This week marks National Volunteer Week and to commemorate the occasion Campaign Monitor teams across the globe are busy giving back to the communities where we live and work. But giving back isn’t a once a year thing that only happens because it’s volunteer week or the holidays. Giving back is deeply ingrained in the DNA and culture of Campaign Monitor and has been since day one.
In this post, we’ll share how we created and built an infrastructure to support giving back.
How we got started giving back
From our early beginnings, our founders always placed a huge importance on making time for fun team building activities and giving back to our community. It was an integral part of our success, with the first Friday of every month dedicated to taking time out from our regular jobs to do something together.
As we experienced a decade of growth, a series of funding, and offices in Sydney, San Francisco, London, and remote locations around the globe we knew we needed to create a program that would enable our teams to continue to give back in meaningful ways.
The Giving Back program is born
In early 2015, with our team growing exponentially, we came together to create a set of guiding company values, with our favorite being “Make Mum Proud.” It is this value that guides our philanthropic efforts.
As an important new addition to our business, we also created a dedicated committee representing our various regions who are champions of, and the driving force for, our Giving Back program and initiatives.
Our employees are as diverse as our customers – our product is designed to help grow awareness, revenue, and a larger customer base for organizations of all shapes, sizes, and industries. This diversity means we are passionate about many different causes, and as a company, we are committed to giving back to diverse causes by providing paid time off for our employees to get involved within our global community. We offer company-paid volunteer time, as a team-building event or on their own, so employees can truly create-the-change-they-want in their communities.
Each employee is able to volunteer up to 1 day per quarter (or 4 days per year). Campaign Monitor encourages team volunteering. Of course, for those who work remotely and may not be able to join in or create team events we encourage and support individual volunteering.
Teams that give back together, stay together
One of the first times we were able to see the impact of our giving back on a large scale was at a team offsite where we spent the day volunteering at the Batiri School. Everyone in the company volunteered at the school to complete vital works (painting, tiling, building furniture) to the school and stock the library (everyone was asked to bring one or two children’s books).
There was so much love for the event and the kids at Batiri, that we followed up with various team fundraising activities, including Tough Mudder to further support the school. The feedback from our team was phenomenal.
“I will remember this day for the rest of my life. The kids who seemingly had so little had so much joy and love to share with us. It inspired me in more ways than I can express. I am truly grateful to have participated in this event.” – Kim
“To Ben, David, Alex, and Karen, I just want to give a HUGE thank you for providing us the opportunity to give back in such an amazing way. It really cemented the way I feel about working here.” – Ash
The Giving Back app
With an overwhelmingly positive response to the Giving Back event at the offsite, teams returned inspired, fired up, and wanting to do more. But organizing events and people can be challenging. So, being a technology company with heaps of smart people, we decided to build a Giving Back app to help.
Each quarter we hold a “ShipIT” day – ShipIt is all about innovation and creativity in a short period of time. It’s an opportunity for individuals and teams across all business functions and locations to work together to innovate and create. It’s a collaborative experience in which people aren’t limited to their normal role and where they can try doing some design, development, marketing, or something else they want to give a go. In this case, one of the teams decided to create the Giving Back app.
The Giving Back app is tailored completely for our company and the program we have. Team members are able to create events, register, and log volunteer hours all via the app.
We launched the Giving Back app at our next company offsite where we volunteered with the Monarch School in San Diego. As a team, we packed 400 toiletry kits, donated over 200 children’s books and spent a fun-filled afternoon playing with the kids.
Since then, our teams have volunteered with a wide variety of causes including local food banks (SF-Marin and NSW & ACT (Australia), Code Tenderloin, The Arc SF, Northcott, RSPCA, Monarch School San Diego, 826 Valencia, SF Firefighters Toy Drive, Brixton Soup Kitchen and more.
And the positive feedback from the team keeps coming:
“Volunteering at the SF Marin Food Bank was an incredible experience! Together, we packaged over 10,000 lbs of food for local communities. We walked away feeling like we made a huge impact. It is so awesome to work with a team that cares about giving back.” – Maura
In each of our monthly all-hands meetings, we report out to the team how many volunteer hours we’ve given back and how much money we’ve raised.
Giving Back events and opportunities continue to connect everyone and reinforce our company values.
Wrap up: Just keep giving
Giving back and team building has always been an integral part of the success of Campaign Monitor. Our co-founders invested time and energy into this very important aspect of the business and we continue to keep this spirit alive in our day-to-day. Giving back is a natural extension of the values we hold near and dear and we’ll continue to give back as we grow and evolve as a business and a team.