Fundraising Pros: Building a Giving Culture in the Workplace with American Savings Bank

Oct. 19, 2022
Each year, Aloha United Way has the privilege of working with more than 1,400 companies and government agencies throughout the workplace giving campaign season. We see first-hand how campaigns bring employees together, provide leadership opportunities, and further each company’s philanthropy story. 
A workplace giving campaign provides a beautiful canvas to paint a picture of your company values and how your actions positively impact the community. We had the opportunity to sit down with American Savings Bank President & CEO, Ann Teranishi to discuss the building blocks of a good workplace giving campaign. American Savings Bank builds a giving culture and provides a blueprint for how other companies can walk the walk while driving employee engagement and furthering their social responsibility agenda. 
Ann identified three key actions that are critical for building a successful giving program in the workplace. By taking these actions, a company can enjoy greater employee engagement and more positive standing in the community. 

Establish a social responsibility agenda 

American Savings Bank is intentional about making a positive impact on their community and the company understands that a year-round commitment paired with a defined agenda is critical for success. ASB was clear to define their social responsibility agenda: 
  • Improving education
  • Strengthening communities
  • Promoting economic vitality by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Increasing access to and the supply of affordable housing
  • Supporting the revitalization of 'A'ala Park and our ASB Campus neighborhood
By establishing an agenda, ASB has a framework to guide their employees and a context to talk about their corporate culture and community impact. It is critical to talk through and establish a social responsibility agenda to build a giving culture in the workplace. 

Communicate your social responsibility agenda to employees and customers 

American Savings Bank is so committed to their social responsibility agenda that they engage employees during orientation. Ann Teranishi, ASB’s President & Chief Executive Officer shared,
“New teammates learn on their very first day with us that bringing real impact to our community is a central component of our bank’s vision of being a great bank making people’s dreams possible. Our training and onboarding process walks new teammates through our community programs and expectations.”
Not only does American Savings Bank explain what they see as their social responsibility agenda, they ask employees to actively take part and understand that it is something that the company takes seriously. What’s more, the fundraising activities are framed and shared publicly as the, “Kahiau Giving Campaign”. Customers see and understand that they are supporting a company that is invested in our collective future. 
Communicating your social responsibility agena internally and externally is another important part of building a giving culture in the workplace. Employees and customers alike can take pride in working for and with a company that walks the walk. 

Leadership takes the first step

“Once a year, ASB’s management team invites all 1,100 of ASB”s teammates to make personal monetary donations through the Kahiau Giving Campaign,” said Ann Teranishi, President and CEO of ASB. Their leaders don’t stop at an all-staff email to support giving goals. The entire leadership team puts together a marketing campaign to get employees excited and engaged. 
“We begin each annual campaign with a fun celebration, starting with our executive leadership team decked out in costumes greeting teammates as they arrive at work, followed by silly videos and posters of our leaders…” Teranishi explained. 
This commitment by leadership to the annual campaign is one of the elements that sets ASB apart. Beyond dressing up like wizards from Harry Potter(™), in true ASB-fashion, the company matches up to $150,000 raised by employees. What does good leadership look like? Well, in 2020, one of the most difficult years on record, a year filled with uncertainty, 97% of all ASB employees participated in their annual giving campaign.

If your company would like to build a more engaged workforce, positively impact the community, and build a culture of giving, workplace giving campaigns provide the framework. If you’re ready to walk the walk and build a giving culture in your company to support a stronger future, contact us today and we’ll provide guidance on how to get started.

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