Every month at FrontStream, we distribute employee donations to thousands of different nonprofit organizations: some are well-established charitable enterprises with chapters across the nation and the world, but many are small associations, hoping to contribute in whatever way possible to the needs of their communities. In between are all types of organizations, addressing the variety of challenges that face our world today.
Many companies wisely give their employees a choice in where they give their time and their money. Not only does this encourage greater participation in a giving campaign, it also boosts average giving. When employees can support causes they care about, whether it be their local school or an overseas humanitarian effort, they give more on average. Simply put, when employees know what their money will be used for, our data shows they tend to give more.
Yet too much choice can create a campaign that does not reflect your company and your values. We believe that a meaningful workplace giving campaign is one that reflects a company’s core values, where there exists a connection between the larger philanthropic goals of the company and the values that employees express in workplace giving. This synergy can more effectively power positive change in communities.
There are several reasons to endorse the idea that core values should be reflected in workplace giving.
- It is socially responsible. As a leader among corporations, it is within your power to make lasting change that affect not only your industry but also the world. Deciding what legacy your program will leave is essential—and donating money without thought is no longer enough. Especially if your campaign matches employee gifts, every dollar should have a guided impact. If that giving is in line with your other efforts, your impact is bolster in the areas in which your company has decided you are well-positioned to make a difference.
- It helps your bottom line. Corporate giving doesn’t just demonstrate your generosity; it can help your business. Take the example set by a major shipping & transportation company, whose industry has historically had a negative impact on the environment. To counter these legacy damages and to counteract negative perceptions, the company focuses on environmental issues, from conserving resources to making business practices more efficient. When their employees also give to or volunteer for environmental organizations, they are in effect channeling more company resources in the form of their wages or time into additional environmental protections.
- It fosters a unified vision. A campaign aligned with your core values can bring the company together. By supporting only a few causes, your campaign can meaningfully address a problem, rather than spreading dollars thinly over a multitude of issues. It also demonstrates that your employees care about the issues that affect their company. For instance, a global financial company has employees that live in locations susceptible to typhoons, tornados, and landslides. They therefore encourage giving through company branded relief funds, which help communities recover from these and other natural disasters. When employees and the company harmonize in their efforts to ensure the well-being of the world, this is philanthropy that has the strongest, and longest-lasting, impact.
With the FrontStream Corporate Giving solution, your company can select to host open or closed campaigns. This means employees can choose to support any nonprofit listed in the IRS database or they can support nonprofits from a list preselected by you, respectively. We suggest you pay attention to employee charitable interests when selecting the focus of your annual campaign. Once your campaign is aligned with your core values, you can begin to really see how the contributions from your employees and your company can improve the world.
Author: Meghan Ball is an Operations Analyst at FrontStream, working in conjunction with the company’s CSR and NPO Services team. Her focus is on facilitating donor payments, data analytics, and reporting for corporations, their employees, and the nonprofits they have pledged to support. Meghan has a BA in International Relations from Connecticut College and has worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad. Her work strengthens connections between corporate givers and nonprofits who share a common interest in sustainable progress.