A Roadmap for Giving Back: How to Empower Employees to Make a Difference

Corvias workers enjoying volunteeringIn today's corporate landscape, the value of giving back extends far beyond corporate social responsibility initiatives. In many companies, it embodies a culture where employees are empowered to make a meaningful impact in their community. In a survey conducted by America’s Charities Snapshot Employee Donor Research, 71% of respondents expressed the importance of working for a company that supports giving back and volunteering.

At Corvias, this ethos isn't just an ideal – it's a fundamental aspect of who we are. We believe in generously giving back to our communities and this belief is ingrained in our organizational DNA. Our commitment to fostering positive change extends beyond the communities we serve; it encompasses empowering employees to give back in ways that hold personal significance.

How to Incorporate Giving Back into Your Company Culture

Aligning with business goals

One way to think about defining a giving back strategy is to align it with the company’s vision. Doing so demonstrates commitment to your customers and helps bring additional significance to your employees.

Connecting your giving back strategy to your company goals helps provide a guidepost to ensure your giving back program is direct and impactful. For example, Corvias supports causes that support military families, education initiatives, and the environment. This helps keep our philanthropy aligned with how we want to grow as a company and amplifies the impact we want to have.

Ask your employees

Consider asking your employees how they would like to give back and try to incorporate at least one idea into the program design. At Corvias, our employees told us that they enjoy volunteering together as a team, but they also have their own causes that they’re passionate about too. Rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all approach to giving back, we encourage our team members to pursue causes that resonate with them personally, which manifested in our VTIME program. VTIME grants eight hours annually to each employee to volunteer during business hours.

Employee Using Power ToolsAccording to the 2022 Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose Giving in Numbers report, 84 percent of companies offer flexible scheduling or paid time off for their employees’ volunteer opportunities. VTIME not only allows our employees to give back in a meaningful way, but it also promotes a sense of pride in being part of a company that inspires community engagement. In 2023, Corvias team members used nearly 570 VTIME hours.

You may want to consider a donation-match program. The Corvias donation match program is popular at. For every dollar an employee donates to a non-profit, Corvias matches two dollars and is a force multiplier for employee-directed giving. If donation matching is something your company would like to explore, be sure to conduct a financial analysis to determine your program guidelines. 

You can start small and grow over time as you see increased impact for both your employees and your community! 

Identify your budget and work within it

Committing to giving back is more than an idea; it requires dedication, budget and strategy. It also requires employee involvement to drive accountability and participation. Developing a comprehensive program can help encourage employees to participate and show them that giving back is part of the company culture. A large budget isn’t a requirement.

There are many ways to launch giving back efforts within whatever budget you have. Getting started can be as simple as organizing an annual donation drive. Partnering with non-profits to sponsor or support their existing events and community efforts is another way to get started.

Whatever your budget, be sure to keep the following items in mind when developing it:

  • Staff time and benefits
  • Program marketing
  • Volunteer recruitment
  • Volunteer support and/or reimbursement costs

Incorporate volunteering and make it easy

Fort Liberty Team Gives Back

Volunteering offers numerous benefits as part of your giving back program, one of which is enhancing the overall wellbeing of your employees. A Journal of Happiness study found that volunteering can positively impact physical and mental health, alleviate stress, and experience increased life satisfaction. It can also help employees feel more empowered, help them build and develop new skills, enable them to work with and get to know other employees, and develop leadership potential.

Review and set goals for how you can grow the program

Like any part of your business, it’s important to set goals for your giving back and volunteering programs. Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely goals will help set the program’s direction, ensure that it supports your company’s mission, and help with volunteer recruitment.

Having goals will also allow you to track the progress of your giving back program. In addition to tracking volunteer hours, dollars donated, and organizations worked with, you can measure progress against goals to understand the level of impact you’re having in your community on a meaningful level, and where you can make additional improvements.

Acknowledge that the program and employee interests may evolve

Armed Forces Classic Cycling RaceWhat you start with now does not need to be what you end with in your giving back efforts. As your company grows and evolves, your employees may also shift their interests and priority areas of impact.

Allow for flexibility in your giving back strategy so you can change to support different community needs and philanthropic styles.

Values-Based Giving Back

At Corvias, giving back is part of the fabric of the company starting with our three Core Principles: Be the best place to work; Deliver the highest levels of service; and Generously give back to the communities where we live and work. When shown graphically, these principles are presented in a circle because they are equally important.

Through initiatives like the donation match program and VTIME, we work to raise up corporate philanthropy by empowering employees to contribute in ways that are personally meaningful, celebrate individuality, and drive impactful change. It's not just about financial contributions or volunteer hours; it's about connecting with causes that resonate with our values, helping our employees to love their work and community, and making tangible differences in the lives of others.