The Little Give

Today I’m veering a little way from my normal topics – while I generally write about communications, social media and the like, I thought you might like a little insight into life at Edelman; specifically, one of the cool employee engagement initiatives we have here in Canada.

The Little Give

The Little Give is a CSR program, initially created by Edelman’s Vancouver office, that sees Edelman Canada offices split into teams and work to help charities in our communities.

This year, the Toronto office is supporting ten great organizations that work to improve the lives of youths in various ways. Everyone in the office was invited to participate in the nomination and voting process to decide the list of organizations, with the final list including:

(You can find out more about our partners over on our Little Give blog)

How it works

At 4pm on June 2nd, the Toronto office will split into ten teams, which will then work for the next 48 hours (we close the Edelman office for one day, and people donate a day of their weekends) to solve whatever problem their designated partner organization puts to them. Edelman seeds each team with $2,500 to use over the two days.

At the end of that time, each team comes back and gives a short presentation of what they did to the rest of the office and a panel of judges, who ultimately determine the winning project.

Why it works

Beyond a cheque: We could just hand over a cheque to these organizations, but by going beyond that and contributing 4,800 hours or so of expertise alongside the money, we can make a real difference to these organizations.

It’s authentic: As our General Manager Lisa Kimmel said, “CSR programs need to be authentic and clear and they need to be woven into the fabric of your corporate culture.” We’re not just handing over a cheque and moving on. We’re working to have a positive impact on our community.

Everyone’s engaged: From the selection of non-profits, to the fun run-up to the event (from the Little Give blog to the Facebook page to real-world in-office games), everyone in the office is involved, making this a high point of our employee engagement initiatives as well as a great CSR program. In fact, just last week a new employee mentioned how excited they were to join us in time for the event.

I narrowly missed-out on The Little Give last year, as I joined Edelman just after it happened. I’m totally psyched for this year’s.

 

  • Thanks for sharing this, Dave. It’s really interesting to learn how other companies engage in CSR.

  • This is a great example of a company that doesn’t just want to check the CSR box so to speak. I think it’s a good idea that this was turned into a competition, as that generally brings out the most intense team work to achieve a goal. Also great point how actually getting involved with the organization helps a lot more than just giving them money ever could.