Becky Endicott and Jonathan McCoy from We Are For Good share the winning mentality for employee giving campaigns and the transformational stories they’ve witnessed along the way.
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Instead of the 100% model, appeal to the collective will!“If you're trying to create this culture, you stop obsessing about the percentage and you start obsessing about what's this experience that people are having. And are we giving that experience to the people that want to be involved?” Click To Tweet
We’ve all seen it, Casino Nights, Hawaiian-themed parties, Pizza Fridays… the employee giving campaigns can feel stale at best and forced at worst. But is there something more authentic and less pressure-driven that we can do to make employees truly commit to a cause with joy?
Starting from the inside out is something that doesn’t occur to most organizations when it comes to looking for donors for their charitable programs, but if we see it from a logical point of view, your staff should be your closest allies. If you get to them, then you are probably going to get long-lasting donors and most importantly, long-lasting supporters and believers to spread the word to everyone they know. The secret is to do this without guilting, pressuring, or making the employees feel like a number — and to that end, removing the emphasis on 100% participation and focusing more on impact and intrinsic motivation cultivation.
Based on this podcast conversation with Becky and Jon (and from my perspective having run multiple employee giving campaigns, including one that raised over $1M in multi-year commitments) the recipe to success lies in budgeted funds for meaningful engagement, clear communication, impact demonstrations, and peer to peer solicitations.
Employee giving campaigns
Treating your employees as if they are your most important donors is critical as if you hope they will stay with your organization, give when invited and most importantly, advocate for others to get involved as well. It is not about another obligatory song and dance of campaigning, confirming their gift in order to wear jeans on Fridays, and moving on. It’s about getting people invested in order to allow for that intrinsic motivation to grow for the long game: let them fall in love with philanthropy as a community, even more than just a place of work. Provide ways for them to express their “why” for working there and also giving. Let them see the impact of their support to the cause that they work tirelessly to support. Give them opportunities to have fun with it as well — this should be a sticky power moment, not a forced transaction. Thankfully, my friends over at We Are for Good are deeply experienced in successful employee giving campaigns, among other things such as storytelling, strategy and networking.
In this episode, I bring in Becky Endicott and Jonathan McCoy from We Are For Good, to share a fun conversation about employee giving campaigns, the transformational stories they’ve witnessed, and the winning mentality for nonprofit employee giving campaigns. Jon and Becky are experts. They pioneered an employee giving program strategy, framework and brand that has led to 10x growth of employee giving at the healthcare organization where it was first implemented. These core strategies have been applied and developed into an immersive consulting experience that has served dozens of healthcare organizations across the U.S. and Canada.
We Are For Good is a place dedicated to celebrating the power of philanthropy, and equipping this generation of nonprofit leaders and philanthropists with the mindsets, tools, and innovative ideas to make a bigger impact. Becky Endicott, Co-Founder and Chief Storyteller, started her career in philanthropy at the Oklahoma State University Foundation and worked for over a decade at INTEGRIS Foundation where she led teams in annual giving events, stewardship, major gifts, prospect research and campaigns. Jonathan McCoy, Co-founder and CEO at We Are For Good, has consulted on branding, marketing and fundraising for more than 25 organizations and served the sector as a front line fundraiser for nearly a decade as a Director of Annual Giving for INTEGRIS Foundation in Oklahoma City.
Jon, Becky and their wonderful Content & Production Manager, Julie Confer, and I became fast friends in 2020 and now collaborate on various projects from podcasting to fundraising advising to clubhouse co-hosting. Check out the interview of me on their show where I explained the 5 steps in making a successful solicitation. They’re truly kind, curious and capable humans whom I am grateful to know. You will hear the warmth and comfort in our voices as we discuss the topic of employee giving.
(06:23) – The secret sauce: How Becky and Jonathan build successful employee giving campaigns with authentic human connection and impact at the center.
(10:39) – Why you should be careful about the 100% participation model as a target.
(15:42) – How reimagining the volunteer structure of a campaign can push you beyond your engagement plateau: on recruiting co-chairs.
(21:31) – How charitable campaigns can help employee retention, happiness, and sense of purpose in the workplace.
(25:41) – What to do when someone doesn’t give: Becky’s strategies to inspire pride instead of guilt with creative recognition opportunities.
(34:13) – The power of the 5 dollars and how to shift your focus from money to engagement, stewardship, and storytelling.
Connect with Becky
Connect with Jonathan
Connect with We Are For Good
Jon and Becky are two Oklahoma business partners and friends who have 35 combined years of experience in nonprofit development. He’s the designer, she’s the writer, but they call themselves “marketers disguised as fundraisers.” They cut their teeth building Oklahoma State University Foundation’s inaugural marketing department whilst having some serious Imposter Syndrome that first year. While at OSU, they were able to set down the first roots of philanthropic storytelling via print, graphic and digital deliverables leading to the launch of the $1 billion initiative, Branding Success, which is Oklahoma’s largest philanthropic campaign effort to date. Their wanderlust for building something new led them to Oklahoma City for a nearly decade-long service to Oklahoma’s largest nonprofit healthcare system, INTEGRIS Foundation, where they led teams in annual giving, events, stewardship, major gifts, and built a ground-breaking employee giving campaign model that’s been internationally replicated by development shops around the world.
After dreaming of a full-fledged company aimed at empowering and equipping this generation of nonprofit leaders, We Are For Good launched in 2020 through their podcast of the same name. The podcast debuted as the #1 nonprofit podcast on Apple iTunes and host some of the industry’s most respected thought leaders as guests. But their favorite thing is teaching, and We Are For Good workshops bring the best thought leaders and innovative disruptors to our space to empower professionals to do more for their missions. They’re on a mission to reimagine conferences and webinars, to flip the donor pyramid upside down and rename our industry in their spare time:)