Employee resource groups, or ERGs, often are faced with the challenge of gaining organizational support, including funding, for their events and programming. Given this challenge, I have put together a how-to guide for submitting a Programming Request Form for ERGs, DEI councils, and other similar groups to use for their next event.
Step 1: Finalize the details of your event
Before submitting your event, you must first decide what type of event you want to plan! Some standard event types include:
Public Speaking Practice
Partner with external organizations for events (i.e., community service opportunities, fundraising, or other philanthropic events)
Events can be open to all employees or have targeted audiences (i.e., all employees vs women vs young professionals or a subset of an ERG or cross programming across different ERGs).
When establishing budget needs, the group should consider things like venue, supplies, food, speaker/activity cost, and other miscellaneous fees.
Groups should have at least one event per quarter and no more than one a month to keep things manageable. And most importantly, events should always connect back to the groups and/or organizations goals, values, and strategy.
Step 2: Submit a Programming Request Form
When requesting support for programming, there are many details to include. I have put together a template for a programming request form below:
Ex. committee, specific ERG, council, etc)
Requestor’s role in the council
Date of event
Name of event
Location of event
Could be virtual or in-person location
Type of event –
Ex. Philanthropic, Networking, Professional Development
Brief description of event
Goal of the event/intended outcomes
DEI Strategic goal/value the event connects to
These could be listed, allowing requestors to select the aligned option
Amount of funding needed
Any assistance needed from other departments
Ex. marketing, L&D, etc
Some other key points to keep in mind for this form:
If possible, make this form electronic and add in barriers to how the responses can be provided (ex. date can be a date field, using checklists, make funding a numeric slot, etc.)
Examples include using your project management software (Monday, Trello, etc.), using Microsoft forms, or using google forms
Email a copy of the request to the requestor as well and the approval person.
Step 3: The Approval Process
As most of these groups have limited funding, it is important to have an approval process in place. It is also a good way to double check for duplicate events or opportunities for collaboration across groups.
Option 1: Some organizations choose to have a sub-committee dedicated to approving programming requests that have permission to approve requests under a certain dollar amount. When requests are over a certain dollar amount, the Executive sponsor would present their request to the Executive team for approval on behalf of the group.
Option 2: Other organizations use their existing DEI infrastructure (i.e., DEI manager, HR director, etc) for approving all programming requests.
There are other processes that exist as well. It’s important to determine the approval process that makes the most sense for your organization based on your available resources.
Looking for guidance on how to grow and support your organization’s ERGs or DEI councils? Contact Mattingly Solutions to learn more about how we can become your trusted partner, helping you create a more inclusive workplace. Together.