A robust corporate giving program has become essential for any business. With an effective program in place, the company can make a positive impact on the world, whether by supporting its local community or contributing to larger, global initiatives. Additionally, having a social impact is a key differentiator for today’s organizations, many of which are still struggling to retain workers and customers in an uncertain economic environment. Yet, the companies that implement successful giving strategies typically benefit from the opportunity to better engage employees, attract new talent, retain customers and enhance their company brand, all while helping the greater community.
With research from Aon Hewitt showing that 40 percent of employees worldwide are actively or passively disengaged, the ability to engage the employee base is a top concern. Moreover, a recent PwC study shows that employees who are committed to their organizations put in 57 percent more effort on the job and are 87 percent less likely to resign than employees who are disengaged. Companies with active corporate giving programs that make it easy for employees to donate their time and resources, benefit from a key advantage in improving employee engagement.
The impact of a pronounced corporate giving platform isn’t limited to employees and job seekers; it can also enhance the company’s impression among customers and local communities and thereby increase revenue and corporate growth. According to Cone Communications’ 2013 Social Impact Study, consumers in the U.S. increasingly deem social impact a differentiating factor in their purchasing decisions. The study showed that 90 percent of Americans are more likely to trust and be more loyal to companies that back causes, and 82 percent suggested that their purchasing decisions are influenced by companies that support social issues.
Given the importance of giving programs in attracting and retaining employees and customers alike, companies must be able to identify the best practices that will truly engage their teams and turn their loyal customers into brand ambassadors. Consider the following tips for spurring employee engagement and the resulting business growth:
- Encourage more than just donations: With multiple-channel programs, the company can enable employees to contribute through volunteerism and pro bono professional services, providing the opportunity to take a more hands-on approach to giving.
- Provide numerous options: offering a large selection of non-profit organizations in a range of causes (e.g., health and welfare, education, civic, community, arts and culture, etc.) will help to engage employees by enabling them to donate to the causes most important to them.
- Don’t set a time limit: Rather than implementing finite campaigns, the company can establish year-long giving programs. Not only does this allow employees to donate when the time is best for them, but it can also result in repeated gifts.
- Match employee contributions: When the company matches gift donations, it shows its employees that it is just as committed as they are, while helping them to multiply the impact of their contributions.
- Make their time worth it: By offering paid time off when employees are out of the office to partake in community activities, the company can encourage volunteerism.
- Let employees choose: Giving employees the choice in how they would like to donate can help spur giving. The company should offer a variety of payment methods for donation, including payroll deductions and payments by credit card, check and cash.
- Put the spotlight on employees: One of the best ways to drive employee giving is to motivate them with incentive programs, celebration events, internal publicity and public recognition.
At a time when employees are more empowered than ever and won’t think twice about leaving a company that doesn’t meet their expectations, giving campaigns provide a significant differentiator. Not only does corporate giving help to keep current employees engaged, but it also helps improve the corporate brand and make the company an employer of choice. Moreover, through its philanthropic efforts and commitment to its communities, the company can instill greater trust among the public, which results in more loyal customers. Given the impact that giving campaigns can have on business growth, it is clear that corporate giving is no longer a ‘nice to have’ feature, but a key instrument in driving business success.