What helps drive employee engagement to increase corporate giving? | Miratel Solutions

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New study looks at corporate and employee giving for nonprofits

When you compare the nonprofit fundraising landscape of today with a generation ago one of the most significant changes that you’ll see is the constant growth of corporate giving programs which have generated untold donations for literally tens of thousands of charitable causes. It’s interesting to note that while the philosophy of corporate giving has gained mass acceptance in recent decades the origins can be traced back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when a handful of wealthy business founders such as Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell and J.P. Morgan began to grow the concept of philanthropy being a healthy offshoot of their corporate profits.

A century later and almost all companies both large and small provide gift matching for employee contributions to nonprofits or at least a charitable benefactor that they support from their own business activities. One of the better studies of corporate giving was recently released by America’s Charities and can be downloaded here. The report compiles data from almost 240 nonprofits from all sizes and sectors within the fundraising community.

The study assessed which programs are most successful in increasing employee engagement and provide the most value to nonprofits. This data revealed that the following initiatives (in order) provide an ideal platform to stimulate giving.

  • Matching gift programs
  • An approved internal (within the company) program which provides employees the opportunity to promote their favorite nonprofit causes and organizations
  • Dollar for doer grants
  • Year-round giving choices
  • Payroll contribution choices
  • Building a team of corporate volunteers
  • Corporations encouraging employees to serve on the boards of nonprofits
  • A wide range of choices

nonprofit-fundraising-corporate-giving-americas-charitiesThe final bullet on the list above is often overlooked, I can share with you from my experience with a large corporation that employees expect and truly appreciate having a very broad spectrum of nonprofits to select from which is a very positive thing. When you are considering the philanthropic interests and concerns of tens of thousands of employees then hundreds of nonprofit options if possible will provide the best choice and satisfaction.

The report also provides data that addresses the current trends in corporate giving and the numbers are healthy. Employer accountability for raising awareness of the programs on offer is always an important step of course and ensuring new employees and existing ones too are kept informed about their options makes a significant difference in participation rates. Again reflecting on my own experience I’ve noticed that a larger corporation is sometimes guilty of neglecting to provide a reliable flow of information to long-standing employees whilst new employees are made aware of the variety of employee giving programs during the hiring and training processes. All things considered the data is encouraging when asked about workplace giving:

  • 60% say workplace giving is increasing or remaining steady
  • 24% say workplace giving is decreasing
  • 16% were unsure or didn’t provide a response to the question

Underpinning that data is the encouraging news that 80% of companies stated that employee workplace giving / payroll giving programs would remain at the core of their employee philanthropy programs.

As with all ongoing initiatives that require partnership it’s imperative that both nonprofits and the corporations that support them dedicate the needed staffing to see that these programs are developed, maintained and supported and in an era of staffing contraction and multiple responsibilities this can often be the most difficult hurdle of all.

I’d be very interested to learn how your nonprofit manages their employee giving campaigns and if you have any valuable insight to share. Similarily if you work for a large corporation how would you evaluate the overall engagement in nonprofit support within your workplace and the efficient communication of information pertaining to these programs?


Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery servicesdonation cagingdonation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services

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