Is it possible to also donate money when participating in the initiative?
Yes, upon request, you may also donate money in addition to time; however, the main prerequisite is still to donate time, by giving your employees a day off for a specific purpose.
Can sharing one’s professional expertise be considered charity as well?
Yes, of course. If the employees decide to help someone by using their professional skills on the day off granted for charity, it should be strongly supported.
How do I know that the employees truly did a good deed?
We recommend that the staff teams inform their employer in advance regarding exactly whom they are going to help on their day off and how. We also recommend that they request the contact information of the beneficiary. Ask the employees to take photos and videos of the day. This way you will gain insight on how and for which good deeds the staff of your organisation donated their time.
Who can we help?
A beneficiary of the good deed may be an individual or organisation: it may be a family with many children who needs help with repair works; it may involve tidying up a public park; working in an animal shelter; designing a webpage for a non-profit association, etc. Also, professional volunteering is possible, i.e. helping someone with your professional skills. Activities on behalf of a profitable business of the employees themselves or related to their close ones, activities related to a company or politics do not count. At the same time, cooperation with social enterprises or companies directly involved in charity is welcome, if it can be clearly seen that the activity is of a charitable nature and helps to relax the bottlenecks in the society, one way or the other. If in doubt, ask for assistance at email@example.com.
Must the charity team be structure-based?
No. The teams may be structure-based, such as one department; however, they may also be freely set up and spontaneous. This is up to your organisation to decide.
Do all the employees of the organisation have to participate?
No. Still, it would be nice of those, who do participate, to also share their experience with other employees.
Does management have to participate as well?
This is certainly not an obligation; however, the example set by management would definitely be encouraging.
How to arrange the day off, if the enterprise has shift work and work schedules?
If the work is organised in shifts and work schedules, it is most definitely more complicated to give a day off; however, even here, you have several options. For example, the employees may do a good deed on their scheduled day off and take the granted day off later and upon agreement with their employer – this way you can avoid a situation where too many employees are absent at the same time.
Where do you find beneficiaries?
First, we advise the teams to think themselves: maybe there is a group of people in need of help or a theme that is close to someone from the team; maybe someone knows somebody who needs help. This may mean also contacting a local authority or organisation, to specify the needs and agree on organisational matters. If there is still lack of ideas, then the webpage www.annetameaega.ee contains links to charitable organisations and information portals, where one can find beneficiaries from different fields.
What benefit does my company gain from participating in the initiative?
Participating in the initiative gives the employer a handy model for starting a charity within its organisation or adding to already existing activities; enables it to increase the commitment of staff; use participation in the initiative as a means of developing the team; introduce your organisation to the public and improve its reputation (incl. employer’s branding; especially if the good deeds are associated with the business line of the enterprise). Naturally, you will be delighted about the good deed you have done.
Where can I find additional information and help in case of questions?
In you have any questions, assistance can be obtained from the project manager of the initiative “Let’s donate time”: Liisi Maria Muuli, phone: 56 217 887, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you prefer that the employees communicate and act across their ordinary structural units, a possibility to promote it is to create a so-called exchange of good deeds. Invite the employees to suggest good deeds and take the initiative in organising these (the management and HR department could also offer some options), after which the more passive employees can sign up for a good deed that is interesting / suitable for them from the point of view of time. In organisations where the Intranet is used actively, this can be organised there. But, you can also place large pieces of paper with the descriptions and times of good deeds, for example, on the walls of a canteen or meeting rooms, and the employees can physically sign up there. At this point we should stress that the person suggesting the good deed should take the initiative to lead it and carry it out as well.
- Resources If possible, also give some pocket money to the employees participating in the initiative, to cover any costs that may be incurred (e.g. for transport or repair or cleaning supplies, etc.). The limit should be known to the employees in advance, as well as the fact that any cost overrun will not be reimbursed. The costs are reimbursed on the basis of expense receipts; however, you should distinguish between a fringe benefit and other costs (e.g. if the employees used the money for dining, this shall be considered a fringe benefit. If, however, cleaning supplies were purchased and later left to the beneficiary, then a fringe benefit is not involved).
- Exchanging of experiences Beforehand, ask a charitable organisation, volunteer or beneficiary to meet with the employees in your enterprise. Learning about the experiences of others is inspiring for people. If necessary, the Estonian Employers’ Confederation can help in finding a suitable charitable organisation or person.
- Acknowledge employees who participated in the initiative: share their good deeds within the organisation, ask them to speak about their experience with other employees. If you have a traditional event for acknowledging and highlighting your best employees, then also add a category for a benefactor or responsible employee, etc.