Written by, Alison Hanks
In the past, Corporate Giving has been a decision held firmly in the hands of C-Suite executives and HR managers. An organization was selected annually and a lump sum was donated, checking the giving box for that year. While this option was undeniably generous and impactful, in recent years, the trend has shifted. Many companies are now embracing their multi-generational teams and adjusting to preferences, highly inspired by millennials, where employees are much more involved, not only in the giving decisions, but through personal contributions, as well. According to a recent article by Benevity, “One of the most common themes in the last few years is the adoption of a different “why” behind program strategy, design and execution. Corporate social responsibility and community investment professionals, HR folks and even the C-Suite are recognizing that workplace and corporate giving programs are no longer just about fundraising; they are becoming an increasingly relevant component of a company’s broader culture, employee engagement and human capital management strategy.” (Benevity, 2018)
Benevity also on to details contributing factors to why employees are now feeling more comfortable and enthusiastic about being directly involved in the decision making and contribution processes. “Today’s employees are empowered by technology in virtually all aspects of their lives, including wanting to choose which causes to which they donate their hard-earned money.” (Benevity, 2015)
While some CEOs and HR directors might be hesitant to loosen the reins of decision making, it’s helpful to know the why behind millennials’ (and other generations’!) enthusiasm for getting involved. “This change is driven by an emerging millennial workforce that demands the companies they work for provide them with a sense of pride and purpose, not just an income. Across generations, there are growing expectations for companies to help improve society (one country, India, has even made it mandatory, requiring that sizable businesses invest at least 2 percent of their pre-tax profit in doing good). These forces show that the same old ways of thinking won’t cut it anymore, and we must change the way we view corporate and workplace giving programs.” (Benevity, 2015)
So, how do you go about embracing corporate giving and making the adjustments needed to encourage and welcome employee involvement?
A great place to start is allowing employees to have a voice in the decision. Let them choose, not only categories of giving (children, the environment, community improvement, etc.), but also welcome their suggestions of specific organization they are passionate about, or already giving to! Recent studies have found that employees are 5 times more likely to participate if they have a voice in the charity selection process. (Benevity, 2018)
Another strategy to increase convenience and simplify the giving process is offering a deduction directly from payroll, at the employees request and approval. Though the intentions might be there, sometimes it’s challenging to find the time and motivation to take the steps necessary to complete the donation. “Companies that offer donations via payroll see four times the rate of participation than programs that don’t.” (Benevity, 2015) This also allows employees to make smaller, consistent contributions throughout the year vs making a larger annual donation.
A recent trend in Corporate Giving is company matching. Companies are matching various percentages of what their employees choose to give. They are also matching a set amount per employee, or various levels of matching based on the organizations chosen and how they align with the company values and culture.
“46% of companies offer open matching programs that allow employees to choose any cause they want.”
(CECP GIVING IN NUMBERS, 2015)
No matter which option you choose, Corporate Giving allows your team to give back, to help better the lives of others, and to contribute at a level many could not achieve on their own. It provides an opportunity to promote your brand, improve your reputation, and even increase sales. Internally, Corporate Giving unites teams, increases loyalty and retention, and boosts morale.
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give” – Winston Churchill
IMPACT is proud to have joined in #GivingTuesday and raised $2370.00 for The Empowerment Plan, a local organization dedicated to serving Detroit’s homeless community!