Even funds which are perfectly structured and well-funded can still be ineffective. Perhaps the most critical success factor is employee participation. Employees are not only the main beneficiaries of your fund, but are also the primary group supporting it.
This support often includes funding, but donations are only one part of the larger “positive reinforcement loop” (see the diagram below).
The communication with and between employees helps drive awareness of the fund – which in turn drives up donations and applications. Increased donations and applications means more grants, which leads to more success stories. If your fund allows recipients to share their stories, this can lead to formal communication about the fund’s success. Even if your fund does not offer that option, the fund will still benefit from word-of-mouth. That increasing awareness then results in more donations to the fund, starting the cycle once again. This shows how essential communication is to the success of your fund.
Another factor which drives employee support and helps your fund succeed is the effect known as “pro-social motivation.” This is the desire to promote and protect the well-being of others in the group, aside from motivating factors like altruism or self-interest. Researchers have shown that opportunities to give are an extremely effective way to motivate people – especially employees. Further, when an employer gives its employees the chance to give to a worthy cause, it increases feelings of connection to the organization as a whole.
This means that not only does effective communication create a positive reinforcement loop that supports your fund, prosocial behavior creates a stronger sense of community within your organization. Taken together, these two factors help guarantee your fund’s continued growth and ongoing success. Clear and effectively-delivered communications are the most efficient method of driving pro-social behavior and positive reinforcement loops.