Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can dramatically impact the quality of talent at your company. It can also improve your employee retention and how customers perceive your business. For example:
- The Kantar Purpose 2020 study found companies the public considers to have a highly impactful purpose had a brand value growth of 175% over 12 years. That’s compared to businesses with a low positive impact, which had a brand value growth of 70%.
- A study of data from 15,184 employees, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, found CSR at work positively affects employees. CRS enables them to show more of their “whole selves” at work. That’s correlated with increased employee engagement.
- A June 2020 Porter Novelli survey of 1,004 United States adults found that 70% of Americans want companies they support to actively engage in social justice issues.
Giving back feels good. The Cleveland Clinic reports that charitable giving relates to numerous mental and physical health benefits. These include lower stress levels, less depression, lower blood pressure, and increased self-esteem.
You can support your employees and give back to the community when you create an employee giving program at work. This guide explains how you can structure yours and incentivize employees to participate to make it successful.
What are employee giving programs?
Generally, an employee giving program is an activity that enables your workforce to contribute to nonprofit organizations and charitable causes with company support.
First, let’s define employee giving programs. They can vary widely depending on the company and structure. Generally, an employee giving program is an activity that enables your workforce to contribute to nonprofit organizations and charitable causes with company support.
For example, a company might choose a specific nonprofit to sponsor, in ways like:
- Matching employee donations to the nonprofit
- Enabling employees to donate a portion of their paycheck to a nonprofit
- Scheduling employee volunteer outings on behalf of the company
- Creating giving drives for special events, like holidays
Your business can use the values that define your vision and mission to find nonprofits that align with them. You might choose a single nonprofit to focus your efforts and maximize contributions. Or, you might support a variety of nonprofits. You might also enable employees to give back to charities they’re passionate about, then match those donations as a company.
Some companies set up their own philanthropic foundation. A corporate foundation can contribute in diverse ways. For example, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides grants to organizations focused on initiatives like global health and gender equality. Ronald McDonald House Charities supports children’s health and well-being.
You decide how to structure your employee giving program. If you’re unsure of where to start, survey your employees. Learn about the causes that matter to them and how they’d like you, their employer, to support their giving efforts.
America’s Charities reports that 30% of employee donors don’t give through the workplace because they support different causes than the employer’s giving program. You can increase your employee participation by involving them in your strategy from the beginning.
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Why is employee giving important?
Your mission and vision statements may include details on how you hope your company makes a positive impact on the world. Employee giving provides a tangible way to make that impact. You can see the results from your workforce’s efforts in the organizations to which you contribute.
A study of representatives from 138 U.S. companies found:
- 55% of respondents said a company’s workplace giving program is very or somewhat important for attracting talent.
- 58% said a company’s workplace giving program is very or somewhat important in retaining talent.
- 46% said a company’s workplace giving program fulfills the organization’s mission.
An employee giving program can also give your company perception a boost. These programs can improve brand sentiment among investors and customers who see your business is making meaningful strides to benefit good causes.
90% of professionals would sacrifice 23% of their future earnings for “work that is always meaningful.” Employees who say their jobs are “highly meaningful” are 69% less likely to quit in the next 6 months.
How do you promote employee giving?
You can spread the word about your employee giving program while recruiting employees, as you promote your brand to customers and the public, and internally to your workforce. Here are a few ideas:
- Add employee giving information on your corporate website. Explain how your program supports your mission and vision.
- Share employee giving milestones on social media channels.
- Talk about employee giving initiatives in all-company meetings and employee newsletters.
- Mention an employee giving program in company information on job descriptions.
- Explain employee giving opportunities in new hire onboarding.
- Write press releases on employee giving accomplishments and share them with local media.
- Invite representatives from the nonprofits your employee giving program supports to speak to your employees about the impact they’ve made.
Continually ask for feedback from your employees about their views of the employee giving program. You may change the nonprofits you support over time as your mission, products, services, and workforce evolve.
Make it easy and simple for employees to give
Make it easy for employees to contribute to your employee giving program. Educate employees on the giving program early, including during onboarding. Promote the employee giving program in workforce communications. And provide a variety of ways to contribute, such as automatic paycheck donations or volunteer opportunities.
Your employee giving program can unite your workforce and improve engagement. Its impact on the organizations you support adds even more meaning to the world.