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Listening and learning from our employees to drive greater social impact

By Michael Stroik, Director, 3Mgives and Vice President, 3M Foundation

3M benchmarks annually against the world’s greatest companies to ensure we empower our people with game-changing community engagement programs. CECP recently released their annual report on trends in corporate community relations: Giving in Numbers 2019 Edition. CECP analyst and author, André Solórzano, spotlighted unique data indicating how companies are becoming more employee-centric in their quest to maximize social impact. Here are a couple of highlights informing the future evolution of our community relations efforts:

  1. Employees are driving matching-gift decisions more than ever

Giving in Numbers Insights

Giving by individuals in the USA decreased from 2017 to 2018. Giving in Numbers shows that companies are evolving their approach to spur giving among employees. Most notably, 57% of companies matched employee donations to any nonprofit recipient in 2018, with an increase in employee choice over the last three years. In addition, more companies are electing to match employee contributions year-round versus solely during specified campaign periods.

3M in Action

In 2019, 3M matched $500 to qualifying nonprofit organizations. In 2020, we’re doubling down! As Mojdeh Poul, the executive vice president of 3M’s health care business group, announced at the September 3M Global Volunteer Day, the maximum annual company match per employee will double to $1,000!

We’re also making it easier to contribute, too. Previously, 3M only matched employee donations made during our fall workplace giving campaign. In 2020 and beyond, we’ll match donations to nonprofits any time of the year.

Perhaps most importantly, we’ve expanded the criteria for eligible non-profit organizations to ensure we are better able to support organizations that align with our employees’ interests – and 3M’s values.

  1. Companies are building new volunteer initiatives to inspire employees

Giving in Numbers Insights

The most offered volunteer programs among companies were paid-release time (66% of companies offer to domestic employees) and flexible scheduling (63%) – these programs were newly adopted by more companies in the last three years than other types of volunteer programs. The most common strategy used by companies to increase volunteerism among employees is to activate local volunteer champions or councils.

3M in Action

At 3M, we recently partnered with our HR Pay & Benefits team to promote a new FlexAbility for Volunteering initiative – through this program, eligible 3Mers balance personal and professional goals, commitments and activities – now including volunteering. To help spread the word, local ambassadors are being trained to empower their peers through 3Mgives programming in 2020.

Volunteerism at 3M isn’t a lip-service initiative. It’s part of our DNA. And just as our business continually evolves to meet the needs of customers, 3Mgives will continue to adapt to our communities’ needs and our employees’ interests. We pledge to continue modifying our employee engagement programs to reflect the growth and inclusiveness of our company.

We would love to hear from you! What is special about volunteerism at your organization? Have you made any recent changes to make giving simpler? How do you help employees pursue their philanthropic interests? If you’re a 3M employee, which charity will you support in 2020?

Let’s share best practices and encourage even more of our colleagues to help!