5 Key Elements for a Successful Workplace Giving Program

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How to build it right for better employee engagement and impact

Workplace giving has been around since the early 1900s. At that time, community-based charity federations began to coordinate unified campaigns for local nonprofits. By 1950, more than 40% of the amount raised in these local fund drives came from corporate contributions.i This affinity for local impact still exists today in many corporate social responsibility programs. Companies want to connect their philanthropy dollars and hours to the communities in which they operate, as well as to the causes their employees care about. Other common drivers for setting up a workplace giving program may include:

  • Creating a positive workplace culture 
  • Improving brand reputation
  • Engaging employees
  • Making a difference
  • Attracting and retaining talent

How a Robust Workplace Giving Program Drives Employee and External Engagement

The right giving platform can help drive employee engagement – leading to a greater ability to attract, inspire, and retain an empowered workforce. What’s more, these same platforms can help business leaders engage more effectively with external stakeholders, such as investors, customers, and governments, who are expanding their focus on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) efforts. 

Download the white paper ➔

robust giving program whitepaper cover

Regardless of the reason for setting up corporate giving program, there are five essential elements to consider for success as follows:

  1. Employee empowerment and choice: Company-wide initiatives are a great way to foster a sense of community among your employees and causes that align well with your business. However, employees also want to give to causes they personally care about. Businesses that can address this need by allowing their staff to donate and volunteer with the nonprofits of their choice will have higher engagement and broader impact through their program.
  2. Ease of use: Your solution should be easy to deploy while also being simple and elegant enough for employees to use it. Employee engagement is a great barometer of success for your giving program – it’s only valuable if your employees actually participate. While providing employees with flexible giving options is a critical part of this, it’s also important to make it easy for them to find and connect with causes that interest them. Solutions that just offer a database of thousands of nonprofits or volunteer opportunities may leave users feeling overwhelmed by choice. In fact, studies have shown that more choices can lead to fewer conversions and less engagement.ii Leveraging an easy-to-use donation and volunteering platform such as Bright Funds simplifies the process of connecting your employees with giving opportunities that align with their interests and skills. Even better, you can set it up in minutes rather than days or weeks.
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  1. Scalability: Heightened focus on global health and social justice concerns over the past year inspired many companies to launch giving programs for the first time. However, even if you are just starting out, you’ll want to make sure your platform can grow with you. Some platforms focus on only one aspect of a corporate philanthropy program such as donations, volunteering, or grants management, or are limited to only one region. An agile, cloud-based all-in-one solution like Bright Funds is built to scale, whether your company has 20 people or 50,000. All transactions are secured with 128-bit encryption and are SOC2 compliant. Additional ways we can grow with you include:
  • Support for any 501(c)(3) and charities in over 150 countries
  • International giving in 139 currencies
  • Integrations with many payroll, HRIS, volunteering, social media and other systems
  • Corporate grant management
  • Matching donations
  • One time and recurring donations
  • Volunteer tracking and event management
  • “Dollars for Doers”
  • Disaster relief campaigns
  1. Reporting: World-renowned management theorist Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Business leaders need to be able to measure aspects of their workplace giving program important to key stakeholders such as leadership, investors, customers and employees, as well as to inform their strategy going forward. Effective reporting should equip management teams with the insights they need to drive a successful program and improve engagement over time. A few things to consider for your giving program reporting are:
  • Can you set company goals?
  • Engagement metrics 
  • Real-time, customizable reporting
  • Downloadable reports
  • Impact reporting for corporate grants
  1. Shared purpose: A big part of driving positive value is to “think bigger.” Not only do employees want to be part of something bigger than themselves, but investors, government, communities and consumers are increasingly expecting companies to do more good outside their own doors. As a result, there is mounting evidence that companies that hold purpose at the core of their strategy are outperforming those that don’t. In the words of BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, “Ultimately, purpose is the engine of long-term profitability.”iii To this end, it’s crucial that your social impact program is supported by an agile, comprehensive workplace giving solution that can provide the right indicators to your key stakeholders.

Realizing a greater impact, together

A year of unprecedented change has highlighted our connectedness – not only in the challenges we face such as the global pandemic, climate change, social injustice and inequality – but also in how we can come together to solve those challenges. 

To learn more about how a robust workplace giving program can help drive employee and external engagement, download the white paper

You may also be interested in starting a free trial of Bright Funds.

Julie Yamamoto

Julie Yamamoto

Julie is a Content Strategist at Bright Funds. She works closely with clients to deliver compelling content that inspires action. Her work has been featured in several enterprise and nonprofit digital channels, as well as GreenBiz and American Forests. She is a trained Climate Reality leader with a passion for environmental topics (technology for good, sustainable business, forests and carbon markets, climate change, conservation and biodiversity). In the future, she hopes to start a nonprofit focused on harnessing creativity to protect nature.

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