SOURCE: America’s Charities
Since the Industrial Revolution, companies have offered employee benefits and perks to compete for and retain top talent. Common employee benefits that companies offer (and employees expect) include, health insurance, retirement plans, stock options, and paid leave.
But there’s one employee benefit that could really give employers a competitive edge that few companies are leveraging: employee giving programs.
According to the 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study, 58% of employees consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work, and 55% would choose to work for a socially responsible company even if the salary was less. Not only are these programs a benefit that can determine whether top talent selects your job offer over the competition, but it’s also a benefit that can positively impact your company’s ROI, as you can see in the 5 benefits of an employee giving program listed below.
What is an employee giving program?
An employee giving program empowers employees to support their community and causes they care about through a variety of methods including:
- Payroll deduction giving
- In-kind giving
- Matching gifts
5 benefits of an employee giving program:
1. Attract (and Win) Top Talent
- 88% of employers believe effective employee engagement programs help attract and retain employees. (Source: America’s Charities Snapshot 2015)
- Employees would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if the salary was less. (Source: 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study)
- More than 50% of Millennials were influenced to accept a job based on that company’s involvement with causes. (Source: Millennial Impact Study 2014)
2. Engage Employees by Giving Them a Sense of Purpose
- Employees view their employers as facilitators and multipliers for their own philanthropic efforts. 71% want their company to provide opportunities for them to help make a positive impact on the company’s social and environmental commitments. (Source: 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study)
- Millennials feel accountable for many issues in both the workplace and the wider world. However, it is primarily in and via the workplace that they feel most able to make an impact. (Source: Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017)
3. Boost Employee Health, Skills and Leadership
- People who volunteer report that they feel better emotionally, mentally and physically. (Source: UnitedHealth Group 2013 Health and Volunteering Study)
- 92% of surveyed corporate human resources executives agree that contributing business skills and expertise to a nonprofit can be an effective way to improve employees’ leadership and broader professional skill sets. (Source: Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey)
4. Increase 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%. (Source: Project ROI)
- Employees most committed to their organizations put in 57 percent more effort on the job—and are 87 percent less likely to resign—than employees who consider themselves disengaged. (Source: PwC “Keys to Corporate Responsibility and Employee Engagement)
- 83% of professional investors are more inclined to invest in stock of a company well-known for its social responsibility, viewing such initiatives as an indicator of greater transparency and honesty in operations and financial reporting, resulting in lower risk. (Source: Corporate Responsibility Survey sponsored by insurance company Aflac, in partnership with by FleishmanHillard Research and Lightspeed GMI)
5. Impact the community and Generate a Positive Reputation for Your Company
- Employee giving programs account for more than $4 billion in charitable contributions. (Source: America’s Charities Snapshot 2015)
- Nonprofits value activities they feel generate more donations like matching gifts, year-round giving, employee volunteer grants, and peer-to-peer fundraising. (Source: America’s Charities Snapshot 2014)
- 90% of employers indicated that partnering with reputable nonprofit organizations enhances their brand and 89% believe partnering leverages their ability to improve the community. (Source: America’s Charities Snapshot 2015)
How to leverage employee giving as part of your employee benefits package:
The first step is to actually offer an employee giving program.
If you already have a program in place, fantastic! I have just a few questions for you:
- Is your program working? If employees are not engaged with your program and you’re not seeing the results you set out to achieve through the program, then it likely won’t play a strong role in employee retention. America’s Charities can help you evaluate your employee giving program to ensure it’s helping you accomplish your goals.
- Does your program include payroll deduction as a donation method? It pays to step back and revaluate your program. After one America’s Charities client added payroll giving to their program, their results increased sevenfold.
- Do you have a designated page on your company’s website where you share ways your employees give back to the community? If not, do it. You can promote the ways you give (i.e. workplace giving, volunteering) and share your impact (i.e. how much money you’re employees have raised, how many hours they’ve volunteered, and how that support benefited nonprofits in your community). You can even share videos and photos that show how much fun employees have participating in your giving program. When you post a new job opening, include “employee giving program” down in the section where you list all your other employee benefits and link it to that webpage you created.
If you do not have a program, don’t worry – here’s how to get started:
- The key is to keep it simple from the start. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to tackle all of the different giving methods I listed above. You can build all of those into your program over time. We suggest starting with a basic workplace giving program that empowers employees to donate to the causes they care about through payroll deduction. You can also offer credit cards and PayPal as payment methods, but payroll deduction is one of the most cost-effective ways for employees to support nonprofits. Making a payroll contribution is convenient and financially more manageable for most employees since they can pledge a large amount of money to one or multiple charities, and have that large donation automatically deducted from their paycheck in small increments throughout the course of a year. And because employees’ payroll donations come out of their after-tax earnings, their donation is tax-deductible.
- Utilize expert resources and help (don’t reinvent the wheel). Choosing a partner like America’s Charities to help you set up and manage your workplace giving campaign will save you a lot of time and frustration, and will give you access to resources, best practices, and a team of experts to help you along the way. Not only can we provide you with an online site to facilitate giving, but we also handle all the charity vetting and funds processing and distribution to ensure your employees give to trusted nonprofits and their donations get to their designated nonprofit safely, securely, and in a timely manner.
KEYWORDS: Responsible Business & Employee Engagement, Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives, America’s Charities, employee giving, workplace giving, employee benefits, Fundraising, charitable donation processing, payroll deduction giving, CSR Strategy, employee perks