional involvement with IMPACT 2030, a collaborative initiative itself that engages corporate, social and academic leadership to develop employee volunteer programs that advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Skill Sharing:  By bringing together corporate and nonprofit professionals who otherwise may not have crossed paths, Skills for Cities Boston provides a unique opportunity for individuals from all sectors and leadership levels to learn from one another and develop new skills that they’ll bring back to their organizations.
  • Sticky Relationships:  Skills for Cities Boston combines the expertise of three socially conscious organizations, Common Impact, SVP Boston and IMPACT 2030 to launch the first-of-its kind skills-based day of service. This event is designed to focus on the needs of the greater Boston community and deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our hope is that these partnerships will ultimately sustain far past the initial day of service and continue to make a deep impact in the local community for years to come.

The Common Impact team is looking forward to launching this new model and giving back to the community in which we were founded almost twenty years ago. Follow us on our blog for event updates and connect with us on Twitter to get involved in the conversation!

About Danielle Holly

Danielle Holly is CEO of Common Impact, an organization that designs programs that direct a company’s most strategic philanthropic asset – their people – to the seemingly intractable social challenges they’re best positioned to address. Danielle has supported hundreds of nonprofit organizations on positioning and branding strategies to more effectively scale their models of social impact.  In addition, Danielle has helped numerous corporations navigate the new era in corporate social responsibility and skills-based volunteering, including global powerhouses JPMorgan Chase, Charles Schwab, Marriott International, and Fidelity Investments. She is a contributing writer for Nonprofit Quarterly on strategic corporate engagement.  She is a member of the NationSwell Council, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and Net Impact NYC. You can reach her via email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @dholly8. 

Hurricane Florence may have dissipated, but the ripples of this natural disaster will be felt for some time, and we always need to be prepared for the next storm. Join Community Health Charities to meet the short- and long-term health and mental health needs of those impacted by Hurricane Florence and other natural disasters.

Here are three ways you can help:

  1. Donate to CHC’s Disaster Response Fund, whether for a specific disaster like Florence or our year-round crisis and disaster fund to support vetted organizations serving the impacted areas.
  2. Share our Crisis and Disaster Resources to raise awareness of Health and Human Services information, preparedness resources and recovery tips.
  3. Encourage your company to join Spirit HR and others in supporting and promoting our disaster relief efforts through a workplace giving campaign or volunteerism. Contact us to set up your company’s custom giving page.

Because together, we can rebuild and restore the lives of individuals, children, and families.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has evolved dramatically over the last decade. Most companies are no longer satisfied with just writing checks to charities or sponsoring events. Now, corporate leaders are aligning social impact and employee engagement with business objectives. That means measuring results and ensuring CSR and employee engagement efforts demonstrate real value to the company.

Read the full article on Forbes

How consumers perceive businesses is changing: Making a profit is no longer enough, organizations are often expected to take responsibility for their actions and give back to the greater community.

Is your organization keeping up?

Forbes contributors Jim Ludema and Amber Johnson recommend six strategies for integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into your business model:

  1. Align CSR to your business strategy.
  2. Earn support from the top with engagement at all levels.
  3. Look for opportunities to build a future pipeline.
  4. Strong, sustainable partnerships equal automatic success.
  5. Find new drivers of innovation.
  6. Integrate design thinking approaches.

 

Read the full Forbes article.

 

Community Health Charities offers giving options, causesvolunteer opportunitieshealth resources, strategic partnerships, cause marketing solutions, campaign materials and resources, and more to help you engage your employees and customers while impacting communities. Partner with Community Health Charities and our more than 2,000 trusted nonprofit partners to integrate CSR into your business model. For more information on these resources, or if you have questions, email [email protected] or call (800) 654-0845.

 

 

Looking to increase the impact of your corporate partnerships? Join Jerome Tennille, Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, to learn how to best align with companies for mutual benefit: “Corporate Social Responsibility – Making it Work for your Organization’s Volunteer Program” on Tuesday, September 18 at 1:00 PM.

Before the webinar, check out some of Jerome’s advice on creating successful corporate-nonprofit partnerships.

Looking to increase the impact of your corporate partnerships? Join Jerome Tennille, Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, to learn how to best align with companies for mutual benefit: “Corporate Social Responsibility – Making it Work for your Organization’s Volunteer Program” on Tuesday, September 18 at 1:00 PM.

Before the webinar, check out some of Jerome’s advice on creating successful corporate-nonprofit partnerships.

Jerome Tennille is the Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, where he leads the company’s traditional and skills-based volunteer programs, ensuring they reflect the latest innovations, technologies, and best practices. This includes Marriott’s global week and month of community service, providing the framework, resources, and support needed for volunteerism efforts to be executed both globally and locally.

The upcoming months are pivotal for nonprofits. As the campaign begins, we are hard at work connecting military and federal employees to your mission and finding donors passionate about your cause.

Here are three easy ways you can take action to enhance our efforts during the Combined Federal Campaign:

  1. Email donors that have previously given to you through the CFC. If you need your donor list, contact [email protected].
  2. Advertise your CFC number on the main page of your website and on supplementary materials
  3. Participate in charity speaking events at local government offices

Together, with the powerful support of military and federal workers, we are building stronger, healthier communities.

Community Health Charities doesn’t just help our corporate partners build stronger, healthier employees—we help our employees give back to the causes they’re passionate about as well.

From Thursday, August 2 to Friday, August 10, Community Health Charities employees participated in the #CauseAnImpact Employee Engagement and Giving campaign. Employees practiced work-life balance by cooking healthy meals with their families, took mental health breaks throughout the day, and prioritized their wellbeing.

The campaign began and ended with Mission Moments: Two charity partners, Jessie Rees Foundation and Pet Partners, spoke with Community Health Charities and shared the impact employees could have through charitable giving.

“Our culture of giving is changing dramatically. In order to feel compelled to give back, the employees should feel more involved. Listening to the stories of our charity partners connects them back to the reasons why we give and how that support changes our community in such a positive and helpful way,” said Amanda Williams, Development Operations Specialist.

The campaign ended with a potluck celebration, where employees shared the healthy meals they learned to make during the campaign.

Looking to establish your own workplace giving campaign? Contact us and utilize our campaign resources for guidelines from start to finish, including engagement ideas, goal setting, and volunteering-in office.

 

  

Play ball! Community Health Charities is teaming up with the Oklahoma City Dodgers and the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board to support American Indian health.

The three organizations are hosting the American Indian Health Fund Night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Friday, August 17. Tickets for the baseball game are a special rate of $16, with $2 of each ticket supporting the American Indian Health Fund.  The American Indian Health Fund is a program founded by Community Health Charities and the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board that supports and improves American Indian’s health.

Read the full article.

After 60 years, Community Health Charities recognized that we stood at a vital crossroads: evolve or become irrelevant.

The landscape of philanthropy has changed. Technology has advanced the transactional aspect of giving, as mobile, digital, social and online giving platforms replaced most in-person asks and paper pledge forms — and supplanted a large portion of our role as a workplace giving-centered organization.

As technology and donor demands continue to evolve, many nonprofits that were strong and successful in the past are now struggling and left with a particularly daunting decision: adapt or die.

Here are my top recommendations for how to make the switch from transactional to collaborative, helping your nonprofit remain relevant and increasing your impact into the future.

Avoid mission creep while making a mission shift.

 

Read the full article on Forbes.

 

If you’re measuring volunteer programs by their participation rate, you could actually be hurting company culture.

Reporting by Realized Worth shows volunteer programs that pressure employees to participate often backfire, leading to employees feeling coerced and obligated to participate.  This results in a company culture embedded in resentment.

The solution? Encourage employee volunteering and giving by finding leaders in your organization to model engagement: “When people see others, especially leaders, engage in [organizational citizenship behavior], they are likely to find voluntary expressions of mimicking such behavior.”

Read the full article on Realized Worth. Utilize our campaign resources to recognize employee champions in your workplace to model employee engagement. Check out our Volunteer On The Spot Guide for volunteer activities employees can get involved in right in the office.

If your small business is looking to incorporate workplace giving into your company’s culture, consider the following guidelines from BBB Wise Giving Alliance:

  • Verify the charities’ tax-exempt status.
  • Keep in mind state registration requirements for charities.
  • Be wary of excessive pressure.
  • Confirm the amount donated from benefit dinners and performance tickets.
  • Confirm with charities before establishing clothing bins and coin collection boxes.
  • Receive cause-related marketing disclosures before using a charities’ name in promotions.
  • See if the charity meets BBB Charity Standards.

Read the BBB Wise Giving Alliance article.

All of Community Health Charities’ more than 2,000 nonprofit partners have been approved by BBB Wise Giving Alliance and meet high standards of transparency and conduct, especially in workplace giving campaigns.  We work with many small and mid-size businesses establishing workplace giving campaigns, offering giving options, causes, volunteer opportunities, health resources, strategic partnerships, campaign resources, and more to help you engage your employees and customers while impacting communities. Contact us to learn more.

Jerome Tennille, an employee engagement professional who specializes in volunteer management, recently presented “Corporate Social Responsibility – Making it Work for your Organization’s Volunteer Program” with candid recommendations for how companies and nonprofits can best align for mutual benefit.

5 Takeaways:

  1. Do your research first. Due diligence is critically important in understanding a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Some companies have specific causes they focus on, and others may more broadly support the community and giving back. Before asking for money or seeking volunteers, nonprofits must align with those corporate goals.  Doing research offers useful insights into a company’s core focus areas and demonstrates alignment (or not) with a nonprofit’s mission. “I get solicitations all the time from people who clearly have not done their research,” said Jerome. “Unfortunately, that is a waste of time for both sides.”2
  2. Focus on impact and authenticity. This applies to both sides of the partnership. It’s not authentic when a company comes at the last minute asking for large-scale employee engagement activities that a nonprofit has to create in a rush, diverting resources from their mission. It’s also not authentic when a nonprofit treats a company like an ATM machine and is only interested in money. “Don’t go for short-term gain and risk the long-term relationship,” cautioned Jerome. “A company is a business and has to be successful and make money before it can give it away.” The best corporate-nonprofit partnerships focus on building long-term relationships to achieve real impact, aligned with the company’s business goals and the nonprofit’s mission. Ultimately, the goal for both partners is to serve the community.
  3. Get creative. In his experience, 90% of companies are looking for a turnkey, single day of service for employee engagement. Rather than put pressure on nonprofits to provide volunteer activities for hundreds or thousands of employees on one day, Jerome suggests companies and nonprofits look for new and more meaningful ways to work together. Ensure any project meets a real community need and is mission-driven, not sacrificing program integrity. While at The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), when large companies with thousands of employees kept approaching him for ready-to-go volunteer projects, Jerome worked jointly with program managers to solve the challenge. They stayed true to TAPS’ core services and developed “Thousands of Thanks,” a volunteer program for employees to write or draw leaves and create beautiful thank you trees—a “forest of thanks”—that encouraged visiting families who were grieving the loss of a military loved one. This program has now expanded to custom quilts as well. “It took a lot of brainpower to get to that point,” Jerome said.
  4. Understand motivations: Employees might volunteer to help the cause, or to enhance their résumés, boost business reputation, or fulfill a company mandate. Nonprofits need to take the time to listen to a company and its employees’ motivations. Equally, nonprofits can work to educate companies, especially key leaders, on community needs and the costs involved in mission work and meaningful impact. For example, although most companies want to volunteer at a food bank during the holidays, the real need is during the off-months.
  5. Make it about mutual benefit. A company’s business goals and philanthropic strategy can align seamlessly with a nonprofit’s mission and work for both sides. For example, Jerome recommends nonprofits position volunteering as a solution to a business challenge—not just unpaid work that takes away company revenue. “Find a mutual benefit and position yourself to solve their problems,” Jerome advised “Help them reach their goals while not sacrificing yours.”

 

Jerome shared two examples that demonstrate how mutual benefit in corporate-nonprofit partnerships works.

  • The hospitality industry at large is working to eliminate food waste while serving communities in need. Similarly, many food banks, pantries, and distribution centers want to eliminate food waste and serve communities too. So, it’s not uncommon that companies that source high volumes of food want to donate what’s not used, plus, company volunteer can help sort this food in the food pantry’s warehouse, while also sourcing unique skills from their employees to develop best-in-class processes to more efficiently receive and distribute the food.
  • The entire hospitality industry is experiencing a staffing shortage. Volunteering can be a solution. Some companies in this industry provide job training, résumé writing, interview practice, mentorship, and more with a special focus on youth, diverse populations, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and refugees. Employees volunteer with these communities to provide employment skills, helping eliminate stereotypes and providing hope and a future for underserved groups. “Youth are four times more likely to choose a job if they are exposed to it early,” said Jerome. And by developing a talent pipeline for the hospitality industry, companies engaged in this type of volunteering position themselves to better meet a business need.

 

In the end, creating partnerships for mutual benefit is the only way to build long-term, sustainable relationships with maximum community impact.

 

 

Jerome Tennille is the Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, where he leads the company’s traditional and skills-based volunteer programs, ensuring they reflect the latest innovations, technologies, and best practices. This includes Marriott’s  global week and month of community service, providing the framework, resources, and support needed for volunteerism efforts to be executed both globally and locally.  Prior to joining Marriott International, Jerome held the position of Senior Manager of Impact Analysis and Assessment for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a national organization that offers help, hope, and healing to all those grieving the death of a loved one serving in America’s armed forces. Jerome currently serves as a board of directors member of Peace Through Action USA and on the PsychArmor Institute Advisory Committee for the School of Volunteers & Nonprofits. Jerome holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in operations management and a Master of Sustainability Leadership (MSL) from Arizona State University. Jerome is designated as Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) and is also a veteran of the US Navy.

 

Liberty Diversified International (LDI), a Community Health Charities corporate partner, celebrated their 100 year anniversary celebration this July. The celebration consisted of a 19 day “Great Gratitude Tour,” where the organization gave back to 17 cities and boasted millions of dollars in giving. The bus tour began in New York, went as far as California, and concluded with a Grand Finale in Minnesota.

On Friday, July 20 the tour concluded with a Grand Finale that presented 15 LDI nonprofit partners with gratitude grants, including Community Health Charities and four of our nonprofit partners.  Beginning at 10:18 AM, LDI gave gratitude grants to each of the nonprofit partners every hour at the 18th minute; 18 signifies life in the Jewish faith.

We’re proud to be partners with an organization so focused on building stronger, healthier communities across the country.

Contact us and access our campaign resources to organize opportunities for your employees to support their communities.

 

Employee engagement has never been more critical. Engaged employees are happier and 22% more productive (Harvard Business Review), yet most companies find employee engagement challenging. In fact, Gallup studies show 70% of U.S. workers are not engaged at work.

Every company has three types of employees: engaged, not engaged, or actively disengaged.

Engaged employees have a passion for the company and drive it forward, while actively disengaged staff often cost the company. For simple ways to enhance employee engagement and reduce turnover, including suggested communication methods, valuable tools, and company resources, check out “Engaging and Communicating with Employees: Empower, Communicate, and Engage Your Employees with Access to Resources.” This e-book was authored by Community Health Charities Board Member and Continuwell President & CEO Charu Raheja.

For more employee engagement resources, take a look at Community Health Charities’ Tools For Engagement GuideHealth and Wellness Guide, and Year-Round Employee Engagement Calendar.

 

Charu Raheja, PhD is the CEO of Continuwell & TriageLogic Group and has served on the Community Health Charities’ Board of Directors since 2015. Charu graduated with a PhD in Finance from New York University and her award-winning research and publications have influenced corporate governance policy and regulation.

Charitable giving is thriving at first glance—charities raised $410 billion in 2017. However, Chronicle’s reporting indicates that this may be philanthropy’s peak due to limiting trends:

  1. The share of Americans who give to charity is declining.
  2. Giving has declined in all age groups—not only millennials.
  3. Nonprofits are increasingly relying on the wealthy.

Read the full Chronicle article.

Community Health Charities is working hard to support our nonprofit partners and make it easy for companies and their employees to build stronger, healthier communities. Check out our resources: workplace giving campaigns, on-site volunteering events, and engagement activities.

I’ll never forget when my doctor started our conversation with “Man, you have a lot of cancer in there!”

I had considered myself healthy for a man over the age of 50. My diet was light on sugar and carbs, I had a regular exercise routine at the gym every week, I did not smoke, and my alcohol consumption was minimal—I thought I was on track to live to be 100! I even had my PSA (prostate specific antigen) tested every couple of years, but had been complacent and unworried about my own risk of cancer.

All of that complacency was shattered when I had the life-altering diagnosis of prostate cancer—a lot of prostate cancer. My life was suddenly consumed with appointments with urologists and radiologists; countless hours were spent on internet searches that yielded highly generic, and sometimes conflicting, information. I finally realized I needed to approach this as “my cancer.” I needed to make decisions based on my age, my lifestyle, my family, and, most importantly, the impact on my wife.

The good news is, prostate cancer is a treatable and manageable disease. Regardless of the stage of your disease, you have options for treatment. There are more than 2.9 million prostate cancer survivors in the U.S. The prognosis for survival is excellent, even if the cancer reoccurs. In my case, the cancer reoccurred three years after my prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate and surrounding affected tissues). Radiation treatments took care of the remaining metastatic disease and I am now almost at the coveted five-year survival rate with no signs of re-occurrence.

My message to men is that the opportunity for a long and productive life exists only when a man is proactive, prioritizes his health, and is vigilant on taking preventive measures.

June is Men’s Health Month, and Sunday, June 17 is Father’s Day. There is no better time of the year to focus on men’s health.

As a father and husband, let me suggest to spouses and family members that you skip buying dad another tie or grill mitt this Father’s Day. Instead, let him know you want him to be here for many more Father’s Days.

Here are 7 ways to give your dad the gift of health:

1) Ask dad to get the PSA test. The greatest risk factors for developing prostate cancer are increasing age, family history, ethnicity, and diet. If you can answer yes to any of these factors, get the test today. Don’t wait: I am older than 50, I have a family history of prostate cancer, or I am African-American.

2) Send dad a note, an e-card or a text encouraging him to schedule an annual check-up.

3) Commit to a healthier lifestyle. Keep each other accountable, and get the whole family involved.

4) Get your heart rates up. Take walks together; hike, play a friendly game of basketball, football or Frisbee; go golfing; or invite the grandkids to the park.

5) Eat dinner together. Find healthy alternatives at your favorite restaurants.

6) Give healthy gifts. If you do get dad a gift for Father’s Day, consider a game you can play together; a FitBit, health monitor, health app, or step counter; or a healthy treat or meal.

7) Support Men’s Health. Donate your time or money. Recently, I was elected to serve on the national board of directors for ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer, the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer. I am joining with them to help end prostate cancer. Find a nonprofit that works for a men’s health cause you’re passionate about.

There is nothing wrong with growing mustaches and raising awareness of men’s health issues for Movember. We need that ― but we also need men to take actionI did, and it has saved my life thus far. One in every nine men will have to face prostate cancer in their lifetime. That can be changed. The best way for any man to say, “I love you,” to his family and loved ones is to do his best to ensure that he is here for many Father’s Days to come.

What’s your organization’s purpose?

No, not profitability or outcomes, but the social or environmental impact your organization prioritizes. Consumers no longer are solely focusing on products and services—they’re focusing on the intentions and actions of organizations as well. A 2018 Cone Communications Study found that “companies that lead with Purpose will stand to build deeper bonds with existing consumers, expand the consumer base and enlist those brand advocates to share the brand message.”

The study found that:

  • 78% of Americans believe that companies must positively impact society
  • 77% feel a stronger emotional bond to purpose-driven companies
  • 66% would use products from a purpose-driven company than a non-purpose driven companies

Read Cone Communication’s full purpose study: How To Build Deeper Bonds, Amplify Your Message And Expand Customer Base.

When you’re looking to add purpose to your organization, utilize Community Health Charities’ extensive resource library, engagement tools to get your full team on board, and cause marketing solutions to involve your community.

Each year, more than 14 million children attend summer camp in the US. It’s a rite of passage for many, providing independence and personal growth. For children facing long-term health challenges, this life-changing opportunity builds confidence and helps children see beyond their limits rather than be defined by them.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance has provided four guidelines for supporting philanthropy camps—ensuring that your support is giving kids the chance to be kids, despite health challenges:

  • Search for specialization
  • Find qualifications
  • Ensure camps are licensed
  • See if they are trustworthy

Community Health Charities’ Camps For Kids cause supports BBB-accredited nonprofit partners working to give children in need a happy, healthy summer.

Whether you’re improving an existing employee engagement program or developing a new one, you know that there are countless “proven” strategies out there—Realized Worth makes it easy to know which ones are effective.

Realized Worth has compiled the top trends and mechanisms in employee engagement and corporate social responsibility. Utilize them when improving your company’s culture, and reference our Year-Round Employee Engagement Calendar and Tools For Engagement Guide when implementing.

Read the full Realized Worth article.

 

 

There are 20.4 million veterans in the United States as of 2016—how many of them are in your community?

This Memorial Day, support the members of your community that fought for you, your family, and all of us.

  • Volunteer your time. Host an at-home volunteer event using our Volunteer On The Spot Guide. Whether your team is assembling care packages or writing thank you cards, they will be making an impact on local veterans. Or, use the volunteer opportunity locator to find existing projects in your area.
  • Support Hero’s Health. After sacrificing and serving our country, our military veterans often need to recover from both physical and mental wounds. Nearly 1 of every 4 active duty military members show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or other mental health conditions. Support Hero’s Health to provide comprehensive health services for our nation’s military, veterans, and first responders.
  • Thank veterans and their families. Stop and say thank you to any veterans you know, whether they’re family or community members.

Should Starbucks have an open bathroom policy? Should Amazon support DACA? How should businesses respond to #MeToo?In today’s world, social issues matter. They are on the front page of every newspaper and social media site. Your employees are taking action and expect their company to as well.

  • 75% of US workers between the ages of 18 and 34 expect their employer to take positions on social issues affecting the country, such as civil rights, immigration, and climate change.
  • 84% of US workers believe companies have an important voice in proposed legislation, regulation, and executive orders that could affect the employer’s business or the lives of employees.
  • 75% of US workers expect their employer to support groups and individuals and need in their respective communities, either through donations and/or volunteer efforts.

If employee activism is a hot topic for you, then you won’t want to miss this year’s Employee Engagement Summit in NYC. Andrew Davis, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Coca-Cola, will talk about Tackling Today’s Social Issues and Igniting Employee Activism. A hands-on workshop Connecting Social Issues and Employee Activism with your Brand hosted by Best Buy will follow.

Register now for the 17th Annual Employee Engagement Summit June 27-28, 2018 to leverage employee activism in your business goals.

It has been more than one hundred years since President Woodward Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day as a national celebration. Long before that, however, President Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

Like the lengthening and warmer days of spring, another Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Serving breakfast in bed is truly a Mother’s Day classic. A bright bouquet of flowers and the expected card from the family are other time-honored traditions. There are countless other ways to convey the love and appreciation deserved by all mothers everywhere.

This year, however, I would like to suggest a new tradition, one that will be much more meaningful and long lasting: The gift of health and wellness. Heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death for women in the United States—and the most preventable.

Make health something you and mom do together with a few easy ideas you can start, just in time for the big day this Sunday.

· Take morning walks through the neighborhood. On Mother’s Day and at other gatherings, take a family walk to the park or playground.

· Make meals healthy. Grocery shop together and prepare healthy meals with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Consider creating healthier versions of your family’s favorite recipes or having the kids cook a special meal for mom. Start a small family garden.

· Give healthy gifts. If you do get Mom a gift, try a bowl or basket of fresh fruit, a fruit bouquet, or step counters for her and the whole family.

· Get regular check-ups, and keep each other accountable.

· Support women’s health. Donate to a nonprofit to support mothers and children, especially those disproportionately affected due to their economic status, race or ethnicity, and other factors outside their control—check our cause list for ideas. Volunteer your time. Donate your gently used clothing and household items to local organizations. Your whole family can participate (Mom included), or you can let Mom know you are taking action in her honor.

These simple tips can help make health and wellness a natural part of your family’s routine. Best of all, getting active and giving back increase happiness and boost mental health, so you can help others while improving your own health too.

Celebrate Mother’s Day this year by giving Mom—and the whole family—a gift that will last a lifetime: better health for all.

Utilize our health resources, opportunities to support women’s health, women’s health information, volunteer opportunities, and more to give mom the gift of health this Mother’s Day. 

This blog was originally published on BBB Wise Giving Alliance, our partner.When considering the value of implementing a volunteer program into your employee engagement and corporate social responsibility strategies, keep in mind the monetary value of volunteering. 

The history of volunteering in the U.S. is a long and generous one from helping out neighbors in barn raising two centuries ago to Habitat for Humanity and similar charities building homes today. And, of course, volunteering is not just about building structures but can address everything from delivering meals to the elderly to educating children. While the personal benefits and joys of providing this assistance are very real for participants, it can be difficult to quantify. There is, however, an estimated dollar value of a volunteer hour. This past week, Independent Sector, the national nonprofit membership organization, in conjunction with IMPLAN, a provider of economic impact analysis software, announced that the value of the volunteer hour in the United States is $24.69 per hour which is up 2.2 percent from the previous year.

As further noted by Independent Sector, 63 million Americans volunteer about 8 billion hours to a variety of charitable organizations. IS also produced a state-by-state chart of volunteer data that is available here.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance encourages potential volunteers to find out more about the charity before volunteering and visit Give.org to verify if the subject charity meets the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. In addition, we offer the following tips:

  • Consider what the charity expects of its volunteers.
  • Are you seeking a one-day offer of assistance or a continuing arrangement with the subject organization?
  • Keep in mind that the IRS does not allow you to deduct the value of your time as a donation, but travel expense such as gas and other incidental expenses might be deductible.
  • Charities can use volunteers in a variety of ways depending on the skills of the individuals providing assistance. Be aware that many charities need help with office work so don’t expect all volunteering is about delivering services to the needy.

Volunteers are usually welcomed throughout the year, so don’t wait until the holiday giving season before offering a helping hand.

When planning your organization’s volunteer program, check out our volunteer opportunity locator to find opportunities by keyword and zip code and our Volunteer On The Spot Guide to organize in-office volunteer events. 

If you aren’t measuring employee engagement, you should be. Skeptics complain that the data from employee engagement surveys isn’t fully trustworthy; any time you survey people, you have to look with a very cynical eye at the wording of the questions and whether the people surveyed believe their answers are truly confidential.

If you run employee-focused programs, however, it’s worth the effort to get to a trustworthy data set for employee engagement.

When I was at Wells Fargo, I worked with HR to correlate my volunteer and giving program usage with employee engagement data, which at that time was considered trustworthy. Through this, I learned a number of interesting things that helped me make a business case for investment in my programs. Among the things we learned:

  • Employees who donate or volunteer consistently return higher engagement scores.
  • Employees who volunteer with company-run events feel more a part of the team and think more highly of their coworkers.
  • Usage of the matching gift program did not correlate with higher or lower engagement, and in fact
  • Employees who were perpetually disengaged (low scores over a three year period) got the highest average donation match.

Furthermore, we went beyond combining basic program usage with engagement data; we cross-referenced program satisfaction surveys, and, in some business areas where management agreed to the research, we included productivity and profitability measures. We learned a number of important things from that research, but two things stood out to me:

  • Employees tend to follow their leader—if their leader volunteers and donates, employees in the workgroup tend to do so as well, and
  • Workgroups with high volunteerism and donor rates on average showed slightly lower short term profitability but had higher engagement, lower turnover, and better retention over time.

Obviously, your success may vary because every organization is different. It’s important to measure engagement, however, because until you have data that supports or refutes your beliefs, you’re just another person with an opinion. Once you have the data, you can investigate its meaning and decide whether you need to adjust your programs, change your approach, or keep your course steady.

 

Have you uncovered interesting or unexpected trends in your engagement and community involvement data? You can tell me, and pick up tips from leading practitioners, at the [email protected] conference in New York, June 27-28.

Peter Dudley is an author and nationally recognized expert in corporate social responsibility, marketing, and employee engagement. He’s worked the last 17 years in CSR running employee giving and volunteerism for Wells Fargo, where his workplace campaign was ranked #1 nine years in a row by United Way Worldwide. Before joining Wells Fargo, Peter held various roles in high tech startups, from Marketing Director to software development to community management.

Peter is honored to serve on the Community Health Charities national board of directors as well as the [email protected] Corporate Advisory Council, which he chaired in 2015 and 2016. He has also served on and chaired United Way Worldwide’s Global Corporate Leadership Council.

Peter lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the proud father of both an Eagle Scout and a transgender daughter. 

The NFL Draft is upon this month. NFL teams will carefully hand-pick college football standouts to join their rosters. The options are endless: bulldozing offensive linemen, polished quarterback, speedy wide receiver, etc. The teams will choose the player that best fits into their organizations.

Similarly, with Community Health Charities, YOU choose the causes YOU care about. Support children, women, veterans, or crisis response, and more. Or create your own unique cause with our Custom Cause tool.

Don’t fumble—the giving options are in your hands.