How the Celanese Foundation Achieved 94% Employee Participation
Celanese is known around YourCause for its incredible employee participation rates. Just last year, their Dallas office boasted an 80% employee engagement in the Celanese Foundation Giving Campaign which they topped this year with an astounding 14% increase to reach 94% participation!
Celanese has a team who are great at constructing new ideas to get the incredibly passionate employees engaged, and we wanted to learn how they do it. We sat down with our friends at Celanese to find out what strategies they used to see such incredible growth.
Philanthropy from the Top Down
According to Celanese Foundation’s Manager, Dana Smith, a key way to get people at Celanese motivated is through engagement with the management and executive team. Celanese’s Chairman and CEO, Mark Rohr has always encouraged 100% employee engagement; especially in helping the community and those less fortunate. “Trying to win without 100% participating is like the Cowboys trying to win a game with only 7 members of the team really connecting and supporting one another. It’s just not going to happen.” Last year, Rohr set a goal of 100,000 hours of volunteer work for employees. There was such success that he increased the goal this year to 150,000 hours.
Celanese executives were integral in the communication and motivation throughout the program. They were in charge of leading the 5 teams and sent daily emails with encouragement and reminders. They also donated all the items for the silent auction, which created a lot of buzz in the office and raised $25,000 on its own.
The CEO and executives’ heavy influence in the campaign helped boost morale and engage a percentage of people who typically wouldn’t be involved.
Takeaway: Getting buy-in and, more importantly, involvement from executive and management teams can have a massive impact on engagement around the office.
Celanese employees look forward to campaign seasons because of the exciting and competitive emphasis placed on doing good by their executives.
A Local Influence
All donations from Celanese employees are made through the Celanese Foundation to organizations chosen by a local committee. To ensure that the employee donations are making the largest impact possible, the site committee chooses smaller local charities where employees can also volunteer. The Celanese Foundation has found that when they are able to donate to local organizations, they can make a larger impact, and employees are able to see the difference they are making through their donations. Seeing a tangible difference in a community makes employees proud of the work they have done and engages them to get involved again.
Takeaway: Pay attention to the causes and organizations that your employees are engaging with. Use this insight to share the impact of philanthropic efforts so employees can tangibly see the difference they are making.
Getting Employees Involved
Celanese always creates a brand slogan for the campaign to get employees behind the message. This year’s theme was #AskMeWhy, which encouraged employees to share why they donate their time or money. Weeks before the official campaign started, the Celanese Foundation created a promotional video that highlighted employees speaking about why they were passionate about getting involved and how they liked to give. Celanese even added a special incentive, at the end of the video, employees learned how to earn a half day of vacation during the campaign.
During the six weeks leading up to the campaign, thank you postcards from the executive sponsor were mailed out and Celanese Foundation mugs were distributed around the office. Emails were then sent out every week leading up to the campaign detailing how the previous year’s dollars were put to work. The tangible examples leading up to the giving campaign excited employees and reminded them how much of an impact they had made the year before.
Takeaway: Create a brand for your campaign that encourages employees to actively get involved. Throwing in a few perks can help get the less motivated on board!
Campaign Day and Using Competition for Good
The campaign kicked off with breakfast burritos and employees writing responses to the campaign theme on ‘thought bubbles.’ Employees took pictures with their bubbles and displayed them in the office to share why they were donating their time and money during this campaign.
Celanese employees took pride in sharing their causes with their peers with ‘thought bubble
And because a little competition is nothing new to Celanese employees, 5 teams were created, named, and competitions were made throughout the campaign to get people giving money! The teams were encouraged to wear their team’s colors regularly and they could win points for attending community sessions, where local charities talk to Celanese employees about the impact their donations have had on the organization. There were fun games every day like raffles, golden tickets around the office, a silent auction giving out trips, and the Penny Wars, which raised over $4,000 alone. At the end of the campaign, the team with the most points got bragging rights and a trophy but also had a great time raising money and engaging with their co-workers.
Takeaway: Friendly competition can increase engagement in your charitable campaign while also building a more efficient and productive team.
Overall, the Celanese Foundation raised around $365,000 through the #AskMeWhy campaign alone with an engagement rate of 94%. It is incredible to see a company that is doing great work in their field but also great work in their community as well.