How Hyland created a holiday giving program for a global, remote workforce


Tracy Petrakis is a community engagement program manager for Hyland and is based in North America. She has been bringing Hylanders together through community outreach since 2018.

Hyland’s internal holiday giving program and the associated raffle have always been a much-anticipated event with high participation from Hyland employees. But, as we’ve grown from our modest Cleveland, Ohio roots to our five-continent, 4,000-plus global employee workforce, we realized we’d outgrown our Holiday Giving program.

Beyond updating the tools to facilitate donations and participation, we needed a structure that better reflected our employee diversity — from physical locations to passions, values and beliefs — while also maintaining the spirit of the program.

With a distributed workforce, you need a global giving program.

A new holiday giving tradition

Expanded reach and inclusion

Similar to previous years, in 2021 employees were encouraged to submit nonprofits that they would like their fellow Hylanders to support. However — new this year — there is no limit to the final number of organizations employees can support. That means the breadth of organizations supported by Hylanders around the globe has been both wider and more localized.

In our legacy raffle program, three final nonprofits were selected to receive raffle ticket proceeds after an employee-nomination and all-staff open voting process.

This year’s more inclusive program change allows us to expand our impact to reach 28 organizations for 2021. It’s an excellent way for more employees to share causes they’re passionate about supporting. We also see it as an opportunity for our global workforce to still have a local impact no matter where they call home.

Learn more about other Hyland community engagement and giving efforts from volunteering to our Tech Outreach programs.

Increased peer interactions

This year’s Holiday Giving at Hyland features new peer donation matching for each of the nonprofit organizations selected by Hylanders. Employees who set up the organization’s fundraiser can encourage their peers to join them in their peer match pool or contribute a one-off, non-matching donation.

This creates friendly competition, while also allowing employees to support a variety of causes around the world.

As always, participation in Hyland’s Holiday Giving, or any type of giving campaign, is voluntary. Employees are encouraged to participate if they can and feel compelled to. To help reduce barriers to participation, Hyland seeds all employees with a $2 donation to a charity of their choice, which can then earn them one raffle ticket.

Our new Holiday Giving program is an opportunity for our global workforce to have a local impact no matter where they call home.

Maintaining the spirit and excitement with inclusive raffle prize incentives

The raffle was one of the most beloved aspects of our old holiday giving program, so it was crucial that we kept it. We simply changed the focus slightly and adjusted our prize offerings.

Previously, employees would buy raffle tickets, and the proceeds would go to the final three charities. Now, through the new Holiday Giving program, employees first donate across any or all of the 28 charities for this year and their donation amount earns them a specific quantity of raffle tickets.

We also changed our raffle prizes to be more inclusive. Instead of selecting items that might have a limited distribution or be country- or region-specific, this year’s raffle offers items that are available anywhere. This includes one of our most popular raffle items: Money for groceries and gas — a universal need but not an expense people enjoy! We wanted to ensure employees could spend the winnings at their local stores, and that we weren’t limiting anyone who may have special dietary restrictions.

While this revised holiday giving program is new, we know it’s a move in the right direction as Hyland continues to become a more global and remote workforce.

We appreciate all the employee feedback that led us to make these changes and welcome additional feedback to help us continue to evolve and improve the program into the future.

Tracy Petrakis

Tracy Petrakis

Tracy Petrakis is Hyland’s Community Engagement manager. Community Engagement programs include corporate giving and volunteerism, focusing on employee engagement and Hyland’s philanthropic focus of building and inspiring careers in technology.

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