One of our biggest philanthropic programs, now in full swing, is our annual employee giving program. Through our GIFT (Get Involved For Tomorrow) Campaign, U.S. and Canada employees can donate to almost any nonprofit of their choice and the company will match those donations. This year, Clorox has increased and simplified the match up to $2,500 for all employees. Previously, the match was $250 for most employees who participated and was tied to a number of factors. It was a complicated program to communicate and understand. This year, it’s a straight dollar-for-dollar match, whether someone gives $50 or $500 or $2,500, the company will match it.
The program has also become much more flexible. In prior years, most employees needed to make their pledges in October for the following year. We’ve upgraded our technology and now employees can make donations throughout the year and receive the match. If someone wants to donate to the food bank in February and support a friend bicycling across the country to raise money in June, they can.
We can do better than 60 percent
Last year, we had a record-high participation of 60 percent. Pretty inspiring, given this is a completely voluntary program where employees dig into their own wallets to participate. But we’ve also got our eye on that other 40 percent and the impact they can be making in their communities. We’re hoping this year’s upgrades will inspire even more employees to participate and use the match to double their giving.
The 2014 GIFT campaign raised $4.5 million and supported more than 3,500 nonprofits. Those funds can help lift up a lot of communities. It also benefits employees who can feel good about doubling their impact with the company’s match. And it benefits Clorox from a community and employee engagement perspective. Thriving communities and thriving employees make for thriving companies.
I’ve been helping with the GIFT Campaign for more than nine years, and with each campaign, there is always some new story from fellow employees about how they use the program and where they donate. Some organizations are large and well-known, some are small and unique to that person’s experience. For me, this open approach signals the company values and encourages the different interests and perspectives we all bring to the mix. I hope your company offers the same kind of opportunity.