In the world of Social Impact this time of year (September – December) is known as ‘giving season’, as it’s when people’s generosity tends to be the highest. As an increasing number of people feel the financial pinch, this is the perfect moment for organisations to offer approaches that can amplify any contributions your employees make. Together, organisations and employees can have a bigger positive impact on the world around them.
Many people donate when they have the opportunity presented by their employer, and employees are increasingly holding themselves and others accountable for society’s most pressing issues. As a result they have an expectation that their employers will facilitate an opportunity for them to support the causes that are closest to their hearts. So, in addition to doing the right thing, offering purpose-focused programs is a big attractor to today’s talent. And it helps with retention too. Recent research from Benevity, shows that companies see a 52% lower turnover among newer employees when they participate in purpose-focused programs.
That’s exactly why we consider Social Impact work to be part of the People Strategy – the driving factor beyond large scale change is people, and the opportunity you present to your people to be part of a change that they are interested in works wonders for your employer branding, culture building and retention.
Spotify Gives Back Program
At Spotify, we’re committed to supporting initiatives that drive inclusion, equity, and belonging for everyone. For us, supercharging the charitable impact that employees can make during the giving season is one way where we foster a greater sense of community while driving impact.
In giving back, people feel they are part of something bigger, feel pride to work for a company that values purpose and helps them amplify their own personal giving. They also enjoy the freedom to support the NGOs that create impact on the communities and the issues they care about.
Through our ‘Spotify Gives Back’ program, employees can support their favourite nonprofit organisations and participate in company-wide community impact activities. Our program has three components:
- Impact Day: one paid day a year for each employee to volunteer at a nonprofit of their choice,
- Dollar for Doers: Spotifiers that volunteer with eligible organisations earn a donation for their service to the organisation, and
- Donations Matching: Spotify matches donations made to eligible charities either on a 1:1 or 2:1 basis.
This year, for Giving Tuesday, we created a global campaign that allowed all employees to participate in giving without having to use their own money. We seeded all full and part-time band members with $100 to support global or local non-profit organisations.
We partnered with our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) Community Groups (previously known as Employee Resource Groups or ERGs) to create a custom list of NGOs that are doing great work for their communities. Employees could donate directly to this group of pre-selected charities, and we also donated any seed funds that employees hadn’t actively donated to a specific charity to this group of NGOs. No wastage and maximum impact.
In addition, we matched all employee (non-seeded money) donations 2:1 on Giving Tuesday.
Global Volunteer Playbook
The most important element is that our employees feel a sense of belonging and pride in themselves and Spotify. For people-first organisations the focus is 100% on engaging your people, setting up processes and initiatives that allow them to have the biggest impact and evolving your approach to keep making it easier and better – not a PR game. Implementing this work through an HR approach enables a business to leverage the fact that people are the driving factor behind change on a large scale, and to allow you to highlight your values and company culture. As well as aligning initiatives to other important practices within HR, for example diversity, inclusion and belonging.
We’re so proud of the generosity of our bandmates and we’ll continue to evolve our employee engagement strategy to increase participation through our employee matching, volunteering and dollars for doers programs. The next step for us is to capture the success of this year’s Giving Tuesday work to launch a global volunteer playbook.