By: Sarah D’Amico
It’s firmly established that cause partnerships can have a positive impact on employee engagement by giving employees an opportunity to support an important cause or social issue. Although economic unknowns on the horizon may impact the progress nonprofits have made, companies must continue to provide employees with opportunities to engage with the causes they’re passionate about. Here are a few ways we see cause partnerships shaping employee engagement programs this year.
Balance changing needs of younger workers
Younger workers are making up an increasingly higher percentage of the workforce. It’s important to them that the companies they work for take action around causes and issues they care about.
- Gen Z is expected to make up 27% of the global workforce by 2025 (World Economic Forum, 2021).
- Aligning with Gen Zs’ and Millennials’ values is key. Nearly two in five say they have rejected a job or assignment because it did not align with their values (Deloitte, 2022).
- 64% of Gen Zers believe companies have a role to play in addressing social justice issues. 93% of Gen Zers say if a company makes a commitment, it should have the appropriate programs and policies in place to back up that commitment (Porter Novelli/Cone, 2019).
Campaign Spotlight: How Hyundai Celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month
- Philanthropic Commitments
- Hyundai donated $25,000 to the TELACU College Success Program to increase the number of Hispanic and Latino first-generation students from underserved communities majoring in the fields of STEM and business.
- Hyundai Hope contributed to the AltaMed Foundation to support programs and resources providing mental health services to underserved communities.
- Amigos Unidos Community Work
- For a second year in a row, Hyundai’s Amigos Unidos ERG members volunteered their time and provided financial assistance to the community-based organization Project Youth OCBF in Santa Ana to keep at-risk youth in school, healthy and drug-free through education, counseling, mentoring and family strengthening.
- Latin American Museum in Long Beach Sponsorship
- Hyundai donated $14,000 to the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) Youth Art and Hispanic Heritage Programs and is sponsoring the Día de los Muertos community celebration and exhibit.
Involve employees in choosing causes
When it comes to choosing causes, companies are letting employees take the lead and digging deeper into why they would volunteer.
- Employees (79%) now outweigh the needs of the community (75%) and consumers (44%) in terms of the audience companies want to influence most with their cause activities (For Momentum, 2022).
- Many companies have started choosing nonprofit partners via employee nomination and voting or creating Employee Resource Groups focused on creating and managing charitable partnerships.
- Employees volunteer for different reasons, including helping the cause, enhancing their résumés, boosting business reputation or fulfilling a company mandate. As a nonprofit, take the time to listen to your corporate partner and their employees’ motivations.
Opt for turnkey activations
“The economy is also affecting how some companies are approaching their corporate philanthropic partnerships. One recent trend we’re seeing is that companies are hesitant to make the upfront commitments for partnership. To address this, some nonprofits are piloting new, lower giving levels to provide prospects with a taste of the partnership experience. We’re advising clients to offer low-lift, turnkey benefits—things like off-site collection, fundraising drives or inclusion in existing events—rather than create more work for staff. These low-lift benefits can be a great way to introduce your cause to new companies in a way that feels meaningful and rallies employee engagement.”
Turnkey activations are good for companies because they’re more accessible and economical. They’re good for nonprofits because they’re often built around existing events, making it possible to engage multiple partners simultaneously.
Campaign Spotlight: The Bristol Myers Squibb team rode more than 7,000 miles and raised more than $2 million to advance cancer research
- More than 350 Bristol Myers Squibb employees representing 23 nations successfully trained and participated in four regional bicycle rides collectively known as C2C4C.
- The 2022 C2C4C journey covered nearly 7,000 miles traversing mountain ranges and scenic plains in challenging rain, wind and heat. Employees cycled through Boudry, Switzerland; Princeton, New Jersey; Otemachi, Tokyo, Japan; and Pucon, Chile.
Partner toward meaningful impact
Nonprofits play a critical role in educating companies, especially key leaders, on community needs and what is involved in creating meaningful impact. For example, although most companies want to volunteer at a food bank during the holidays, the real need may be during the summer when children don’t have access to school-provided meals.
Campaign Spotlight: White Cap announces new corporate partnership with Arbor Day Foundation
- White Cap Supply Holdings, LLC announced a new corporate partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to support its mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.
- Through this partnership, White Cap will engage teams across the country to participate in planting their own trees provided and distributed through the Foundation’s Community Canopy program. In addition, White Cap volunteers and the Foundation will take part in an urban community tree-planting event that will be held next year in Atlanta.