How to Start a Social Impact Program

In our partnership with Selflessly, we are looking at how companies can make a positive impact using their product, an affordable CSR Software solution for all teams, regardless of size, to engage with their team. This aligns well with WemanConnect, as we provide social impact strategies to engage employees with a social purpose!

Learning how to start a volunteer program at work can be difficult. However, with an employee champion and some help from Selflessly (through CSR software solution) and or WemanConnect (through implementing impact strategies), a successful employee volunteer program is easily in reach. 

They talked with Mfoniso (the employee champion), Director of gBETA at gener8tor, about their team’s decision to implement Selflessly in early 2021. Though the pandemic was still in full force and gener8tor has a largely remote team, they were able to put together an awesome and engaging launch.

We’ll take a look at how Mfoniso & gener8tor started their employee volunteer program and the success of their two volunteer days of service. Finally we’ll review their use of employee impact dollars as an example to further engage their team. 

How to Start a Volunteer Program at Work

Although the g8 team is based in Wisconsin, they have many satellite offices. This is due to the nature of their business — helping young companies grow through mentorship, resources, and connections. As with many teams today, they needed a solution that could unite all geographies. Through the Selflessly software platform, the company was able to encourage and expand their community outreach. This was a main driver in the decision by gener8tor (g8) to implement Selflessly. 

Review the current status

Selflessly asked Mfoniso, “What were your drivers in implementing an Employee Giving and Volunteer program?

He first mentioned that Members of their team were volunteering in their own domains. This is naturally great. Yet, as he was leading that effort, Mfoniso was looking for an easy way to aggregate the impact. Mfoniso did not know how many employees were volunteering, where, or even when they were going out.

Further, he was hopeful to collectively identify what his team was doing in each location. Something really challenging when a team has multiple office locations. 

Decide What Initiatives to Start

Beyond aggregating the impact that was already happening, Mfoniso wanted to encourage all employees to volunteer and support nonprofits they cared about. He wanted to be sure employees knew they had space to get out and support nonprofits. Without a volunteer platform, he found that challenging. 

Through Selflessly, employees can easily see that their company gives them the space to get involved. If you want to learn how to encourage employees to volunteer, it’s first important to allow time and space for each team member to do so.

Volunteering Example

A primary and “powerful motivator” was g8’s initiative to start their “2 Volunteer Days of Service” on Martin Luther King (MLK) & Indigenous Peoples Day. As mentioned, their team is a very distributed company already, and with the pandemic, many of their employees were remote this year. Even still, through technology, employees were provided virtual volunteer opportunities. 

A few corporate volunteer examples from gener8tor:

  • Selflessly CSR software solution helped provide opportunities that were most in line with MLK’s teachings an explore volunteering.
  • There was a lot more that they wanted to do with Indigenous Peoples Day to help underrepresented communities – Women, Hispanic.
  • They invited an indigenous woman, educator & subject matter expert and to thank her, they invited employees to make a donation in her name. 

In 2022, Mfoniso hopes to do more in-person volunteer opportunities and continue to build culture through their “2 Volunteer Days of Service”. 

Donation Example

A second initiative that gener8tor launched in 2021 is  the employee matching gifts. Through this function of the CSR software solution, Mfoniso was able to take part of the gener8tor company profits and use them for employee donations. 

Each employee sees a matching dollar amount in their account through Selflessly’s software. Then seamlessly, the employee can make 2-click donations and send double the impact to their nonprofit with the additional company dollars. This allows each employee to help make a greater impact through gener8tor’s help. A great example of engaging employees in giving back together.

Consider Tracking and Rewarding

The gener8tor team is excited to continue to expand their program in 2022. They didn’t start with any specific metrics or KPIs for 2021. That can be a great first step to start without expectation. See how the year goes and ask employees for feedback.

Then your team can plan for the following year. You can set goals for volunteering or team donation dollars. Each of these are items that can be easily set up and tracked within Selflessly.

Conclusion and Partner Highlight

A note on our partner — Selflessly creates and scales your organization’s purpose-driven culture. Selflessly provides all-in-one software and actionable data for your workforce. Donate, volunteer, match and create community impact – together. Reach out to us to learn more at — we can also connect you with the team at Selflessly!

In Partnership, please find the original posting from our partner at Selflessly here.

WemanConnect designs positive impact ideas and implements social strategic programs for tech companies to make a profit with social value. If you want to know more about how your company could make a profit with social impact, please contact us for a free consultation to make the change you want to see.