It’s that time of year when many companies and their employees make charitable donations and volunteer their time to support their local communities and causes they care about.
Recently, a member of the Rally Recruitment Marketing community asked for my advice about whether she should share on social media about a corporate donation they made. The HR team and the company’s leadership didn’t want to come across as bragging about the donation in any way. But at the same time, the donation came about at the suggestion of employees, so this practitioner knew it could be important to share with their talent audience to provide an example of their company’s values.
Here’s the email that I wrote back to her with my advice, which I hope is helpful to you as your company gets ready for the season of giving. As you’ll see, I think a corporate charitable donation could be an opportunity for employee engagement around a cause. In addition, it’s an opportunity for your company and your employees to bring value to the charity beyond dollars by also bringing awareness to them and their work through your collective social media reach.
Social Recruiting Strategy to Show Your Charitable Giving
I wanted to get back to you with my thoughts and some suggestions for sharing your company’s donation to [charity] on social media. I completely understand not wanting to come across as bragging about the donation. So I think it’s all about how you frame it, both internally and externally.
I would start first with writing out what is the story and the messaging you want to communicate. Based on what you shared with me about how this donation came about and why this charity was selected, here’s an example (of course, your messaging needs to be true):
- September is Hunger Action Month, and this is a cause that is important to [your company] because [answer, tied to your company values].
- As a virtual company with employees located across the country, we know that hunger affects every community.
- This year for Hunger Action Month, we’re supporting [name of charity] through a corporate donation and through the help of our team members to raise awareness for the important work that this organization does to [example of the work they do].
- So on Sept. 23, we’ll be using our social media channels and our employees will be using their social channels to shine a light on the importance of taking action to end hunger by wearing orange, and we invite you to join us in wearing orange and to use the [#Hunger Action Month hashtag] hashtag.
- Here is the information for how you can support the vital work that this group is doing: [a link to their site, be sure to tag them as well], or please consider supporting the local food pantry in your community to make a difference to help end hunger.
As you think through how you’ll share your support of this charity, there are several ways this can tie to your Recruitment Marketing efforts. By saying you are a virtual company and hunger affects every community, it gives you an authentic way to communicate that you’re a virtual company to candidates. I’ve seen some LinkedIn posts use the hashtag #remotework (there are others). You could say, even though we’re a #remotework company, we’re coming together virtually for an important cause. Using this hashtag will also help if candidates are searching / following this hashtag.
While your support of this organization has initially been through a corporate donation, I want to suggest that you also have a great opportunity to bring awareness to them and their work. Your company has a platform on social media that reaches hundreds of social followers. Your employees have their social networks which also reach hundreds of followers. So I actually think it’s your responsibility to also use your platforms to raise awareness of this important issue and to shine a light on the vital work that the charity does. In other words, this is why you are “promoting” your donation on social media. It’s because you are asking the whole company to participate in supporting this cause and this charity, and you can do a lot more than just giving money by raising awareness as well.
If you haven’t already announced your donation, I would do a social post right away – because all of September is Hunger Action Month – to let your social audience (and therefore, your talent audience) know what you’re planning to do. By doing a social post in advance, you’ll be informing people that this month is Hunger Action Month which raises awareness, and you could help your followers plan ahead to wear orange. You could even tag your #industry, and encourage everyone in #relevanthashtag to join with your team on Sept. 23 by wearing orange.
Then I recommend at least one post on Sept. 23 – ideally a post with multiple photos of your employees wearing orange. You could actually do several posts that day (I don’t think it would be too much), across all of your social channels. Always be sure to tag the organization and link to their site. Also tag your employees if they allow you to do so, to recognize their participation in wearing orange and thank them for raising awareness.
When your employees share their photos on their social channels, be sure to like, comment and reshare as appropriate.
Then I recommend doing at least one post after Sept. 23, before the month is over – a roundup restating why your company is supporting this issue and this charity and thanking your team members again. You’d be recognizing that so many of your employees came together around this important cause, especially since you all work remotely (mention that again), and that hunger is an issue all year along, in every community.
You might also make it a longer post with links to national websites with resources on how to help end hunger, and tagging other hunger-related charities. Going one step further, you could share posts from other hunger-related organizations throughout September with your social followers, to help bring awareness to their important work as well.
If possible, be in touch with the social team at the charity and ask them to like, comment and share all of your posts. They have their own audience of followers across social platforms, so this will help raise awareness of your corporate and employer brand too.
Another thought – how easy is it for you to add content to your careers site?
Because for the roundup post, you could include a link to your careers site culture page if you can add a section with photos of team members supporting the charity and wearing orange for Hunger Action Month. Then this gives you a “legitimate” reason to include a link that sends people to your careers page, so they can see how your employees participated. In the future, as you continue your charitable donations and employee volunteerism, this page can be a home to share those initiatives.
Remember that all your links (even links to the charity’s website) can be Rally Inside Links 😊 and then you can track how candidates engage with this type of content, and learn how you might improve your communications approach in the future.
So there was my advice and lots of ideas for how to show charitable giving in Recruitment Marketing. If framed correctly, and with a little planning, it’s an opportunity to engage your employees in the cause. You can use your collective social media platforms to help raise awareness for your chosen charity and shine a light on their important work, while also giving potential candidates a real example of your company’s values in action.
Of course, there are many approaches one could take, so I’d love to hear how you share charitable donations and corporate giving on social media. Send me your answers through our Contact Us page!