This week we were excited to speak with RingPartner, winner of the Community Champion Award at the 2019 VIATEC awards. According to Gail Gregerson, Director of Marketing & PeopleOps, “philanthropy is baked right into [their] company culture.” We asked Gail what makes their company’s employee volunteer program so successful.
RingPartner and Employee Volunteering
Tell me a little bit about philanthropy at RingPartner?
One of RingPartner’s core values is “Be REDiculous”. Red is one of our brand colours and this concept also represents our drive to cheer on our community, celebrate both the big and little wins, and is a nod at our penchant for puns. Our team members get energized when they can see the impact of their efforts in the community.
How do you engage employees in giving?
We’re lucky to have a really engaged team. We often survey the team to get their input on activities and organizations they want to see RingPartner get involved in. Team members often champion their passions and solicit support from coworkers. This type of enthusiasm is infectious, and our team members enjoy friendly competition. Getting involved in community activities like the VIATEC Food Bank Challenge is a fun way to host lively competitions and work towards a good cause at the same time.
Why did you develop a volunteer program in the first place? What did you initially hope your program would achieve?
When we ask people to participate in a charitable activity, we make it optional and present the context as to why the company is supporting that particular cause. For example, when we participated in Lawn Summer Nights the last few summers, we hoped we could achieve two things:
- Support a good cause, in this case the cure for Cystic Fibrosis
- Provide an extracurricular activity that would foster teamwork.
The benefits end up being much more than just those things, and served as springboards for ideas for future fundraising activities, gave team members the opportunity to get to know each other in a different setting, and showcased how their fundraising efforts had an impact on the CF community.
Are employees happy with the charitable activities at RingPartner?
A recent engagement survey showed that team members were overall quite satisfied with the charitable activities the company is involved with each year. A big piece of this is how we promote engagement internally. Through Lunch & Learn activities to assemble care kits or brainstorm fundraising activities, and fundraisers like our go-to Booze Draw, we make it fun and easy for people to be interested in the work we’re doing for our community.
What would you recommend for other tech companies who are looking to build their own employee volunteer program?
Talk to your team! Find out what charities and organizations they are passionate about, and then seek out opportunities to get involved.
Do you face any challenges with your current community initiatives?
We’re constantly keeping our ears to the ground to find out about organizations that need the support of the community in case it’s something for which we can lend our support. We do our best to reach out to organizations that our team members are passionate about to find out if we can help. But we’re definitely missing out on other opportunities that we simply aren’t aware of — yet!
Is there anything else you’d like to share ?
If charities or organizations want a business like RingPartner to support their cause, we hope they reach out to us to spark that connection. A simple email with a pitch for how our team could help them is always appreciated and encouraged! Even if we can’t make it work, we will do our best to connect them with another community member who can help drive it forward.