Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

How to Start A Corporate Giving Program by Laura Plato

happy employee.jpgLeaders at companies of all shapes and sizes understand that creating a culture of giving back is essential to their own bottom lines. According to America’s Charities, workplace giving is one of the most cost-effective ways to support charities, with approximately $4 billion being raised each year through workplace giving. And recent industry research found that companies that increased total giving by at least 10% between 2013 and 2015 saw increases in revenue and pre-tax profit, as opposed to all other companies, which actually saw decreases in both metrics.

When employees are involved in corporate giving, companies reap the rewards as well as nonprofits - in the form of increased employee engagement, recruitment, retention and productivity. According to Project ROI, a well-designed corporate social responsibility program can increase employee engagement up to 7.5%, increase employee productivity by 13%, reduce employee turnover by 50%, and increase revenue by as much as 20%. Workplace giving is a central component of these programs.

Workplace giving also has an affect on brand loyalty from existing customers and brand awareness from new customers. An Edelman study found that as social purpose’s role in purchasing decisions has increased, purchase frequency has also intensified: 47% of global consumers buy brands that support a good cause at least monthly, a 47% increase from a few years past. “Not only are consumers making purchase decisions with purpose top of mind,” the study notes, “they are also buying and advocating for purposeful brands. Seventy-two percent of consumers would recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that doesn’t. Seventy-one percent of consumers would help a brand promote their products or services if there is a good cause behind them. Seventy-three percent of consumers would switch brands if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause.”

Beyond all of these benefits to the business, there is also the satisfaction of making a true impact in one’s community.

But sometimes it’s tough to know where to start, especially if you’re a start-up - or a large company that hasn’t traditionally made giving back a priority.

Here’s some advice from the members of Pledge 1%, a corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making the community a key stakeholder in every business: don’t get paralyzed by the overwhelm. If you want to kick off a corporate giving program at your company, whether it’s a brand new business or a longtime company, you can simply start by making a commitment and then build your program as you grow.

For example, Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, product, and employee time for their communities. Taking the 1% pledge helps companies and individuals demonstrate their philanthropic intent and hold themselves accountable for turning a pledge into action.

Companies that follow this model find that baking social impact into their corporate DNA helps everyone prosper. Suzanne DiBianca, EVP of corporate relations and chief philanthropy officer at Salesforce, notes, “At our founding, Salesforce transformed corporate philanthropy with the 1-1-1 model of integrated giving and it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.”

Pledge1percent.org enables visitors to pledge equity, employee time and/or product directly on the site. Pledge 1% staff facilitate making an equity pledge easy to implement, connect companies with local resources to empower employee engagement programs, and help companies to further define and respond to community needs.

Meanwhile, Causecast also offers a powerful platform from which to encourage and facilitate employee giving, with tools that automate some of the best channels for giving, such as payroll deductions, in-kind donations, crowdfunding fundraisers and matching gifts, and more. Each one of these tools can serve as a robust incentive that generates incredible results.

For example, America’s Charities has found that providing employees with the opportunity to make financial donations directly from their paycheck is the most common component of employee engagement. Further, corporate matches are becoming a central driving force that incentivizes employees to donate to charities through workplace initiatives.

There are many on-ramps to join the superhighway of corporate giving - the important thing is to just get started!

If you’d like to learn more, join me for our free webinar next Thursday, May 25th at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT, where I’ll be joined by Lisa Boyd of Pledge 1%.

You’ll walk away knowing:

  • How to “start where you are” with corporate giving

  • How to build more meaningful opportunities to give back

  • Best practices on ways to give - including time, money, product and equity

  • Tools that make it easy to manage payroll deductions, matching gifts, in-kind donations, crowdfunding fundraisers and more

This event is a part of Causecast’s monthly +IMPACT webinar series. Our goal is to help company managers build new skills and develop enhanced programming that achieves unprecedented impact for their communities and businesses. We believe that together, through collaboration and learning, we can overcome our biggest challenges.

Join us!

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