Today, Fortune 500 organizations spend more than $15 billion a year on CSR activities, and this number is growing as businesses realize that workplace philanthropy and employee giving programs can improve company performance across the board, from brand building and revenue generation, to customer loyalty and talent recruitment and retention.
As corporations become more strategic in aligning their corporate philanthropic activities to their core business strengths in an effort to achieve greater overall impact, they also recognize the importance of offering a broad range of options for charitable giving. Employees have a variety of interests when it comes to giving back; diversifying the types of giving opportunities you offer to employees makes them more inclined to participate, and shows that you as an employer are genuinely committed to supporting the causes that mean the most to your employees.
Here are some options to integrate into giving programs to increase participation:
- Payroll Giving Campaigns: Allow employees to choose from a database of selected organizations or a nonprofit of their choosing and automatically make donations directly from their paychecks.
- Matching Gifts Programs: Most large companies match employee donations. According to CECP’s Giving in Numbers annual survey, 9 out of 10 multi-billion dollar corporations match employee donations – making this an “expected” benefit amongst many of the employees of large companies. This can also be a differentiator for small-to-medium sized businesses looking to attract top talent. If possible, set a limit based on your company’s ability, and reward your employees for their participation by matching their gifts.
- Disaster Relief Programs: When disaster strikes, emotions run high and many people want to help those in need as soon as possible. As a result, the timeliness of charitable donations is crucial. Employees typically want their employers to facilitate their ability to take action, so be ready and make it easy to donate to your disaster relief partners in the immediate wake of a disaster by quickly communicating specific giving opportunities.
- Featured Causes: If your company has a philanthropic focus, engage your employees in it by encouraging donations to strategic causes or programs. Put an employee giving solution in place that makes it simple to select the causes, programs or nonprofit organizations you want to feature, and promote those front and center on your employees’ home page.
- Regular, One-Off Donations: Of course, employees will always have an interest in giving individually to nonprofit organizations in which they have a personal interest. Allow employees to donate to vetted nonprofit organizations directly through your employee giving system.
Even with an assortment of options for participating in giving programs, if it’s not easy to participate, employees won’t. Factors such as increasing workloads, time constraints and inefficient processes can all make participation difficult. Creating simple and streamlined processes are essential to success.
Some examples include:
- Online Donation Form: Offer employees a simple, one-step donation form that lets them donate by credit card or payroll contribution in an instant. It’s a hassle-free method, meaning more employees will give, and they’ll give more often.
- Claiming Credit for Offline Donations: Although the online donation form makes it simple for employees to make a contribution, occasionally an employee makes an offline donation outside of the system via cash, check, stock, etc. Choose an employee giving solution that lets employees quickly and easily claim credit for those gifts, track all of their giving in one place, and gives your company the ability to capture all of the donations employees are making for easy reporting.
- Facilitate Giving for Employees On-the-Go: The remote workforce is growing, and organizations must find ways for employees to participate in giving programs no matter where they are. An online system allows employees to make a donation anytime, anywhere. If employees can only access your donation system when they’re physically in the office, employers can expect lower participation rates.
The status quo for employee giving programs is changing. Employees want to be able to contribute to the causes that mean the most to them and have it count toward their organization’s formal CSR initiatives. At the same time, employees are busier than ever. If it’s too complicated to log their giving within the corporate system, they simply won’t do it. To get employees to give more, and more often, organizations must make it easy to participate across a wide variety of causes and giving channels. Get started today by planning a corporate giving program that puts employees at the center, and look forward to a better tomorrow; not only across your organization but also for those affected by your employees’ charitable efforts.