6 Roles to Ignite Employee Giving
A few posts ago, I shared the framework we use to build the infrastructure of a successful employee giving campaign (if you missed it, check out here: The Billionaire's Guide to Employee Giving Success) by focusing on the 3P's: People, Projects and Process.
Today I wanted to double click on the People aspect of the 3P's and walk you through steps you will want to take to maximize your volunteer efforts. If you've read my Good Manifesto - you will know my philosophy that people are at the core of it all - and we should be intentional in how we serve, steward and activate on those relationships. Your hospital's people are the heart and soul of employee giving - and by harnessing their engagement to play specific roles in your campaign you are setting up the framework to reach your goals whether it's your ability to grow engagement, participation or dollars raised. It all starts by growing your engaged volunteer bench.
So, are you ready to level up your campaign volunteer plan? Here's some next steps:
1. Map Your Organization
Before you start your plan of attack - it's important to understand the size, scope and nuance of your organization. Even if you have been around the organization for years, it can be so helpful to track down a current org chart and some simple data points from HR to make your planning efforts easier. You want to gain an understanding of where the people are physically at your organization. What are the different locations and how many employees work at each? What departments are found at each location? And how many employees work within each? Are there areas of your hospital that are represented as a fundraising project within your campaign? (Hint: you can mobilize these people at an a deeper level!)
Pro Tip: If you already have an established employee giving campaign you can take this another step further by laying your donor information alongside the departmental lists to gain an understanding of where your greatest campaign engagement is currently and what areas/departments represent the greatest areas for growth.
2. Scale Your Volunteer Plan to Match Your Organization
Now that you've got an understanding of how your organization is setup - we want to devise a volunteer structure that mimics and maximizes coverage to your organization.
We use a framework of four core volunteer roles and two project-based roles that we recruit to ensure we have a volunteer bench that matches the footprint of our organization.
Each volunteer role has a specific job description, and we are intentional to train, equip and empower each volunteer for success. Here's a quick look at these roles and a recommended number of people to recruit based on your organization's size.
CORE VOLUNTEER POSITIONS
Campaign Chair(s) - Hospital leader(s) who rep the campaign to their executive peers. (Recommended: 1-2 executives)
Campaign Coordinators - Working volunteers who coordinate campaign efforts for a specific hospital or entity. Leads local ambassadors. (Recommended: 1-2 per hospital or entity)
Campaign Ambassadors - Frontline of the campaign efforts. Share, inspire, solicit and make the campaign relevant to their department. (Recommended: 1-2 per department, per hospital or entity)
Campaign Volunteers - General staff who just want to help! Use for stewardship, booths, rounding and other campaign efforts. (Recommended: turn no one away!)
In addition to these core roles, we engage another layer of volunteers around the fundraising project selection and stewardship process. Adding these roles has deepened our culture of philanthropy by bringing more people into the fundraising process - and growing their belief in the foundation's purpose and mission.
PROJECT SUPPORTING POSITIONS
Project Champions - Clinical staff who identify fundraising projects, steward project donors and implement projects on time/budget. (Recommended: 1+ per project)
Physician Champions - Physician(s) who support a project and reps the campaign to peers. (Recommended: 1+ per project)
3. Create & Share Expectations
Now that you have a plan for who you want to recruit - it's time to get crystal clear on the expectations for each of these roles. Our belief in the recruitment and training process is to appeal to both the head and the heart. So this means we make sure to interlace both aspects of the campaign's impact into our volunteer role on-boarding experience. Sharing a simple job description with key responsibilities and key dates is helpful in clearly articulating your expectations from the beginning.
4. Engage, Motivate and Activate Your Bench
As you recruit and onboard your volunteers - be sure to capture their preferred contact information (so many would rather be texted these days!) and make a series of distribution groups so you can easily reach out to them throughout the campaign. There is enough nuance for each volunteer role that it's worth the effort to reach out a minimum of weekly during the campaign to remind them of their top priorities, share FAQs, provide inspiration, motivation and recognize the people who are rocking it!
Recognition is so important - it demands its own bullet. In fact, recognition is a secret sauce to boost engagement. The Harvard Business Review reported 40% of employed Americans say they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often. So more than just making your volunteers feel good - being intentional to recognize your volunteers for their efforts will lead to more campaign energy. And more energy leads to more participation, engagement and fun!
Don't forget... Play the Long Game
It can be overwhelming to mobilize an army of volunteers for your employee giving campaign - especially when you are just getting started - but remember this: It doesn't have to be perfect in year one. Adding layers of volunteers is going to bring about new challenges and new opportunities for growth every year - so its so helpful to have the right expectations about how long it can take for these roles to be refined and really take flight. With employee giving, it always pays off to play the long game.
Want to dig deeper?
Take our immersive online course that teaches our complete framework for running a best-in-class employee giving campaign - explore our EGC Masterclass to learn more.