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10 Charitable Giving Ideas Based on Moments That Matter for Employees

If the business of HR is to manage — and enhance — the employee experience, an understanding of Moments That Matter (MTM) may be one of the most critical tools the HR professional can add to their repertoire. The HR world adopted the term from the customer relations department, which refers to the moments in a customer's life when they are likely to make the decision to buy a product or service. In HR, it refers to the moments in an employee's life, both professional and private, that can most influence their feelings about their job and their employer. There are many ways to employ a Moments That Matter approach to employee management, but there's one that's often overlooked — incorporating it into the company's corporate giving strategy. Here's why you should, and some ideas of how your company can do it.

Moments That Matter — What It Is and Why It Matters

The idea behind the MTM management philosophy is that certain moments in your employees' lives have an outsize impact on their work satisfaction and attitude toward the company. Some of them are fairly generic — the job interview, their first weeks on the job, and promotions, for example. Others are more personal: an expectant parent, for instance, is likely to be influenced by how well — or poorly — HR helps them navigate the changes surrounding that milestone. Each of these experiences contributes to the overall employee experience with your company, and managing them well can play a big role in improving employee morale, job satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

Which Moments Matter?

As suggested, the answer to that question can vary from employee to employee. There is, however, some agreement on the most common moments, and suggestions for determining which moments matter the most to your employees. Gartner, Inc., an internationally respected HR consulting firm, lays out five types of moments likely to have the highest impact on employees in a recently published paper. They include moments that are:

  1. Emotion-generating: like personal anniversaries and life milestones.
  2. Scalable: have the potential to influence many employees.
  3. Frequent: happen many times over the course of a day, week or month.
  4. Business-aligned: moments that align with corporate strategy or culture.
  5. Critical talent-aligned: impact a specific population with critical talents in the organization.

Understanding which moments matter to your employees can help you create policies and procedures that acknowledge them and respond to them positively and positively. In order to do this, it's vital that you equip your HR department with the tools to identify important moments and respond to them with empathy and clear guidance.

Corporate Philanthropy and Moments That Matter

More and more research shows that employees care about working for a company that aligns with their values. They want to work for a company that makes them proud, one that takes corporate responsibility seriously (CSR) and that supports — or empowers them to support — the causes that matter to them. Many employees are motivated by a company's commitment to give back and are engaged by corporate giving strategies like donation matching, group volunteer efforts and community giveback days. When you incorporate MTM into your corporate giving strategy, you can exponentially increase the impact on both your employees and the causes they support.

10 Moments That Matter-Inspired Charitable Giving Ideas

If all of that explanation left you buzzing but still unsure how to combine it with your corporate giving strategy, here are 10 ways that you can use Moments That Matter to inspire, motivate and engage your employees.

1. Make Corporate Giving Part of Your Employee Benefits Package

The job interview is one of the first times your employee will have contact with the HR department. Use that moment to explain that corporate giving is part of your standard employee benefits package, and show them how you make it easier for them to support the causes that matter to them.

2. Celebrate Work Milestones With Charitable Donations

Instead of — or in addition to — recognizing work anniversaries or achievements with swag, offer a bonus donation to be made to the charity of their choice. If you're using the Groundswell platform, it's easy to simply add the appropriate amount to the employee's giving account. You can even set it up as part of the policies that administer the program.

3. Use Data From Your Employee Donation Programs To Help Identify Moments That Matter

Many employee benefits management companies provide data and feedback to your company that can give you insight into what matters to your employees. Use that data to help identify giving trends and refine your program to make it more appealing.

4. Reward Team Milestones with a Giving Stipend

Sure, go ahead and have that pizza party for the team when QA checks off on their work, but why not give them something even more meaningful — add a little something to their charitable giving stipend. You're being doubly rewarding by giving them the power to support the causes they care about.

5. Recognize the Employee of the Month with the Opportunity to Make a Difference

It's nice to get your picture in a place of honor when you're voted Employee of the Month, but you can do better by giving your EOTM a chance to do more good. It's easy to set up one-time additions to an employee's giving fund based on their designation as a valued employee.

6. Give the Gift of Giving for Birthdays

Birthdays are a classic personal moment that matters — and many people celebrate by making a donation to charity. Even Facebook recognizes that — their Birthday Fundraiser feature is one of the platform's most popular. Empower your employees to be more charitable on their birthdays by making a birthday donation part of their benefits package.

7. Mark Work Transitions with More Donating Power

Take the opportunity to recognize work transitions — the end of a probation period, a promotion to team leader, or moving to a new department — with a contribution to their giving fund. If the transition is a promotion or other permanent rise in the company structure, you can even make it a permanent increase in the company's charitable giving program.

8. Celebrate Personal Milestones With a Contribution

There's no better way to make employees feel valued than demonstrating that you notice — and care about — what's happening in their lives. In addition to standard milestones, such as weddings or a new addition to the family, you can also celebrate the achievement of a new degree or certification, closing on a new house, or being recognized by a community organization.

9. Share the Celebration of Company Milestones

It's common for businesses to mark milestones by making a donation to charity. Whether your company is celebrating Founder's Day, recognizing their 1 millionth sale, or marking the awarding of a big contract, let your employees share in the festivities by making a contribution to their donor funds to distribute as they see fit.

10. Extend Your Annual Holiday Bonus

Add a little something extra to your holiday bonus program — an extra contribution to their employee giving fund. Many employees celebrate holidays with a donation to their favorite charities anyway. Why not empower them to give a little more?

How Groundswell Helps You Meet Moments That Matter to All of Your Employees

The right software program can make it easy for you to match moments that matter to the unique interests and needs of all of your employees. Designing a corporate giving program can be challenging, with many factors to consider and incorporate. Groundswell is designed to be inclusive, private, and empowering. By putting the power to give into the hands of each employee, the platform eliminates many barriers to giving that are inherent in traditional corporate match programs.

  • Employees can donate on their own timeline, rather than during a specified giving period.
  • There are no complicated forms to fill out and have approved.
  • Charities get their donations all at once rather than having to wait for the matching part of the donation.
  • Employees can give to the causes they support without worrying that their donations will expose parts of their private lives they'd rather not reveal. You can read more about how the Groundswell platform helps make employee giving more accessible and welcoming to everyone in the blog Is Your Donation Matching Program Inclusive and Equitable? Probably Not.
  • The simple interface makes it easy for your company to respond quickly to current events that have a wide cultural impact and provides a way for your company to be supportive to diverse groups among your employees.

Of course, your company can — and should — support your employees' charitable efforts in other ways, as well. You can create moments that matter for your employees by, for example, sponsoring weekly, monthly, or annual team volunteer opportunities. The time spent building out playgrounds, repairing homes for seniors, and serving meals at a local food kitchen all have the potential to be part of the reason your employees feel that they matter, not only to your company, but to the community at large.

Final Thoughts

Moments That Matter is more than just a current HR trend. It reflects a long tradition in the HR field — one of philanthropy and benefit focused on employees and their needs. When your company recognizes the most impactful moments in the lives of its employees — and provides them with a way to recognize, celebrate and navigate them — you are strengthening the relationship between your employee, your company and the community. In short, everyone benefits. Learn how at Groundswell.

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