We are in the publicly regulated energy industry and set up our fund after Hurricane Sandy. With the help of EAF, we were able to support employees that were impacted during large scale natural disasters as well as one-off incidents (house fires, unexpected loss of loved ones, etc.) I think our strengths were being able to effectively communicate that the fund was specifically for employees (as opposed to the donations we were making to the community at large). Additionally, employees that benefited from the fund were willing to share their stories which enabled everyone to see that their donations and support directly helped their colleagues during a stressful time. Lastly, it provides everyone with a sense of corporate pride that we had this program in place.
Our biggest challenge is most people in our organization only think about donating when there is an immediate need and our participation rate during our annual drive is often lower than we would like.