Author Archives: Amy Chait

About Amy Chait

Director, Market Development at YourCause

YourCause Blog Has Moved!

With the recent redesign of our corporate website, we’ve incorporated our blog into the website to provide our readers with more seamless experience and give us the chance to share more industry insight with you all. So, if you haven’t already, please update your bookmarks to http://csrconnect.me/easyblog.html and point your RSS feeds here. Be sure to comment on the blog and let us know what you think!

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YourCause Partners Recognized as Best Corporate Citizens

crEvery year we look forward to CR Magazine’s annual best corporate citizens listing and proud to see that our corporate partners are recognized! We would like to congratulate our clients and all the companies doing amazing work in the community.

To see the full “100 Best Corporate Citizens 2013” listing, click here!

YourCause and Dell – A Partnership Delivering True Impact

Today Dell has announced that their employees have volunteered over 700,000 hours in 2012 (which is nearly 70% more than the year prior). This is substantial for making an impact in communities, shaping the CSR industry as a whole and we get to proudly be a part of it.

Dell believed in YourCause when we were still the “new” guys on the block for employee engagement solutions (circa 2009) and vigorously worked with us to get our platform to not only meet their needs – but something that would enable us to develop global good as we establish more partnerships.

Our partnership is only a testament of delivering true impact through collaboration of expert engagement strategy and innovative technology. Our founder and CEO, Matt Combs, said it perfectly in the press release:

“Dell’s results are truly impressive and far exceed what we typically see throughout the industry. By no means does this come as a surprise to our team, as Dell’s programs and ongoing support of their employees continues to be the industry model for how to achieve results from employee engagement.”

So congratulations to Dell, their employees and all the nonprofits that have benefited from their service. Cheers to 2013 and creating limitless opportunity to make a difference.

To read the full press release, click here.

#TAKE3 with Network for Good [Holiday Campaigns]

Kate Olsen, Director of Partnerships at Network for Good, shares best practices for engaging employees, giving thanks and sharing corporate impact during the holiday season. Insights are inspired by their recent Holiday ‘Good’ Guide and can be downloaded here.

1) What are elements to consider for strategizing a holiday cause program that “fits” a company’s audience?

Start with your employees.  Your company’s employees are not only your biggest asset, but they are also your best brand ambassadors. A holiday cause program should always start with them.  What do they care about? How do they like to give back? Hopefully, you have been getting to know your employees’ preferences for giving, volunteerism and favorite causes through programs all year and can now design a holiday campaign that speaks to their passions.

Don’t overthink it (people are primed to give).  In the United States, we are conditioned to support our favorite causes at the end of December when the tax year ends. Year after year, the pattern is the same: a flurry of online giving activity spikes in the last few days of the year. Use that momentum to build excitement for your company’s campaign and then make it really easy for people to participate.

Make it heartfelt & meaningful.  A thoughtful communication from your company’s CEO can really inspire the rank and file employees. Such a communication shows employees that the leadership team cares about social impact and values all the contributions each employee has made all year.  There is something special about feeling that your individual generosity is adding up to tangible good in the community.

2) Since December is one the busiest months for giving, how can companies take advantage of this time to most effectively impact their business and the community?

December is a time to reinforce the commitment to cause your company has been making all year. Think about the partnerships your company has built with nonprofits.  Are there ways to showcase those partnerships? December is also a great time to be reflective and tell the story of impact you have made collectively with you employees and customers in the communities where they live and work. What are the stories you can share from volunteer projects or giving drives? Put a human face on the investment your company and stakeholders have made in the community.

3) What are easy ways for companies to creatively promote and communicate gratitude campaigns to stakeholders during the holidays?

Just say ‘thanks’. It’s that easy. Expressing gratitude can be one of the most powerful ways to acknowledge employees, customers and community partners. The end of the year can be hectic and many companies are already starting to plan for 2013. Take a moment to celebrate all the good and remind each other of the spirit of the season. You can send note of thanks via email to employees, post a thank you message on your Intranet, or ask employees to share their stories of gratitude on your blog.  In addition a heartfelt ‘thank you’, you can inspire further generosity through charity rewards or by inviting employees to give again as part of a holiday campaign. You can even lobby to swap out holiday tchotchkes for cause cards or extra grants to reward volunteerism and service.

#TAKE3 is a blog series dedicated to quick, yet insightful, takeaways for the corporate responsibility realm. Each feature includes an interview with an industry leader that addresses three questions on best practices and trends influencing the triple bottom line.

Missed the last #TAKE3? Click here to read past entries.

#TAKE3 with Joe Waters [Corporate Fundraising]

Joe Waters, author of SelfishGiving.com and Cause Marketing for Dummies, shares best practices for corporate fundraising and establishing effective nonprofit partnerships.

1) What key trends have you observed over the last year in causes, tools and strategies for corporate fundraising? What can we expect in the future?

Mobile, mobile, mobile. Mobile is the future of nonprofit marketing and fundraising. Our smartphones and tablets are becoming the remote control of our lives and causes will be closely linked with what people call The Third Screen (the television and PC were the first and second screens, respectively). For cause marketers like me, mobile means fewer in-store promotions and more promotions where people are and where they care. Both nonprofit and business brands will be focused on connecting deeply with consumers and mobile will be the conduit.

Further Reading: 4 Ways Nonprofits Can Get Started with Mobile (and 4 Ways They Shouldn’t)

2) What cause marketing campaigns do you find most effective, year-round or campaign-based?

Both can be effective. What’s important is that nonprofits work closely with their partner to choose a promotion and time frame that works for BOTH partners. Rome wasn’t built in a day. These year-long campaigns we admire and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars locally and millions of dollars nationally took years to develop. The important thing is to get started, but most nonprofits and businesses never do.

Further Reading: Getting Started with Cause Marketing

3) What best practices can you share for selecting a nonprofit for corporate fundraising programs?

A lot of companies gravitate to what I call “Garanimal” cause marketing. They look for a nonprofit that’s a “good match” for their business (e.g. A restaurant works with a food pantry, a real estate firm works with a housing charity, etc.). It’s not a bad first thought, but there are more important things to consider. One of them is the value the nonprofit brings to the businesses. Does the nonprofit communicate effectively with its supporters? Do they have a donor base that will support and reward a corporate partner? The essence of cause marketing is win-win. Believe it or not, it’s the company that usually short-changes itself.

Further Reading: How to Choose a Cause for Cause Marketing

#TAKE3 is a blog series dedicated to quick, yet insightful, takeaways for the corporate responsibility realm. Each feature includes an interview with an industry leader that addresses three questions on best practices and trends influencing the triple bottom line.

Missed the last #TAKE3? Click here to read past entries.

The Conference Board Webinar: Inspiring Employees, Inspiring the World

On October 31st at 1:00 pm EST, The Conference Board will be hosting a webinar that features Dell’s Director of Giving, Deborah Bauer, and YourCause’s very own Founder and CEO, Matthew Combs, to discuss how social media is empowering Dell’s global corporate social responsibility programs.

To learn more and register, visit here!

“This webcast should be of interest to corporate leaders, practitioners and thought-leaders focused on business and social impact, corporate contributions, corporate foundations, community relations, community involvement programs, corporate citizenship, employee engagement, volunteer efforts, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder and non-profit partnerships, public affairs, and corporate communications.”

Empowering Global Employee Volunteers (Successfully)

Global programs are one the main challenges for multinational companies and our team progressively works with clients to make it a reality.  CECP recently released their Giving in Numbers: 2012 Edition and provided interesting insights where international volunteerism stands.

According to the report, 47% of companies have at least one formal international volunteer program and listed the three most successful international employee volunteer programs:

  1. Company-Wide Day of Service
  2. Employee-Volunteer Awards
  3. Paid-Release Time

We were fortunate to work with Liberty Mutual this year to launch their global two-day “Serve with Liberty” campaign to celebrate their 100th anniversary that turned out quite successful. Company-wide days, weeks, and months of service are definitely trending among our clients and other global leaders. They serve a great purpose in engaging employees in corporate culture, team-building with colleagues and giving back to their local communities.

There’s nothing better to see the impact in action, below is a video of Liberty Syndicates staff participating in the two days of service.

Serve with Liberty 2012 from Liberty Syndicates on Vimeo.

For more ideas or examples for global employee volunteer campaigns, below are additional videos showcasing employees in action:

Starbuck’s Global Month of Service
UPS’ Global Volunteer Month
Ford’s Week of Caring
Levi Strauss’ Community Day
Timberland’s Serv-a-Palooza
Eli Lilly’s Day of Service
Kraft Food’s Delicious Difference Week

– Amy Chait