Increase Employee Participation With Equitable Giving

Whether your employees are working remotely, in the field, or in an office, the role that giving programs play in supporting shared company culture should be considered. But how can you ensure that employees are engaging with your giving platform? Equitable giving programs offer a powerful opportunity to increase employee participation and help them stay connected to a shared purpose. As employers, you have the ability to create a community-centric environment around your giving initiatives and the privilege of fostering a meaningful connection to your mission and causes, thus fueling engagement and participation. 

Regardless of what causes your employees are drawn to, they are all looking for connection and inclusion. If your participation and engagement levels are not where you want them to be, then it might be time to adapt your strategy. In this article, we’ll discuss why equitable giving is important, how to get started, and ways to optimize your programs for more equitable giving opportunities. 

What is Equitable Giving, and Why Does it Matter?

Through the lens of corporate social responsibility, equitable giving is an emerging trend focused on increasing engagement and participation through more accessible giving opportunities. It allows employee donors to allocate funds directly and with an immediacy that matching gift programs don’t always offer. Equitable giving is unique because it removes barriers when it comes to developing a robust, first-time, and recurring donor base. These programs also give employees a sense of vested interest from their employers, which builds a more connected and inclusive environment. In turn, this will boost employee engagement, participation, and satisfaction.

Optimize Your Programs With A Charitable Spending Account

There are dozens of ways to create equitable giving opportunities to drive employee participation. In fact, many employers have already witnessed its success within their own organization. For many, the easiest way to offer a more equitable and accessible giving program is through a charitable spending account. 

Matching gift programs are great, and many employees are able to take advantage of this benefit, but often times the match is left on the table along with the record of participation. After an employee donates to a nonprofit, they must submit a matching gift request to their employer, and only then will the company make an additional donation to that nonprofit. For many, this is a barrier to giving. Consider transferring budget from a matching gift program to a charitable spending account for employees. They can use the dollars to support the nonprofits and causes directly and without the need to request a match. Their participation and donations are recorded immediately. These accounts can help employees feel more comfortable and build confidence in their ability to give. Here are a few creative ways organizations have already begun to leverage the power of a charitable spending account: 

Corporate Giving Days

Do you host corporate giving days or specific awareness holidays, like #GivingTuesday? This is a perfect opportunity to facilitate employee involvement through an equitable giving opportunity. Instead of holding back funds for a special or increased match option, allocate those funds towards “pre-paid” cards or to fill an individual spending account for each employee to use towards supporting the nonprofit of their choice. Limit the use of the funds to your specific giving day for an added incentive to spend! 


CarMax-LogoEach year, millions of Americans participate in #GivingTuesday – a day of global giving. This year CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, and The CarMax Foundation launched a new initiative to help associates get involved. The CarMax Foundation provided all 25,000+ CarMax associates with a $25 credit – or electronic "Care Card” – to donate to an eligible nonprofit of their choice. With full associate participation in this initiative, the Foundation is poised to donate $650,000 to nonprofit organizations across the United States.  


New Hire Programs

New hire programs are designed to help incoming employees learn more about your company culture and values, along with their own roles and responsibilities. What better time to instill a sense of connection with your company mission than investing in them and trusting them to select a nonprofit to allocate those funds, and or volunteer time, towards. Getting employees involved and participating from the beginning helps to fuel recurring and long-term generosity throughout their tenure with you.

Schneider_Electric-Logo.wineSchneider Electric Foundation is working to expand its culture of employee-powered corporate giving programs. To drive awareness and increase employee engagement from day one, they have implemented a New Hire program. New employees are given $25 to donate to the charity of their choosing and have 20 paid volunteer hours to spend working with organizations they care about. The focus on giving back to the communities they serve and encouraging their employees to do the same has become an essential part of the employee experience. New hire participation has increased over 10% this year as a result of the new hire giving initiative. 


Paid Volunteer Time-Off 

Rather than merely encouraging employees to volunteer for causes they believe in, consider incentivizing participation by offering paid time off for volunteer opportunities. Many volunteerism activities take place during the work day, making it difficult to balance both giving back and collecting a paycheck. Volunteer time-off is a form of PTO that allows employees the flexibility of volunteering during the workday while still getting paid. As a result, everyone can give back to the local community without worrying about missing out on a full day’s wages. VTO can be easily built into your paid time off plan so its just as easy to manage and track as vacation and sick days. Beyond that, consider organizing an office-wide day off dedicated to volunteering within your community. Not only is this a great way to give back, it also fosters team bonding and collaboration. 


clif-logoDuring the CLIF CORPS Companywide Day of Service, Clif employees volunteer their time during work hours to give back to their local communities. To date, this program has contributed over 138,000 hours of community service, which is equivalent to over 50 full-time employees doing community service for an entire year. During their recent National Day of Service, members of Clif Bar’s employee giving and engagement program, got their hands dirty at national parks, monuments and historic sites across the US and Canada. 


Whether you’ve already got a robust employee engagement program in place or you’re just getting started, maintaining participation and fostering a connection to company culture can be difficult. Equitable giving programs offer a powerful opportunity to engage employees, increase participation, and give back to causes that matter. 

As your partner in CSR, CyberGrants is here to support you! If you're ready to kickstart your equitable giving program, book a demo with us today. Interested in other employee engagement opportunities, visit us here. 

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