As of June 2021, only 46% of Americans are vaccinated, which is a ways away from the 70% we were hoping to achieve as a country. Continuing to navigate Covid-19, a year and half later, has been an ongoing battle for many corporations. We’ve spent most of this past spring on Zoom calls and conference calls (remember those?!) talking to corporate philanthropy experts at major companies from health, technology, automotive, to financial institutions, governments and law firms in south Florida to learn what these major players are going to do come the fall if everything isn’t “back to normal.”
What we’ve learned is that every industry is different and the perception these companies want the public to have of them are based on their industry. Here is what we’ve learned.
Giving is still desperately needed for nonprofits to survive, but how can companies give and not damage their reputation should an outbreak occur?
- Companies will continue to give to nonprofits, but will ask what their Covid-19 protocols are, especially for events. If a nonprofit is meeting the protocols, then the company will gladly support the charity’s efforts and may also feel comfortable having the nonprofit use their logo on marketing materials. However, companies may still not send their teammates or associates to the event/program because of company policy or will provide messaging to their colleagues about the nonprofits’ Covid-19 protocols for that particular event, but will not pressure anyone into attending an event or program.
- If a nonprofit is following local/state Covid-19 protocols, a corporation may still give but ask to not be branded with the nonprofit in case there is any outbreak or issue. Companies, especially those in the health field, do not want to be associated with any sort of potential super spreader event.
- Unfortunately, some corporations are still not giving as they have strict guidelines as to where their community should be in regards to vaccination rates. If a community has not met the threshold, companies do not want to support any sort of event that promotes the gathering of individuals. However, a nonprofit may try to encourage the company to give to a programmatic initiative instead.
Companies will continue to offer virtual volunteer opportunities, but there are employees who are desperate to have a more hands on approach with a nonprofit. For these companies, there are ways to ensure that all employees stay safe.
- When having your employees register for a volunteer event, insert a clause on Covid-19 protocols and make them sign or click on a checkbox ensuring they understand the company’s policy. Such examples include: Per CDC guidelines, if you are fully vaccinated, masks will not be required to attend. For those not fully vaccinated, masks are still being required. This helps mitigate any potential issues should someone get contaminated.
- Other companies are only allowing employees who are fully vaccinated to participate in company-wide volunteer events to ensure the safety of their workforce.
- Some corporations are still passing on in-person volunteer events until their community has met the vaccination threshold.
As you decide what your company’s corporate philanthropy efforts are going to be in the fall, understand the industry you are in and what might seem appropriate. Work with your leadership team and HR professionals on company protocol and language to ensure that everyone at your company feels safe and able to participate based on their level