At Unbounce our motivation to create a community engagement and social impact program came directly from our Founders’ desire to build a people-first company that lives out the company’s core values. Unbounce’s values—humility, transparency, empowerment, courage, delight and generosity—are posted across a large wall in our reception area for every employee and visitor to see as they walk into our Vancouver headquarters. But our values are more than colourful words posted on a wall. In order to bring these values to life and guide our community engagement program, we needed a plan.
Two years ago, Unbounce launched a community engagement program. Here are a few important questions we asked ourselves that might be helpful as you set up or enhance your company’s community program:
What Matters to Your Team?
In order to get a benchmark on our company engagement, we worked with a consultant to craft an engagement survey that went out to our entire team. We collected information about our employees’ top social issues, as well as non-profit and charity recommendations.
How much do we have to give?
Knowing how much your company has set aside to donate annually is an important first step ie. what is the cap on how much the company is willing to match, and how many employees can participate annually? We also made sure to build in a disaster relief contingency fund to be able to respond to crisis’ and match our employees’ donations.
Who are the stakeholders?
Early on at Unbounce, our founders knew that they wanted to build a company that makes an impact in our community. They have remained involved in the charitable decisions we make, however they leave the decisions up to the employees and what matters most to them.
How can we leverage our employee’s unique strengths and talents?
After presenting at an all staff meeting on the results of the What Matters to You survey we asked if anyone would be interested in joining an internal task force that would help the company make charitable decisions and build relationships.
How are we going to keep it going?
In order to maintain a strong relationship with non-profits or organization that you are supporting there has to be executive and company-wide buy-in. At Unbounce, this is exemplified in our special relationship with Canada Learning Code, specifically the Ladies Learning Code chapter over the past 4 years. Unbounce’s initial relationship with LLC began with two employees who volunteered their personal time outside of work to run workshops. They then started hosting workshops in our office in the evenings. Since 2014, Unbounce has hosted 200 Ladies Learning Code workshops, from HTML & CSS to help women uplevel their careers with a 7-week digital skills course. Unbounce has donated our event space to the organization for several years. Internally we say that our goal is to create a homebase for the LLC Vancouver chapter. Not everyone on a team can stay late to host a workshop, so we creatively engaged our entire team with a variety of asks ie. ten minutes to help us set up the room, provide headshots for women graduating from the digital skills course and LLC mentors, to spending 5 min connecting with some women that we invited to our Open Houses. These are some of the ways that our team members have lent a helping hand.