A big part of what we do at Chimp is to help companies find creative, meaningful ways to engage their employees in charitable giving. We wholeheartedly believe that integrating giving into the workplace has a wide range of benefits — and we have experienced those benefits firsthand.
For years, Chimp has been matching team members' donations and volunteer hours up to $100 per month, allowing staff to double their impact for causes they care about. To give “Chimpers” even more opportunities to make a difference, we recently added another charitable program: the Chimp Community Fund.
Fostering Creative Giving Ideas
“Chimp has committed to a budget per quarter for employee giving. We want to make sure we honour that commitment. And we want to encourage people here to come up with unique, creative ideas to give back,” says Client Success team member, Christine Smith, who volunteered to coordinate Chimp’s community fund.
Here’s how the community fund works:
- Every three months, money that hasn’t been used up through Chimp’s employee matching program goes into the fund — which usually comes to roughly $10,000 per quarter.
- Chimp employees can apply for a grant benefiting a cause or charity close to their heart.
- Proposals are then assessed by a volunteer-run internal committee, and - if approved - charitable dollars are made available through Chimp.
Since the fund's inception in April 2015, $24,900 have been allocated for 17 employees to use for matching, fundraising, peer-to-peer gifts, and much more.
“We usually assess proposals based on alignment with Chimp’s ambition and mission, how much a grant empowers the beneficiary, and how unique the idea is,” Christine says. “So far, we've had some really amazing ideas.”
Name: Jennifer Sing, software developer
Grant: $3,000 divided among the 24 classrooms at her kids’ elementary school to give away. Each class selected their own charity, which included the SPCA, BC Children's Hospital, and Make a Wish Foundation.
Jen: “It's important for kids to realize that some people don't have as much as them, and that they can impact the lives of others. The selection process made the students talk about what charity is, and what causes are important to them.”
Name: Jeff Golby, business development
Grant: $1500 were gifted to young moms undergoing counselling, job training and life skills coaching for them to give away. Each young mom received 200 charitable dollars to support charities that mattered to them.
Jeff: “It was awesome to see how easily and quickly these women knew what in the world they wanted to see changed, who they wanted to support — and to see them empowered to give substantial money away for the first time in their life.”
Name: Liz Field, project manager
Grant: $1,000 used as a match for a garden party fundraiser benefiting Creative Life, a community arts initiative engaging marginalized youth in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.
Liz: “It's really encouraging to work for a company that supports the things I care about, and wants to make my impact go further than it could on my own. That's real support to me: coming alongside me and saying to me 'We're with you!'"
Giving Back At Work: “From an employee engagement point of view it just makes sense.”
An important aspect of Chimp’s Community Fund is to let people decide where and how they want to give.
“From an employee engagement point of view it just makes sense,” says Christine. “People like to work for places that are charitable, and they want to decide where they give. It just feels a lot more meaningful, and people want to be meaningfully engaged at work.”
Research backs her up. According to the Cone Millennial Cause Study, 69 percent of millennials report that working for socially responsible employers instills a sense of pride, and 64 percent say it strengthens their loyalty to the employer.
“People are really engaged and have really embraced the idea of a Chimp Community Fund. There hasn’t been a quarter where we had any money left over. Usually it’s the other way around: people request more than we have at our disposal.”
Ready to get your own community fund going, or maybe you’d like to explore other workplace giving ideas? We can help! Give us a call at 1-877-531-0580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.