What Is Employee Giving?

Employee giving programs, often called corporate philanthropy programs, encourage engagement and connection through targeted fundraising that has a lasting positive impact. Employee giving programs are a simple and streamlined method of making tax-deductible donations to charities or nonprofit organizations that align with the company’s mission statement.

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The Impact of Employee Giving Programs

Easy and effective, employee giving programs provide a pathway for companies to give back while creating a collective network for fundraising. Employee giving programs are mutually beneficial, as they provide employees with tax benefits while aiding nonprofit causes. By allowing employees to make donations through recurring payroll deductions or employee donation pledges, companies can encourage workplace engagement and enrichment while maximizing total donations. Employee giving campaigns are an expedited approach to charitable fundraising, allowing companies to launch employee giving efforts during a specific time of year.

To build or expand their sustainer program, many nonprofit organizations partner with companies with thriving employee giving programs. Some companies even match contributions to increase impact, a perk many prospective and current employees demand. Companies substantially benefit from showing they care about the causes their employees hold dear because it provides staff members with direct signs of their positive influence, leading to  higher employee satisfaction and retention.

A 2019 study showed that 49% of Americans believe it is very important for a company to “make the world a better place” than the 37% that prioritize making money for its shareholders. Corporate social responsibility is a growing concern and an employee giving program provides a simple channel to support a cause the company cares about. 

Types of Employee Giving Programs

While team giving initiatives can be customized to align with a company’s specific needs, common employee giving programs are either campaign-based, year-round, or a combination of the two. Many giving campaigns  will encourage employees to make a charitable contribution through a recurring payroll deduction or financial pledge. 

Employee Giving Campaigns

Occuring once or twice a year, companies will often match employee donations up to a certain amount to further inspire financial pledges and maximize contributions in the campaign model. The existence of a limited donation window gets employees motivated  but also demands that the company keep employees educated about the giving program’s duration so they don’t miss the chance to contribute.

Year-Round Employee Giving Programs

Another popular employee giving model is a year-round program. In a year-round program, employees have the ability to revise and increase contributions at any point in the year. This model typically involves the company deducting a set amount from each employee’s paycheck to gather donations. Not only does this make donating stress-free for the employee, but it also allows them to make bigger contributions whenever inspired. Year-round programs are effective for fostering an engaged social workplace, but the process of promoting and managing the program and subsequent donations might require external services.

Hybrid Employee Giving Programs

A hybrid employee giving program is perfect for companies hoping to maintain the flexibility of a year-round giving program while still capitalizing on the excitement surrounding periodic giving campaigns. Hybrid giving programs allow companies to raise awareness for timely causes, such as natural disasters or holiday gift-giving, to increase contributions or pledges while those philanthropic efforts are most active.  

Implementing a Employee Giving Program

Each company’s employee giving programs will be unique, but the planning and launching process will typically demand the same responsibilities. Here are the key roles and responsibilities of an effective employee giving campaign:

Make a Plan

Orchestrating a company-wide employee giving program can be intensive, so begin by identifying a campaign timeline. Depending on the company and program, some times of the year may result in higher contributions than others. It’s crucial to factor in the program’s duration, but equally important to consider the labor and time needed to plan and market the campaign. 

Create a Budget

Companies should create a budget for the employee giving program to properly allocate funds to a philanthropic cause and plan for  any potential matching challenges. If the company or organization is agreeing to match donations, they need to identify a cap for maximum contribution to avoid financial hardship.

Communicate with Senior Leadership

To encourage company wide interest and participation, all board members and executives should be involved in donating to and promoting the employee giving program. Senior leadership should be informed about the program early and frequently updated about the campaign’s success.

Consider Fundraising Strategies

Philanthropic interests vary for each employee, with some preferring to volunteer instead of financially contributing. Recruitment should center around educating employees on the program’s impact to foster continual interest while designing the program to encourage sizable contributions.

Launch the Program

Once all employees have been educated about the giving program, it’s time to start the engines. Many companies recruit employee ambassadors to keep team members engaged and invested in the program’s success. Some companies host workshops or volunteer events centered on the program’s cause, provide video resources for employees to learn more, and provide timely updates about the program’s details to keep employees engaged post-launch. 

Benefits of Employee Giving Programs

Employee giving programs benefit everyone involved, from the individual company team members to the nonprofits they are supporting. Specific benefits of employee giving programs include: 

  • Elevated employee engagement: Employee giving programs provide a simplified way to donate to causes employees care about, keeping employees engaged and enriching the company culture.
  • AffoBlackbaudndraising: The most sustainable fundraising program is one that’s affordable and streamlined. Offering an employee giving program is one of the most cost-effective strategies for nonprofits to amass passive contributions, eliminating the need for the charity to launch an extensive (and expensive) campaign. Even better, this allows fundraising profits to be directed to nonprofit services rather than fundraising marketing.
  • Increased  contributions: Because year-round employee giving programs allow nonprofits to benefit from sustainable donations, the selected charity can elevate their philanthropic services and programs. Employee giving programs significantly increase the donations a nonprofit typically receives, extending the value of each contribution while allowing nonprofits to expand their reach.

How Blackbaud’s Software Can Help Employee Giving Programs

Blackbaud is a leader in nonprofit software tools that make employee giving programs a breeze. Simplify data management and maximize donor fundraising with Blackbaud to make sure employee contributions go the extra mile. Elevate your company’s employee giving program by requesting a demo with Blackbaud today.