In a time when employees and customers care more than ever about how companies interact with their communities, corporate social responsibility programs like workplace giving are on the rise. But do these programs really work? Does workplace giving provide substantial enough benefits for businesses, nonprofits, and employees to be worth investing in?
The short answer is yes! Let’s dive deeper to find out exactly how these programs are beneficial and why your company should get involved. In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is Workplace Giving?
- 4 Key Benefits of Workplace Giving for Companies
- Benefits of Workplace Giving for Nonprofits
- Benefits of Workplace Giving for Employees
- How to Leverage Workplace Giving Programs
Once you understand the impact of workplace giving, you can easily create your own program and start tapping into these benefits for your company. Let’s start with the basics.
What is Workplace Giving?
Workplace giving, also known as employee giving, is a type of corporate philanthropy in which companies help their employees donate to worthwhile causes.
Companies can do this through different kinds of workplace giving programs, including:
- Matching gifts: As the most common workplace giving program, matching gifts involves companies matching their employees’ donations to nonprofits at a specified ratio, such as 1:1. At this ratio, for example, your company would match an employee’s $100 donation with an additional $100 gift to the same nonprofit.
- Volunteer grants: If an employee doesn’t donate but instead volunteers regularly with an organization, your company can provide a financial contribution in the form of a volunteer grant. Set a minimum number of volunteer hours to qualify, then designate how much you’ll donate to the nonprofit per hour the employee volunteers.
- Payroll deductions: Make it easier for employees to donate by letting them automatically give part of each paycheck to a nonprofit of their choice. This takes work off of your employees’ plates and helps them give more support to their favorite organizations over time.
- Charitable giving stipends: Instead of only giving after an employee donates or volunteers, some companies provide each employee with an annual stipend they can donate to an eligible organization without spending any of their own money.
Often, workplace giving is just one part of a company’s overall corporate responsibility (CSR) strategy designed to make a more positive impact on the world. In addition to one or more workplace giving programs, these CSR strategies may include sponsoring nonprofits, increasing employee salaries or benefits, and taking steps to reduce the company’s environmental footprint.
4 Key Benefits of Workplace Giving for Companies
Why do companies invest in workplace giving, and how do they benefit?
First and foremost, workplace giving allows companies to make a lasting, positive impact on their communities. Beyond that, workplace giving also benefits companies by helping them do the following:
1. Engage and Motivate Employees
Most employees appreciate any kind of corporate philanthropy because it shows that your company cares about its community and is committed to creating positive change. However, workplace giving programs in particular are uniquely engaging since they put employees in the driver’s seat of giving.
By letting employees choose the nonprofits you donate to, your company invests in the causes that are closest to your employees’ hearts. Supporting the nonprofits and causes that team members care about most can engage employees, motivate them to be more productive at work, and increase their overall job satisfaction.
2. Boost Recruitment and Retention
Along with engaging employees, workplace giving can also help you recruit more applicants and retain them, helping you maintain a strong team of loyal employees at your business.
Take a look at these two statistics provided by ZipDo that showcase this benefit:
- 65% of millennials will leave a job without CSR initiatives.
- Companies that offer workplace giving via payroll deductions have a 98% higher employee retention rate than companies that don’t.
From these statistics, it’s clear that employees care about workplace giving and other CSR programs and that these initiatives impact how long they stay with a company. By developing workplace giving programs that resonate with employees, you can recruit and retain more team members over time.
3. Maintain a Positive Reputation
Another one of the top benefits of workplace giving is that donating to nonprofits helps your company maintain a positive reputation as a socially conscious company and a good corporate citizen.
Your company’s reputation impacts the way your business is seen by the community, the media, customers, and employees. By boosting yours with meaningful workplace giving programs, you can establish more positive relationships in the community and bring in more customers.
4. Improve Relationships with Clients and Customers
Customers want to buy from companies that invest in their communities. Take a look at two statistics from Double the Donation that demonstrate the connection between customer relationships and CSR programs like workplace giving:
- 77% of consumers want to purchase from companies with CSR initiatives.
- 76% of companies use CSR reports to enhance their reputation.
Launching workplace giving programs allows you to demonstrate your commitment to CSR and community investment, helping you retain customers and ultimately bring in more revenue for your business.
Benefits of Workplace Giving for Nonprofits
Of course, companies aren’t the only ones that benefit from workplace giving. The nonprofits that get donations through workplace giving programs also receive:
- Increased fundraising revenue. Not only do nonprofits earn donations from the companies themselves, but they can also receive larger gifts from supporters. According to a recent study, 1 in 3 donors say they’d give a larger donation if they knew it would be matched by their employer.
- More engaged donors. Workplace giving programs allow donors to make more of an impact without putting any added pressure on their own wallets. This makes it easy for nonprofits to engage donors in fundraising and strengthen these important relationships.
- Potential for lasting partnerships. If a nonprofit has multiple donors who work at the same company, this can open the door for larger, mutually beneficial partnerships between the nonprofit and the company. This may include a direct sponsorship or a custom matching gift program.
Even though companies and employees are the drivers of corporate giving, there’s still plenty that nonprofits can do to get one step closer to accessing these benefits. Watch this short video to learn some easy best practices you can use to tap into matching gifts:
As explained in the video, one of the best tips nonprofits should consider is investing in an automated matching gift tool that allows them to easily identify, track, and push eligible donations to completion. They should also promote matching gift opportunities to donors and conduct personalized outreach to let donors know how to request a match.
Benefits of Workplace Giving for Employees
What about employees? Are there any major benefits of workplace giving for the team members who participate in your programs?
Yes! Workplace giving programs increase trust in the company and contribute to an overall more positive company culture. When employees can clearly see that their employer acknowledges and supports their charitable interests, their relationship with the company improves.
How to Leverage Workplace Giving Programs
If your company is ready to tap into these benefits, start by developing workplace giving programs of your own.
Choose the type of programs you want to include—such as matching gifts, volunteer grants, or payroll deductions—and then set eligibility criteria and guidelines. Determine if all full-time and part-time employees will be eligible to participate and what kind of nonprofits and community organizations you want to donate to. For example, some companies restrict gifts to 501(c)(3) nonprofits and universities only.
Once you’ve outlined your new program, use these best practices to leverage it to its full potential:
Invest in Workplace Giving Software
To help you manage your program, consider investing in a workplace giving platform or another type of CSR software, such as a corporate volunteering tool. These solutions are designed to streamline CSR program management and reporting and help companies maximize program potential.
The best platforms will include these key features for businesses like yours:
- Employee donation tracking
- Volunteer event and hours tracking
- Matching gift and volunteer grant approval tools
- Payroll integration
- Robust reporting capabilities
Some CSR platforms even integrate with nonprofit-facing tools to help everyone access the benefits of workplace giving faster with matching gift auto-submission. This feature allows your employees to automatically submit matching gift requests right from nonprofits’ donation pages, streamlining the process for employees, nonprofits, and your program’s administrators.
Matching gift auto-submission helps nonprofits simplify the request process for donors while your business decreases roadblocks for employees. When the request process is made easy with auto-submission, your company can increase workplace giving participation rates and help employees make an impact on their favorite nonprofits faster. Plus, you’ll help nonprofits increase their overall matching gift revenue.
Publicize Your Workplace Giving Programs
Finally, once you have all the necessary infrastructure in place, don’t forget to announce your new program to employees and the public.
Send out a company-wide email with details on your workplace giving program and its benefits, and make an official announcement to the whole team. Update documents like your employee handbook or policy guide to ensure that it’s easy for employees to find workplace giving information at any time.
Then, think about creative ways to publicize the impact of your workplace giving initiatives. Consider taking photos of employees volunteering at a company-wide outing, publishing press releases about the program’s annual impact, or posting about the nonprofits your employees have supported on social media.
Additional Workplace Giving Resources
Now that you understand the benefits of workplace giving and how to leverage your own program, you’re ready to get started! Think about the ways your employees would prefer to participate and focus your initial efforts there. Once you start seeing success, you can build out your workplace giving program even further.
For more insight into how your company can make the most of workplace giving, check out these additional resources:
- Developing a Matching Gift Program: A How-To Guide. Matching gifts are the easiest way to get started with workplace giving. Follow the steps in this guide to develop an engaging matching gift program for your company.
- A Smart Guide to Unlocking the Power of CSR Software. Want to learn more about CSR platforms before researching your options? Check out this guide to discover essential features to look for and tips for leveraging CSR software.
- 11 Effective Employee Engagement Strategies for Businesses. Engaging employees is one of the top benefits of workplace giving. Boost this potential further by supplementing your workplace giving program with these other employee engagement strategies.