How to Engage Staff to Practice Philanthropy

by Jeanne-Marie Waldman, CPA, EisnerAmper LLP | November 19, 2019

For an accounting firm to do well while also “doing good” for society is a benefit to everyone. Philanthropy relationships between a firm and the community establish camaraderie among staff and create goodwill with clients. It is also a great way to raise a firm’s profile within the local town and the business community at large.

Creating an organizational culture of volunteerism and collaboration can also be an important recruitment vehicle, particularly with the younger generation of CPAs and recent accounting graduates. Employees respect an organization and its leaders who actively give back to the community.

Here are some tips to help get staff involved:

  • Offer employee benefits. A popular new employee benefit is “volunteer time off” (VTO) where employees — with the support of their firms—donate their time helping a charity of the firm’s or employee’s choice.
  • Meet with HR and marketing. Accountants, together with the firm’s human resource professionals and marketing experts, can create a business consulting team to assist nonprofit leadership in many areas. Junior staff can also learn valuable leadership skills from partners and nonprofit leadership.
  • Use raffles. Put a raffle in place to win a PTO day or some other perk, whether to fund a walk-a-thon or donate to a health-based charity, etc.
  • Set aside a particular time of year for volunteer time. Our firm’s volunteer organization, EisnerAmper Cares, has “Give Back Week” in October when employees spend a day with various NJ service organizations. In addition to a feel-good project, it revitalizes us from the stress and fatigue of the tax filing season.

Our employees help food banks, socialize adoptable pets in animal shelters, decorate a children’s hospital for Halloween, make blankets for veterans, renovate nonprofit facilities and more. Many other accounting firms have similar programs. In fact, one firm gives each of its employees $25 to donate to a charitable organization of choice. 

Jeanne-Marie  Waldman

Jeanne-Marie Waldman

Jeanne-Marie Waldman, CPA, is a senior tax manager at EisnerAmper LLP. She is a member of the NJCPA Student Programs & Scholarships Committee and Nonprofit Interest Group.

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