How tech can give back to its communities
The calendar year’s end is a busy time in the world of charitable giving. You may have donated to your favorite organizations during #GivingTuesday earlier this week, which netted more than $400 million last year. You may also be thinking of how else to help before 2019 ends.
Tech companies around Indiana are thinking the same thing. As active members of their local communities, these companies have taken it upon themselves to plug into areas of need and lend their support and expertise toward improving the places they call home.
New to company giving? Start here
With company cultures often extolling the virtues of serving your community, you may wonder: How can a company be most effective in giving back to its community and provide a fulfilling experience for its employees in the process?
Indianapolis-based OneCause, which helps nonprofit organizations build their comprehensive fundraising platforms, provided us with recommendations for leaders who are interested in engaging their employees and companies in philanthropy:
Empower employees to take an active role in fundraising.
Take your impact beyond the office by encouraging individual employees to reach out to their social networks to raise funds this season. You can create mini interdepartmental competitions or team up with other tech companies for a social fundraising challenge like Indy Tech Gives.
From scavenger hunts to physical competitions and head shaving challenges, you’ll be impressed by the employee creativity and teamwork when it’s for a cause they’re passionate about. It’s a great way to foster employee engagement and fun while creating meaningful impact.
Sponsor a corporate matching gift.
You can double the impact of your employee’s fundraising efforts by sponsoring a matching gift challenge with a donation on behalf of your organization. You can structure it based on a donation when a certain fundraising milestone is reached or center your efforts on matching any donations raised on a certain day.
Matching gifts can also be that extra motivation to get employees involved in fundraising. As a part of Indy Tech Gives fundraising challenge, Boardable decided to match all individual donations raised by employees the Friday before the competition ended to help the team reach their fundraising goal.
Create a culture of service and philanthropy throughout the year.
While the end of the year is an important time for charitable giving, take the opportunity this season to create a year-round program for giving back to the community. Whether that’s paid time off for volunteering, instituting monthly service projects, or setting aside funds for annual fundraising opportunities, make a point in your end of year planning to identify how your organization will support employee engagement and philanthropy in 2020.
Time and talent are equally valuable gifts
Philanthropy doesn’t only include monetary gifts—time and attention are equally valuable assets. Several organizations in Indianapolis are seeking the tech community’s support in this manner.
The United Way of Central Indiana’s poverty simulators continue to educate tech community members about the struggles endured by others around the city and state. Companies like hc1 and Schneider Geospatial have hosted simulators already, and Angie’s List has one coming up on December 9.
TechPoint Foundation for Youth is hosting its annual Hour of Code from December 9-13 and is seeking volunteers to visit Indy-area schools and instruct students in an educational workshop. While specific coding skills aren’t required, this program can be an exciting way for the coding enthusiast to help guide children toward a technical education track.
New tech partnership seeds philanthropic opportunities
Several Indy tech companies have adapted their spirits of innovation to philanthropy and convened a new partnership to help tech better address community needs. In the inaugural Tech Circle of Caring, Zylo, Sigstr and KSM Consulting—partnering with Sky Outfitters and Wheeler Mission—are organizing a food and donation drive. This partnership follows Zylo’s adoption of Pledge 1% and represents greater efforts to connect tech workers and companies with the places they work.
“The Indianapolis tech community is really just that—a community of people that support each other personally and professionally and the greater community they live and work in,” said Brad Brown, Tech Circle of Caring organizer and Zylo senior business development manager. “My hope is that the event will bring the tech workforce together as a larger team to support what Wheeler Mission is doing for the homeless in Indianapolis.”
The companies involved are housed right on Monument Circle in downtown Indy, making it a natural spot to host this event. On December 17, Tech Circle of Caring invites you to drop off donations on the Circle (especially these items). This event is another step toward involving tech companies more thoroughly with their communities’ philanthropic needs.
Whether you or your company donate money, give your time or offer your talent, you can find fulfilling ways as employees and employers to give back to your home and create a self-sustaining, forward-thinking philanthropic plan for effective giving.