Ben & Jerry’s has always been a company that gives back to its community. But being known for being a generous company can have its downfall if you do not have a streamlined process in place. Due to so many requests for ice cream and donations, the company had to shut down their corporate giving for a time. They later reinstated it with a better process in mind: Givily. In this article you will see and read about the results!
About Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s is a company that believes in giving back to its community. It was founded on and is dedicated to a sustainable corporate concept of linked prosperity. It is their goal to make, distribute and sell the finest quality all natural ice cream and euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating nutritious, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment. As a result, in 1985 the company created and opened the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation opened in 1985 and focuses on furthering social justice, protecting the environment and supporting sustainable food systems.
Unfortunately, being a generous company started taking its toll since there wasn’t a streamlined process in place for keeping track of their donations.. In fact, the employees and leaders of the company became so inundated with requests for ice cream and donations, the company had to shut down their corporate giving for a time. Partnering with Givily helped Ben & Jerry’s get back to giving back.
How Givily Helped
Givily is focused on helping local communities by partnering with community focused businesses like Ben & Jerry’s. The unique software system that the Givily team puts in place helps companies get back to doing what they do best by:
Streamlining the corporate giving process.
Organizing responding to requests so more donations can be approved.
Aggregating the data in one place so businesses can stay organized and efficient.
They reinstated their corporate giving in a streamlined and efficient way.
An estimated 199 hours saved in labor using Givily.
Telling the story of Ben & Jerry’s Giving internally. They boosted employee morale and pride for their workplace by sharing their giving data and story internally.
Every applicant receives a response in a timely manner, building a better rapport with customers.
But don’t just take our word for it, listen to theCheck out this interview with Julie Mclaughlin, Ben & Jerry’s Brand Specialist, below.
How To Talk About Your Corporate Giving Without Sounding Braggadocios
By Amy Kauffman
I have engaged in countless conversations with companies wondering if they should/should not share their charitable giving impact stories. What follows is typically the reason for their hesitation. The biggest reason I’ve heard for not sharing these amazing stories is for fear of sounding braggadocios. This is a healthy fear. Words are powerful and they can bring people closer to our brand or drive them away. In this article i’m going to attempt to convince you why it is so important to share your stories and how to talk about corporate giving.
I’m going to assume we all want to draw people closer to our brand.
3 Reasons You Should Talk About Your Corporate Charitable Giving Stories and “Accomplishments”
People love great stories.
We are inundated with heavy news daily from the media and are desperately hoping that there’s something lovely still going on in the world. When we read a beautiful and touching story in the midst of our day it rejuvenates the hope we have inside. If we have the stories that will make people’s lives more enjoyable, shouldn’t we share them?
Being humble and quiet might cost you.
Especially with the millennials entering the market by storm. Millennials are so focused on engaging with brands doing good in the world that if you’re not talking about the good your brand is doing in the world, millennials will buy from your competitor who IS talking about the meaningful work they’re doing.
Goodwill stories reveal the true nature of your brand.
When we share stories about our engagement with community organizations or individuals it helps the market see that we’re not just a machine producing products and services, but rather that we are a living breathing brand held together by people with souls and brains just like them. It allows people to connect with our brand in a very personal way.
After considering these three points, you’re probably more convinced than ever about sharing amazing stories around the charitable giving work you’re doing in the world, but how? How can you talk about corporate giving without sounding like you’re bragging?
Millennials are so focused on engaging with brands doing good in the world that if you’re not talking about the good your brand is doing in the world, millennials will buy from your competitor who IS talking about the meaningful work they’re doing.
6 Ways to Share Your Brand’s Accomplishments Without Bragging
Here are 6 ways you can talk about your most interesting corporate giving stories without sounding like you’re bragging:
1. Express Gratitude
Share a story of your charitable giving efforts and their impact and couch it in gratefulness. It is as simple as that. Start with appreciation, share the story of your work and what was accomplished and end with another statement of appreciation.
Here’s how that looks:
We had the privilege of sponsoring __________ last week.
We were grateful to partner with such a great community organization and provide manpower to their already potent team. Share appreciation for being part of the work, working with great people, having willing volunteers from the company with great attitudes show up to do hard work etc. This automatically seems like you’re sharing a story on behalf of more than just your brand. You’re telling the story as an appreciative partner in the work you were invited to join.
2. Express A Sense Of Wonder
In the case of sharing of sharing a huge accomplishment by your charitable giving efforts, pretend you are hearing the story yourself for the first time. What would you say in response? “Wow!” “I can’t believe so much was accomplished!” Here’s how that looks:
We were able to donate $$___, which was twice our initial goal. Our team was so responsive to the needs. We are still in shock ourselves!
We had no idea the outcome would be this amazing! Only use a sense of wonder if it’s genuine, but it can be a strong statement of humility and relatability.
3. Use Humor
Humor is a great way to share an amazing story without being perceived as braggadocios. People love humor! Here’s how that looks:
We supplied XYZ Non-profit with 10 workers for two days to accomplish the painting of the entire [nonprofit] facility. If we were smart we would have sent 20 employees over and tackled it in one day, but we didn’t catch on quick enough!
We were excited to support the [nonprofit] 5k race over the weekend! We’d like to say that our staff are shining running studs. Not so much. Good thing our money supported the work instead!!
4. Keep It Brief
Keep a running list of happy charitable impact stories that are bite-sized. Little sound bites and social media posts that you can use at random without coming off as overly polished with a huge strategic agenda. It’s relatable. That’s how people post about their own life… Little sound bites about goings on. Mirror that concept with your brand’s goodwill stories. Here’s how that looks:
6 of our employees volunteered Friday with our favorite local animal shelter, [Shelter name]! We may or may not have a few new pet owners too. 😉
At a team meeting the other day, we decided to support the most recent hurricane victims with XYZ. Our deepest care goes out to you!
5. Allow It To Be Personal
It’s great to tell stories from your corporate brand, but sneak in personally written employee stories now and then. Let an employee carry your brand through a story. People want to know the people who work for your brand and this is a great way for that to happen. Your employees can share first person accounts of their volunteer experiences with so much more passion! Here’s how that looks:
● Hi, this is Jane, from [Brand]. I hijacked our social media today because I had an amazing experience last week I want to share…..Jane shares story of how your brand’s giving impacted her – whether it was volunteering at an event, being an event sponsor, dropping off a donation on site to a nonprofit etc.
Brands are ultimately made of people. Let them shine through the corporate face.
6. Get A Talking Partner
Some of the best PR can come from a complimentary peer brand who spotted you doing great work in the community. You can do the same for them. Instead of bragging about your own charitable giving work, you boast about another brand’s work. And they brag about yours. Third party bragging is totally acceptable and relatable.
Here’s how that looks:
● Make an arrangement with another brand sponsoring the same event that you’re going to talk up the other brand on social media…and then you can post it on your social media with a note that says, “we’re blushing at what [partner brand] says about us!”
I hope the reasons, tactics and examples given were enough to inspire you to create your own versions of ways to talk about your charitable giving.
We need your stories in the world and we want to love your brand even more. Please tell us why we should through the stories of your amazing charitable giving work!
Givily is great at is making your charitable work more simple…streamlined, trackable, and reportable!
If a better charitable giving management system piques your interest, or you’re interested in having a consultation on determining your best impact and measurement, email us at email@example.com.
4 Tips for Your Company’s Charitable Giving During COVID-19
I don’t have to tell you that COVID-19 has drastically interrupted our way of life. People all around the world are being affected physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally but it isn’t just an individual problem. It is also putting a strain on our businesses, homes, and communities. Everyone is in this together but not everyone is going through the same storm. As a business owner, you may be feeling the need to step back from your typical giving programs. But as a significant part of your community, your continued giving could benefit everyone. There are many creative ways to give back and not all of them include physical money out of your pocket. Giving during COVID is extremely important. Here are four tips for your company as you give back to your community during this historic time.
1. Donate to nonprofits helping to respond to COVID-19
Uncertain times are creating more needs for everyone but even more so, for vulnerable populations that nonprofits serve. There are new needs that are arising each day and nonprofits are now under even more financial strain. The increase in needs across the community requires more resources that nonprofits don’t have. Additionally, the donors and volunteers that regularly support these organizations are also facing hard times and fear for their safety. Many nonprofits are also having to cancel or postpone most of their usual programs and fundraising events out of concern for public safety. All of these factors leave nonprofits, who have limited financial reserves, to begin with, in a difficult spot.
So how can you help?
If you are in a financial position to do so, you should consider making a donation to a nonprofit organization that is helping make a difference during this crisis. These organizations are serving the most vulnerable populations and will be most affected by the virus’ spread and the associated economic impact. All nonprofits will need your help during this time so if you’re able, choose one or a couple that support causes you are passionate about. Giving during COVID is not just financial. it can be done through volunteering your time or even expertise as well.
2. Volunteer your time or expertise.
Some individuals are at higher risk due to age or medical conditions and will need to restrict their usual commitments in the coming weeks and months. This could leave nonprofits shorthanded in delivering critical services. As potential volunteers decrease, needs will increase, as we mentioned above,-for example, demand will likely increase for food pantries and other services, also increasing the need for volunteer time to deliver.
So now is a great opportunity for you to reach out to local charities and ask how you can best support them with your time, keeping safety in mind for you, your family, and your employees of course. Just as you’re working toward creating the safest environment for your employees, nonprofits are making adjustments to keep volunteers and those they serve safe. But perhaps you feel safer helping from home. Search online for volunteer opportunities that are just as needed to keep a charity going, such as assisting with grant writing, serving as a crisis counselor on a hotline service, or assisting with marketing services. Volunteering could fill an important gap for a nonprofit and help keep them in business and impact the community for years to come.
3. Communication is key
Ideally, we hope that your business is in a position to give back but if you are needing to pause your programs remember communication is key. We suggest that you don’t remove the link to your giving request form or ignore requests coming in. Instead, make the appropriate temporary adjustments to your form and/or email templates to help communicate better with requestors. That way, not only are you showing you still care but you are also still capturing data about the organizations that are looking for your support so that you can connect with them down the road. Below are just a few suggestions as you’re tweaking your communications.
Update the event calendar for 90 days out.
With a majority of events in the next few months being canceled or postponed, you don’t want to be receiving requests for the next couple of months. Instead, set a new lead time so that requestors can only ask for donations on events that are at least a certain number of days out. (Hint: with the Givily platform, you can make a lead date on your request forms! Check out our website to learn more about how we can help with your giving during COVID)
Be transparent about the effects of COVID-19 on your company.
Let requestors know with a short statement above your request form how your company has been affected and more importantly how it might affect their donation request. For example, you might be limiting your donations or pausing them all together for a certain amount of time.
Send a bulk denial & create an email template.
This will help you be transparent but also efficient. Be sincere and genuine in the approach and let requestors know the current company’s status and why the request may be denied. I.e. the fact that you budget might be limited for giving during COVID.
4. Use your company voice to advocate, inform, and encourage.
Now more than ever, people are anxious and fearful of what’s next. Like you, many want to help but are unsure of what they can do as individuals to help. Overcoming our current circumstances requires a team effort and is too big for any one individual or group to tackle.
Your business has built up the trust of your community and has an opportunity to be an encouragement for others. Share stories on social media and through email about how you are coping during this time. Be a voice for how people can help each other in this time of social distancing while staying safe. Learn about how people are being affected and what needs they have; share that information. Tell people what you are doing to make a difference and remind people to keep supporting charities they care about. Encourage others to join or give back financially if you decide get involved in volunteer opportunities. Seeing your example will help those in your network to realize that they can take action too. Social distancing shouldn’t stop us, as a community, from helping others and speaking up for those in need. Utilize your network to inspire others into action.
Interested in learning more about what Givily does and how we can help? Fill out the form below to find out.
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