The Benefits of a Workplace Giving Tool

March 23, 2021
Use cases

There are many reasons companies want to embrace generosity and empower charitable giving among employees. There’s the feel-good factor, of course, as well as the helpful tax deduction, public relations boost, positive social media exposure, and the strengthening of the company's brand.

Research also shows that consumers and employees want to support a business that drives real change in the community. They want programs that engage employees, foster teamwork, and offer a meaningful opportunity for employees to share values and bond around a common goal. Companies that match their employees' charitable contributions and invest in a culture of giving will reap rewards far beyond the on-paper benefits. 

But managing a charitable giving program isn't easy—and many companies struggle to run their own. Let’s take a closer look at the costs and benefits of running a manual matching program versus working with a partner like Charityvest, and see how businesses can maximize giving and minimize the hassle.

The Economics of a Corporate Charitable Giving Program

Running a workplace giving program requires two major investments. First, you have the cost of operating the program and making sure employees are using it, and second, the impact of your charitable matching dollars. Just like with running a business, running a successful charity matching fund is all about managing the return on the investment you are making in the program. 

Administering the Program

Assuming you’ve decided on the structure of your program (e.g., which charities will / won’t you support, what rules will you have, how much will you match, under what circumstances, what is required, etc.) and have launched to employees, you’ll now need to invest your time in administering the program.

Is running a matching program yourself giving you the returns you want? Consider the details. Managing your own program requires doing compliance homework on supported charities, managing and sending grants, and setting up vendors and issuing payments. For many companies, the setup and day to day maintenance alone can put a strain on time and resources. Sometimes, those administrative tasks are cumbersome enough to discourage HR admins and program administrators from actually promoting the program to employees and making them reevaluate the investment at all — not a very generous experience. 

Here’s what the typical manual administration of a giving program looks like:

  • Employee makes a gift on a website and receives a receipt
  • Employee fills in a form or PDF, attaches the receipt, and submits it to admin
  • Admin reviews the form or PDF and receipt, and may validate the status of the charity to make sure it is legitimate
  • Bonus: Admin checks with the charity to make sure donation was completed and was not just a pledge
  • Admin passes instructions to process over to the finance team
  • Finance team enrolls each charity in Accounts Payable platform
  • Payments are sent to each charity
  • Admin individually notifies each charity of which matches for which employees were included in each payment
  • Unaccepted and returned payments are handled by exception

That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? We estimate that the total administrative effort per new matched organization is roughly one hour across all functions. That’s right, one hour per donation. That can add up. Matching giving platforms like Charityvest automate all of this, so your team can focus on their actual day-to-day responsibilities.

The Impact Your Dollars Have

In addition to the costs of administering and operating the matching program, companies have per employee budgets. Those budgets are intended for one goal: to have a positive impact.

However, many matching program providers charge substantial taxation fees on giving, upwards of 10% or more. Yikes! That means a $1,000 gift might only have $900 of impact - or less, if it is split between multiple charities.

Do you really want to use your matching budget to pay the software company? At Charityvest, 100% of gifts goes to charities you and your employees care about. We don’t believe in making money on charitable donation transaction fees.

It’s Hard To Measure The Value of Making It Easy to Give

Many employees are motivated to give. However, even your most charitable employees might hesitate to follow through with their charitable giving if the matching process is too cumbersome. 

Matching programs are a great way to multiply your charity impact. But they're not the only way. There are lots of ways to support employee giving—and Charityvest has got you covered. In addition to matching employee donations, businesses can set up a donor-advised fund, allowing employees to contribute money, stock or assets to a tax-free investment account and claim immediate tax deductions. There's also the option for employees to gift stocks to charities of their choice — from their church to a community charity — or to give charitable money donations in coworkers' names.   

Charityvest makes it easy to support your favorite charities — however you choose to give. Our added generosity capabilities allow you to give simply and quickly, with everything on one simple tax receipt. There are no contracts and zero red tape — and customers can cancel anytime. And, since we want your money to go where it's needed most, we never charge fees. 

Investing in a software solution for giving that makes it easy for employees to see exactly where their contributions are going can ensure employees are excited to utilize the program. Charityvest for Workplaces gives employees tax-deductible giving accounts, unlocking automatic charitable matching, reporting, and administration for companies. For employers, this means it’s easy to distribute giving matches to any charity in the US without all the administrative hassle and partner with employees in giving by providing instant matching donations or offer charitable stipends employees can use to give.

Learn more about why Charityvest maintains 100% retention among our workplace giving customers:

Create your Charityvest giving fund—it's free and takes 90 seconds.

Libby DeCamps

Libby is the VP of Marketing at Charityvest. Libby is responsible for conceptualizing and executing integrated strategies that drive lead generation, increase customer engagement, and build brand loyalty. Prior to joining Charityvest, she led marketing organizations at other Atlanta-based startups, FullStory and Gather.

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