Workplace Giving: 5 Tangible Benefits for Businesses

March 23, 2021
Research & analysis

Workplace giving programs benefit charities. Although the data on American workplace giving is imprecise, the best estimate places the aggregate figure at roughly $5 billion given annually from corporations. 

What’s perhaps a bit less obvious is the significant impact a workplace giving program can provide to organizations and their employees. The outward benefits—including positive PR and increased brand reputation—may be evident, but workplace giving programs can also have measurable positive effects visible in the company’s day-to-day operation and culture.

Corporate philanthropy isn’t new, but there’s been a shift in recent years about how successful companies think about workplace giving. It’s no longer simply about corporate charity partnerships or payroll deduction programs. It delivers concrete benefits to recruit, engage, and retain valuable employees. 

1. Employee Recruitment and Retention

Research shows that when companies focus on social and environmental efforts, they are better at recruiting and keeping workers.

A recent trend that’s known as “bottom-up giving” is gaining popularity in forward-thinking organizations. It involves swapping bonuses for donations. A survey in late 2017 found that while the average bonus given to workers has been increasing, fewer companies are giving their workers bonuses at all—from 75 percent down to 63 percent. Among those not giving bonuses, 38 percent said they were instead making charitable contributions on behalf of employees—a big jump from just 7 percent a year earlier.

There’s also evidence that socially conscious employees have been pushing their employers to do more donating. In particular, millennials and Gen Z workers say they prefer to work at companies that give to charity—and steadily, more millennials are becoming managers and executives in positions to make these kinds of decisions. Showing support for the causes employees care about can create “a culture of meaning, purpose and belonging in their organizations,” Inside Philanthropy reports.

2. Increase Employee Engagement 

Workplace giving can be a strong foundation for building a generous and positive work environment. Performing acts of kindness together as a team can boost employee happiness while creating a sense of community. It can also give employees a sense of pride to know that their employer is positively impacting their community. When you implement a comprehensive giving program, employees will naturally want to participate. 

Employees prefer to work for companies that have a clear objective outside of making a profit. Corporate giving is one way of illustrating that. It opens up new avenues for employees to become engaged in the work the company does. Getting together to do good is powerful. 

3. Reinforce Your Organization’s Core Values

How do you bring core values to life in your workplace? Are your values lived by employees, or are they only artfully displayed on the wall?

Employees who believe in their organization’s mission and values are much more likely to go the extra mile at work. A workplace giving program is an excellent way to demonstrate a commitment to your core values. When employees regularly give back or volunteer through their company, they’ll begin to see core values like “kindness” or “compassion” as more than just words on a wall.

4. Improve Employee Performance

A 2015 study found that employees were more motivated to perform better when employers made philanthropic donations on the workers’ behalf to the nonprofit organizations of the workers’ choice. 

The study results found that regardless of whether the donation was fixed or linked to productivity, job performance among workers included in the corporate philanthropy efforts increased by an average of 13 percent. When donations were optional, over half of the workers opted to give a portion of their compensation, adding to the conclusion that charitable donations in compensation packages are an effective means of increasing job performance.

5. Enhance Customer Relationships 

Altruism can be a catalyst for good publicity, attracting new customers, but there can also be significant benefits when existing customers see your company in a more positive light. Instead of simply providing a product or service on a transactional basis, your company becomes more relatable—even inspiring a sense of brand loyalty—as you positively impact your community. 

If you are thinking that it is time to invest in a workplace giving solution, Charityvest’s workplace giving program provides a digital platform that enables any organization to set-up, launch and manage a workplace giving program in just minutes. Bonus: 100% of donations are received by the charity, meaning there are no hidden fees involved. 

Charityvest was founded on the premise that giving is good for the world; it should be easy; it should be fee-free and efficient; it should be about giving nonprofit organizations the resources to do good. It’s that simple.

Learn more about Charityvest for Workplaces:

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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