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Establish Dollars 4 Doers programs for an evolving workforce

May 17, 2023
A group of young professionals sit in a conference room and reference a poster board of graphs while exploring the four stages of their nonprofit's Data Maturity Model.

The definition of volunteerism is changing—what was once strictly defined as giving back now encompasses a broader spectrum of behavioral habits or acts of kindness. Think of giving blood, donating goods, or getting a booster shot—these are all ways of giving back, so why not incorporate them into your corporation’s volunteer activities to encourage employee giving?

A great way to incentivize participation in your expanded volunteerism opportunities is through a Dollars 4 Doers (D4D) program. By matching your employees’ efforts with a monetary donation, you’ll demonstrate that you recognize and appreciate their work to give back.

Programs like these are the perfect way to tap into employee purpose with action-based opportunities to support causes that are impacting society today. Leveraging a Dollars 4 Doers program that aligns with current events can significantly boost employee participation and create a sense of community. The awareness factor coupled with the ability to take immediate action makes these programs both appealing and accessible. 

Let’s dig into how to activate a Dollars 4 Doers program!

What is a Dollars 4 Doers program?

Dollars 4 Doers programs can take many different forms. Some common aliases for these programs include:

  • Volunteer Grants 
  • Matching Time Programs
  • Dollar for Hour Programs
  • Grants for Time Programs 
  • Team Volunteer Grants
  • Community Grants

Simply put, a Dollars 4 Doers program is a corporate giving initiative in which a corporation provides monetary grants to nonprofit organizations where its employees regularly give back. To establish a successful Dollars 4 Doers program, listen to your employees and figure out where they’re allocating their time and energy. Ask yourself:

  • What types of current events do they align themselves with?
  • Do they respond to natural disasters?
  • How do they typically give back to their local communities?

Once you’ve identified the causes your employees are passionate about, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to implement a Dollars 4 Doers program and show your employees you care about the causes they are dedicated to.

Why should you implement a Dollars 4 Doers program?

Companies that employ volunteer matching programs increase employee participation, deepen community impact, and demonstrate authentic support for causes that matter to their employees. Here are three reasons why you should implement a Dollars 4 Doers program:

  • Employees can make a difference in their communities and earn recognition for their efforts, even if they are unable to make a cash contribution. 
  • Employee grant programs provide brand recognition and greater visibility in the community—it’s great publicity! It can also help recruit employees. Studies show that 55% of employees would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if it meant a lower salary.
  • Companies can boost employee engagement. Employee-giving programs are proven to improve employee morale and create a healthier work environment. These benefits can increase workplace satisfaction.

Through your Dollars 4 Doers program, employees will see that you, as an employer, care about their interests and what they’re passionate about. This will lead to higher employee retention rates, further boosting your corporation’s image and reputation.

How does a Dollars 4 Doers program work?

Dollars 4 Doers programs are easy to implement for corporations of any size. They generally follow six steps:

  1. An employee gives back to a nonprofit or cause of their choosing. 
  2. The employee logs their actions within their employee giving portal. 
  3. The employee submits a request for a Dollars 4 Doers grant. 
  4. Once the action and nonprofit have been verified, the employer donates to the select nonprofit.
  5. The employer calculates the total “impact” based on the action and the match amount. 
  6. The employer can share impact numbers internally and publicly and encourage employees to share them on social channels.

While these steps are fairly generic, your corporation may want to define some specific guiding principles when implementing your Dollars 4 Doers program. Ask yourself:

  • What types of organizations would you consider eligible? For example, would arts and culture organizations be able to benefit from your program?
  • Is there a minimum number of volunteer hours required to be eligible for a Dollars 4 Doers grant? If so, what is that number?
  • What are the grant amounts per volunteer hour or threshold passed? 
  • Can action-based giving like donating blood or receiving a booster shot be considered?
  • Which employees are eligible to participate in the program (e.g., full-time vs. part-time)?

Keep in mind that part of the allure of such a program is its flexibility and its ability to create an impact on nonprofits as well as your employees. For example, in January 2022, Bank of America announced that it would donate $100 to a local food bank for every one of its employees who received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot before the end of the month. This created a positive impact on Bank of America’s employees and their local communities.

Broadening volunteerism with a Dollars 4 Doers program

By implementing a Dollars 4 Doers program for your corporation, you can make volunteerism more flexible and accessible than ever before. Since action-based giving can be done from anywhere, your employees will have the opportunity to participate regardless of where they are working from. This allows employees who might not be able to otherwise participate to take part in your company’s corporate philanthropy programs and helps you broaden the scope of your corporate social responsibility initiatives.

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    Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Volunteerism
  • Corporations
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Employee giving
  • Employee volunteering