HRM Five: Corporate giving

How to ensure everyone gets the most out of corporate social responsibility initiatives.
By: | July 8, 2018

Yamini Chinnuswamy offers five important points on everything you wanted to know about HR practices today, but were too afraid to ask. Check out previous editions of HRM Five here.


The millennial generation already dominates workforces around the world. And a significant expectation that millennial workers have for their employers is social responsibility.

“Millennials and members of Generation Z want [their business leaders] to drive societal and economic change,” noted the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

As Singapore Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat noted during an event recognising corporate giving champions in Singapore, “a caring and inclusive home for all must be built by all of us together.

“[The] government’s efforts alone will not be sufficient nor sustainable.”

Here are some ideas to incorporate into your own organisation’s corporate giving efforts.


  1. Ensure management participation

To kick off on the right note, HR teams should make sure that the organisation’s senior leadership is on board the CSR agenda. Build a business case – show how charitable giving can align with the business’s objectives, and enhance the brand for employees and partners alike. As with everything in business, support and active participation from the top will mean greater engagement from the rank-and-file crew as well.


  1. Bring employees into decision-making

This doesn’t have to be complicated, or even necessitate a loss of control. A poll or suggestion box asking employees where they want to focus their efforts would be quick and easy to execute, and it’s also a way to identify causes that your people identify most strongly with.

Ambitious orgnisations can even organise an employee board or committee to oversee all aspects of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.


  1. Make it a regular activity

An annual – or bi-annual, or even quarterly – “all-hands” event where everyone comes together to give back can be a great addition to your calendar of company retreats and team-bonding events. Or you can even provide teams with a small budget to follow up their regular volunteering with a team dinner or outing.


  1. Offer paid volunteering leave

Some organisations, such as InterContinental Singapore, offer paid volunteer leave for community programmes at registered charity organisations of their choice. This gives staff time to volunteer without losing income.

“Allowing employees to utilise their volunteer leave in blocks of hours, instead of full days, could help. Support from company, both from their bosses and colleagues, as well as more promotion and information about volunteer leave could also help to encourage higher utilisation,” said the Singapore National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre’s deputy director of corporate giving, Quek Shiyun, in an interview with Channel NewsAsia.


  1. Partner a local organisation

Many organisations choose to partner with charities in their local community for longer-term collaboration. This works particularly well for smaller organisations, or smaller country offices. If the charity’s goals are tied to your company’s own purpose, even better – you will likely be able to offer relevant skills and resources, and staff are also likely to be more engaged with such a  programme as well.