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How today’s top leaders weave giving back into their company’s DNA Featured

How today’s top leaders weave giving back into their company’s DNA "Brindar siempre lo mejor de ti."

Consumers’ identities and values are increasingly shaping how companies operate. Seventy three percent of Gen Z only buy from brands they believe in. “Not only are consumers increasingly loyal to brands that support causes they care about, but they’re also less likely to buy from those that don’t,” according to Business Insider's latest Global Trends Report.

People remember and look up to leaders who show up and take action thoughtfully not just for their shareholders, but also for their employees and community. So while building a full-fledged CSR strategy sometimes takes months, the next generation of top leaders is invested in building social impact directly into their business model from Day One. Here are a few focused ways your company can, too:

  1. Commit to giving back and join the 1% pledge

Pledge 1% is an innovative way to allocate a portion of your business’s future profits to support social impact causes. According to a corporate giving survey commissioned by Benevity, 78% of employees said they are more likely to work for an organization that provides transparency into how the company allocates its charitable donations. With Pledge 1%, you can commit to giving 1% of your time, equity, product, or profits. It’s a small but significant way to make giving back a priority.

  1. Inspire generosity with a matching gifts program

Nearly two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies match employee donations to eligible nonprofit organizations. Does yours? It’s an easy and effective way to support nonprofits to grow and reach more people in need, increases the impact of your corporate social investment, and demonstrates alignment between your company and your employees. If your company does not have a match program, consider building one today.

  1. Meaningfully engage with volunteering opportunities

At Watsi, we host virtual “Volunteer Power Hours” with companies like Airbnb and Medtronic where teams come together to volunteer their time to write the stories of patients in need of healthcare around the world. Organizations also can offer time off for volunteering or donations to nonprofits where your team members dedicate their own time. It’s exciting to see companies celebrate wins, like milestone donations or volunteer hours collected, together as a team. Leading companies like Atlassian offer Volunteering PTO or “VTO”. All of these efforts not only help boost a company’s brand as a great place to work but help attract and retain top socially-conscious talent too.

  1. Be purposeful with in-kind or unrestricted support

The pandemic had a significant impact on the nonprofit industry, ultimately most impacting communities that are least equipped to withstand challenges. Combined with this year’s economic downturn, cutting back on corporate giving saw many nonprofits struggle. But companies like re-evaluated their strategic investments and actually expanded their philanthropic giving. Tech leader Chris Federspiel, CEO and founder of Blackthorn, reached out to Watsi asking, “How can we help?” Along with joining the 1% Pledge, Blackthorn allocates $3,000 every month to directly fund healthcare for patients on Watsi. Being able to count on their consistent support all year long has helped Watsi focus on the biggest strategic efforts that are needed to build a healthier world for all.

  1. Celebrate teams and milestones with meaningful gifts

We know every dollar spent is absolutely essential right now for businesses around the world. There isn't a more meaningful way to celebrate your partners, clients, or employees than teaming up with charities or sharing gift cards from a nonprofit to support their cause. Instead of other, more traditional swag items like clothing or branded drinkware, a contribution to a nonprofit can be a much more meaningful bonus.

  1. Build a culture deeply rooted in giving back

Whether it’s your company’s 10th anniversary or a birthday or any other team celebration, consider starting an internal campaign supporting your favorite nonprofit and hosting a fundraiser. For example, Global Giving allows companies to launch a fundraiser in minutes. Here's more inspiration from LinkedIn employees hosting a fun St Patrick's Day fundraiser at work that you can now also host virtually.

Whether you are a big company or a small local business, anyone anywhere can do good. It’s a practice and muscle that we can each learn to flex more and more. The best leaders are doing this from Day One and inspiring others to join in too.


Mackinnon Engen

Mackinnon is the Executive Director at Watsi. She has a passion for helping people and organizations come together to tackle complex challenges and create measurable, and sustainable impact. You can meet her here.

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