How Recurring Giving Boosts Impact — Measurably

 We’ve all witnessed it. Technology advancements have given employees access. And access means new ways to give, and not necessarily through work. Concurrently, technology has made organizations more agile, to the extent that companies have completely flipped their philanthropy strategies and made recurring giving a cornerstone of their overall corporate citizenship efforts.

Shifting from yearly gifts to year-round giving.

Just half a decade ago, for most of us, a company’s annual giving campaign was its primary philanthropic initiative. As recently as 2013, 71% of large enterprises reported that their giving program was a finite effort, usually taking place in the fall. [1]

By 2015, a seismic shift occurred: A growing recognition that employees happen to have their own causes they care about. They had so many other contribution choices outside of their employment, and those options were expedited by the many technology channels and devices available to them rather than through programs pushed down by their employers.

A downward trend in overall workplace annual drive contributions.

An account published in November of 2018 by Non-Profit Quarterly provides a salient example. At issue was a decline in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), a Federal Government workplace giving initiative centered around a single annual drive. The CFC has been around since the Kennedy Administration and has raised $8 billion over its existence. However, in a nine-year period starting in 2009, participation rates and dollars raised steadily tumbled, The number of donors plummeted, from 1.1 million employees to 169,000.[2]

One factor for  annual workplace giving going down was that workers had so many other contribution choices outside employment, and that those options were expedited by the many technology channels and devices available to them.

Top corporate philanthropic leaders were already responding to this trend by revisiting — and reinventing —their employee engagement strategies. Providing year-round giving and volunteer opportunities versus “one and done” annual campaigns. These opportunities became the initiatives of highest value. By the end of 2015, 60% of all companies and 85% of the largest enterprises said their giving programs operated year-round.[3] A remarkable reversal of priorities in a very short timeframe.

As of 2017, 45% of all donors worldwide were giving year-round, with recurring gifts through monthly donation programs.[4] And companies were doubling down on the impact. Of those that matched gifts, 93% were matching year-round.[5]

We’ve seen this shift first-hand at CyberGrants, and perhaps most significantly, a quantifiable rise in giving.

The numbers speak.

What’s the measurable significance of the shift to recurring giving? For one, recurring gifts provide a steady source of funding for non-profits, so corporations and their non-profit partners are better able to respond quickly to natural disasters and other unpredictable events.

Perhaps more importantly, here’s what happens when a company puts a well-designed program into place, one that gives employees a choice and the option to establish recurring gifts. Donors give an astounding 42% average more overall. 42%! This is a direct result of being allowed to spread their donations over time as opposed to giving single gifts.[6] Recurring gifters are also more likely to continue their generosity over the years, with much higher retention rates among monthly givers as opposed to those who give annually.

Recurring giving is a key component of achieving Agile Social Impact. Progressive enterprises have recognized the importance of providing employees with more ways to give, whether through dollars or volunteering. Enabling recurring gifts, especially when combined with a matching program, is a powerful motivator for increasing engagement and impact. They provide both employees and non-profit partners more-agile modes of gifting and funding that greatly increase a corporation’s societal impact.

Talk to us about your recurring giving initiatives. We can help you plan and implement programs.  And achieve Agile Social Impact for your organization.



[1] America’s Charities, Snapshot 2015, The New Corporate DNA: Where Social Impact and Employee Engagement Converge

[2] Nonprofit Quarterly, “Special Report, The Ailing CFC: One More Canary in the Workplace Giving Coal Mine?” November 13, 2018,

[3] America’s Charities, Snapshot 2015

[4] Nonprofit Tech for Good, 2018 Global Trends in Giving Report

[5] ACCP, Benchmarking Report, 2017

[6] Network for Good donation data,

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