How The Nextep Charitable Foundation Began
Since Nextep’s beginnings, we’ve had a passion for serving others. In 2018, we made a more serious promise to our employees and our community. The Nextep Charitable Foundation is the perfect platform for our employees to give back.
“For us, it’s about more than monetary donations,” said Brian Fayak, Nextep founder and CEO. “We want to give our employees the ability to use their expertise to help nonprofit organizations and allow them time to volunteer in the community.”
We give each of our employees eight hours of paid community service hours per year so they don’t have to choose between working and serving.
Since January 2018, our employees have exceeded our service hour goals, and we had our first company-wide Nextep Gives Back Day, proving our people are as passionate about serving others as our leadership.
Why Build a Philanthropic Culture?
Building a culture of philanthropy shows your employees that your leadership values compassion, serving, and putting others’ needs above your own. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company with those values?
“A culture of giving back indicates you’re not just about business, you’re focused on people,” said Tracey Hixon, Nextep’s corporate HR director. “It’s about investing in others, being passionate about your community, and accomplishing more by doing it with your team.”
We’ve seen our employees’ excitement around serving. They send pictures to our company group chat, post about it on social media, share our posts, talk about it throughout the office, and reflect on the memories of previous service projects. We know a culture of philanthropy is important to our employees because they express it each and every day.
How to Get Started
When you’re ready to start a culture of philanthropy, figure out how your organization can serve. Is it monetarily, with your time, or with your expertise? You may not be able to do this all at once — it may take time to figure out what works for your culture. So find out what your employees value most, and start there!
If you want to give back through donations, consider hosting a drive. Employees can choose whether or not to participate. Maybe it’s a school supply drive or a holiday gift drive — there are plenty of organizations that can use donations.
If time and resources allow, plan a day of volunteering! Since we can’t have all of our employees out of the office at once, we take shifts volunteering. Find organizations that can take your group size. We’ve had up to 60 employees per shift at various nonprofits throughout our city.
Last, if there is a cause you’d like to help monetarily, let your employees know. Explain why your company is donating to a particular cause, or what put it on the hearts of your leaders. Be vulnerable and transparent about the reasoning behind the organizations you support.
Building a culture of philanthropy will take time and effort, but it’s worth the work! To see your employees bonding over something outside of their work, and the impact your efforts have on the community, are proof enough that the work is worth the reward.