For companies in the modern marketplace, philanthropy is fundamental to business growth. It’s not a cost of doing business, but rather an investment in their community and their brand.
Having a corporate giving program as part of the benefits offering for employees is an increasingly essential element of a company’s philanthropic efforts, regardless of their industry.
A study by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship found that 80% of companies offer a workplace giving program, with more than 70% of them offering a match for monetary donations.
Not only does a giving program help attract new employees, but it also keeps current employees engaged, promotes a sense of affinity for the company and broadens a company’s connection to its community.
Those that adopt modernized technology, incorporate a set of proven best practices and effectively communicate their offerings to employees are known to experience high employee engagement rates.
Microsoft, for example, has a 65% employee engagement rate with its matching gift program thanks in large part to its communication efforts. For those considering incorporating a digital giving program, or enhancing an existing program, here are five tips that will enable you to maximize corporate giving and increase employee engagement.
Personalize the experience
The more your employees feel financially and emotionally invested in your company’s giving program, the more likely they are to participate. To create this connection, be sure that the giving program does not only support your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mission and values, but also reflects causes that hit home with your employees.
If you’re not certain which causes are important to your team members, invite them into the corporate giving planning process; ask for suggestions on initiatives, funds or charitable events to support, and gather data on employees’ giving activities and interests. Then they’ll have a personal stake in the program and will be more compelled to donate.
If you demonstrate that you’re supporting their causes, the company will see a higher rate of sustained employee participation and giving throughout the year. This will not only result in a better connection with your employees but also lead to a greater overall impact.
Make it part of what you already do
Nearly $7 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed per year, underscoring the need to make any giving program as accessible as possible for employees.
While you may have already established recognition, rewards and engagement programs for your employees, those initiatives can be greatly enhanced by linking a giving and matching mechanism to encourage wider participation.
The easier it is for your employees to access the program, and the more their donations will be amplified via a company match, the more you’ll be able to grow your company’s reputation for social responsibility.
According to DoubleTheDonation.com, 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered. Moreover, one in three employees say they’d give a larger gift if a match is applied by their company. It’s critical, however, to streamline the matching gift process, which will benefit both you and your employees.
You can invest in philanthropic financial technology – or, as we call it at Givinga, Philantech – that makes requesting and approving matching gifts fast and easy. The more you can engage your employees in a giving program, the bigger impact you can collectively make in your community.
Communicate & celebrate
It’s not unusual for employees to wait until the end of the year, when matching funds end, to make charitable contributions.
However, a more sustained and proactive approach to giving company-wide, encouraging employees to give throughout the year, will allow you and your employees to respond to the needs of your community when it’s needed the most.
This may necessitate an internal communications campaign, which can pay dividends. Use your company’s communications channels to bring energy to the program by shining a spotlight on the philanthropic efforts of the company as a whole, and on individual stakeholders who are making a difference. Some employees may not be aware of the company’s giving program, its community involvement or specific components, such as a matching program.
Bring greater visibility to your program, celebrate its results, and experience an increased participation rate as a result.
The administrative cost of giving for a company can be significant – as high as 24% of the overall expense of the program. And for some charities themselves, more than 30% of donations goes toward administrative efforts.
But today’s technology offers fee-free giving, with 100% of donated funds going to charity. If a company chooses the appropriate Philantech platform, it can ensure that all donations are earmarked directly to the charity and you can gain full transparency into the program so that you and your employees can view where donations are going and exactly how that money is being used.
Speaking of transparency: in today’s climate, employees demand transparency and accountability in all facets of their workplace environment, and charity programs are no exception.
Per a survey from PayChex, almost 75% of employees demanded more transparency from their employers. And in cases where employers were considered transparent by employees, employee loyalty increased 30%. Modern philanthropic technology can solve many challenges.
Here is one way you can differentiate yourself: Consistently analyze your company’s giving history and impact so you can make more meaningful philanthropic decisions going forward.
Many companies fail to set engagement goals, develop KPIs or track results of their giving programs. But by doing so, you’ll be able to convey to employees that their donations are part of something larger rather than a one-time transaction.
There are many ways to design a corporate giving program, so be sure to shape yours in alignment with your company’s values. Regardless of what yours looks like, it is important to have a program in place to be competitive and be able to attract and retain top employees in today’s business environment.
By utilizing innovative technology, not only will you have a plan in place, but you will also see increased levels of employee engagement.