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How To Start A Corporate Giving Program Employees Will Love

Did you know that companies that engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR), or efforts to improve society, often see higher customer and employee loyalty rates? In fact, CSR research indicates that 93% of employees want to work for companies that lead with purpose. Meanwhile, 77% of consumers prefer to do business with companies that prioritize CSR. From enhancing your business’s reputation to expanding employee benefits, engaging in corporate philanthropy can do a lot of good for your company.

To launch an effective corporate giving program, your strategy must align with your company’s core values, prioritize programs that resonate with employees, and fit your budgetary constraints.

Doing so will help you create a program that employees participate in and makes a difference in your community. To help you create an impactful corporate giving program, we’ll share four easy steps any business can follow.

1. Define Clear Goals For Your Corporate Giving Program

Before diving into the specifics of your company’s CSR strategy, consider why you’re launching a program. Why is your company choosing to give back, and what do you hope to achieve through your corporate giving program? Your answers might involve enhancing community well-being, fostering team cohesion, or supporting environmental sustainability. By grounding your program in a clear purpose, you’ll align your company’s philanthropic endeavors with a broader mission future programs can build off of.

With a clear purpose in mind, your company’s CSR strategy needs SMART goals. Outline specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. Here are some examples:

  • Increase employee participation in skills-based volunteerism by 30% within the next year.
  • Give $10,000 to hunger relief efforts by the end of Q2 through employee donations and company matching funds.
  • Increase employee volunteer hours by 25% over the next 12 months by organizing monthly volunteer events and providing volunteer grants.

During this process, involve employees to ensure everyone’s on board with the program. Employee participation makes or breaks these employee giving programs, and workers are far more likely to get on board with initiatives that are relevant to their interests and suit their giving preferences. Gathering input could be as simple as conducting surveys or having one-on-one conversations.

2. Use Matching Gifts to Align Giving With Employees’ Values

The easiest way to show your support for employees’ values via corporate giving is through matching gifts. Through this workplace giving program, you’ll match employees’ donations to charitable organizations. This approach doubles contributions to various causes and sends a powerful message about the company’s commitment to supporting initiatives that matter to its workforce.

By matching donations made to the nonprofits employees choose themselves, you’ll transform individual acts of generosity into a collective effort that reflects the diverse backgrounds and passions of your entire team. Being flexible will help your program support a wide variety of causes, from local community projects to global humanitarian efforts.

Set clear criteria for your matching gift program, including:

  • A Match Ratio: Most companies match at a 1:1 rate. For every $1 an employee gives, your company will also donate $1. A 2:1 ratio means you’ll give $2 for every $1 donated, while a 0.5:1 ratio means you’ll give $0.50 for every $1 contributed.
  • Donation Requirements: Define the minimum and maximum donation amounts you’ll match per employee.
  • Employee Eligibility: Determine which employees are eligible based on employment status, such as full-time, part-time, or retired. If you’re feeling generous, some companies even match donations made by employees’ spouses!
  • Nonprofit Eligibility: Define which types of nonprofits are eligible. Will you match to any registered 501(c)(3) organization, or will you restrict eligibility to a certain cause, like higher education or environmental protection?

From here, promote your matching gift program. Formally announce the program through company communication channels, then consistently reiterate the opportunity in compensation discussions. After all, offering employee giving opportunities like this can significantly enhance the value of compensation packages.

3. Line Up Company Volunteer Days

Demonstrate your company’s commitment to CSR and encourage team bonding through company volunteer days. These initiatives enable employees to step away from their desks and get involved in the community.

To line up successful volunteer opportunities, involve employees in the planning process. Gather insight into their passions and identify causes they feel strongly about supporting. A collaborative approach will motivate employees to participate.

Get in contact with several local charities to organize a variety of volunteer events that cater to different interests and abilities. What’s more, these opportunities should incorporate team-building elements, so employees can build stronger relationships. Try organizing:

  • Environmental clean-ups where employees clean up a local park, beach, or riverbank. Partner with a local environmental organization to ensure the clean-up has a lasting impact.
  • Skills-based opportunities where employees can mentor youth, lend their expertise to a local nonprofit, or offer free classes to adults.
  • Food bank assistance where employees can sort donations and distribute food to those in need.
  • Visits to local senior centers or nursing homes where employees can engage in conversations, lead recreational activities, or provide tech support to help them talk to distant family members.

Handle all logistics for employees, like transportation and meals, to ensure a positive experience. Ultimately, well-planned company volunteer days will contribute to the community, enhance your company’s image, and build cohesive teams driven by shared values and mutual respect.

4. Leverage CSR Software to Streamline Program Administration

The right technology can be a game-changer for companies that want to launch meaningful corporate giving initiatives. CSR software helps manage various aspects of corporate giving, like tracking employee donations, vetting nonprofits, and motivating employee participation.

Depending on your platform, you may be able to tap into capabilities like:

  • Automate matching gifts: Your software might automate the matching gift process, making it easier for employees to request matches.
  • Centralize volunteer management: Most platforms help businesses and employees organize, promote, and report on volunteer opportunities and participation. Employees should be able to report their volunteer hours and sign up for opportunities through an employee portal.
  • Enhance communication: Use your software to manage and automate communication with employees about upcoming volunteer events, workplace giving opportunities, and updates on your program’s impact.
  • Report on progress: You want your corporate giving program to make a difference, and your CSR software can help monitor impact. Track metrics like total volunteer hours logged, funds raised, funds matched, and employee participation rates.

For your company, selecting a helpful platform can streamline program administration and make reporting impact to stakeholders a breeze. For employees, it can significantly boost participation by removing logistical barriers and making it easier to see their immediate impact.

Final Thoughts

Launching a corporate giving program is more than just a strategic business decision; it’s a commitment to fostering a culture of generosity and purpose that resonates with current and future employees.

With thoughtful planning and a genuine desire to make a difference, your company can design a corporate giving program that enriches lives and strengthens employees’ bonds. Now is the time to create a legacy of giving that will be cherished by your employees, admired by your peers, and celebrated by your community.