How We Cultivate Community Giving with Our Employees
At G5, we’ve created an environment where giving back is not only supported, it’s expected. We’d like to share our giving strategies for those companies looking to foster a volunteer spirit across their organizations. In order to build this company-wide culture, G5 has developed a variety of programs and opportunities.
From the beginning, giving back was a part of our culture
The G5 Giving Committee was created within the first year of our existence. This group of givers doesn’t just give away money, but it also looks for opportunities for G5ers to get out into the community and make a difference. The Giving Committee partners with organizations within our community, focusing on technology, education, and children. In addition to monetary gifts, we look for ways our employees can volunteer their time and talents.
During the holiday season, the Giving Committee sets up several programs for teams to participate in:
The core of the G500 is to help families in need during the holidays. It started in 2008 and quickly became a tradition. That first year, G500 was born when the Giving Committee had some money left going into the holidays. The idea of adopting families in need came up and it was set. The company was split into teams and each team was given $500 to shop for their adopted families. G5 teams were so moved by the families’ situations they they went above and beyond, contributing their own money and working with local businesses to maximize and give as much as they could.
Working together to make a difference in the lives of families, and especially their children, has made the G500 event a favorite for many at the company. Although there have been modifications to the activities, the purpose remains: supporting Bend families during the holidays.
Backpacks for Bend
Every year around this time another event, Backpacks for Bend, is organized by one of our longtime employees, Chico Fraley. Chico’s wife, Amy Fraley, learned about the number of children going hungry in Bend, and she decided to take action. In 2009, Amy founded Backpacks for Bend. The Fraley family began providing food for 25 kids on a Friday so they would have something to eat over the weekend. Today, they serve over 650 kids, and filling the backpacks with food is one of G5’s favorite activities.
The Giving Tree
In addition to the G500, this year we partnered with two organizations, Saving Grace and KIDS Center, to adopt families for the holidays. Both organizations work with families where there has been violence and abuse. Hearing their stories gives our teams insight into what others are going through in our community, and it enhances the desire to give back. The G5 Giving Tree is filled with wishes from each member of the family. G5 individuals and groups organize to ensure every wish is fulfilled for these families in need.
Encouraging giving through tracking and recognition
Like any important initiative, it’s critical to track and measure your success. Through the years, we have used a variety of methods to track and recognize every G5er for their commitment to our community. Outside G5-organized giving, our employees have given their time, expertise, and resources to Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Oregon Adaptive Sports, and the Children’s Museum just to name a few!
A recent example of individuals stepping up
Like much of our country, Bend is experiencing frigid temperatures. Peggy Lovejoy, our lead application support manager, learned of a need for blankets and warm clothing at one of our homeless shelters in town, Bethlehem Inn. She put the word out on one of our internal communication channels, and within just a few days G5 employees had donated four large bags of blankets, hand warmers, jackets, boots, and sweaters.
G5ers are also the first to help each other. In any company, employees have accidents or serious illnesses. Within our culture of giving we jump on opportunities to help each other. Requests to donate Paid Time Off are filled within hours, individuals have organized fundraisers for their fellow teammates, and we love to show off our best recipes when someone needs a “meal train.”
It’s never too late to create a culture of giving. Even if you start small, determine a giving budget and form a team to be responsible for your giving strategy and fulfill requests. Make sure you create organized giving opportunities.Track the people within your company who are volunteering in the community and publicly recognize them for their efforts. Start today! Learn more about how G5 fosters community