Lindsay Nichols | January 31, 2017

New Survey: What do employees think about giving, volunteering and CSR?

The culture around employee giving and engagement is dynamic. That’s appropriate, given how diverse employees are, from the causes they want to support, to the ways in which they want to support those causes, to the methods they use to share their experiences – it’s a vast and ever-changing landscape. That’s why it’s so important that we ask employee donors what they want when it comes to charitable giving or volunteering their time or skills. And that’s why it’s equally critical that employers listen to their employees and make improvements based on that learning.

Now there’s an easy way to do both.

The Snapshot 2017 survey,, is an opportunity for employees to be heard. Likewise, Snapshot 2017 is a listening tool for employers to gain much-needed insight and data into the trends that are shaping this evolving field.

America’s Charities needs bright, engaged people to help us ensure that we’re gathering and reporting the data that is most important. There are three ways to participate:

1. Employees: Take the Snapshot 2017 survey. It consists of 10 multiple choice questions about your giving preferences, and should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential and anonymous. Your feedback will be used to shape the future of workplace giving and volunteering opportunities employers make available to you.

2. Employers (Employee/Corporate Giving Managers): Distribute the Snapshot 2017 survey to your employees and use this as your employee listening exercise. We will give you a unique survey URL to distribute to your employees, so you’ll have your organization’s full dataset to benchmark against the larger field’s response. Email Lindsay Nichols at for your unique link. And don’t forget to take the survey yourself – your opinion matters as well!  Note: We are closing the survey at the end of April.

3. Funders: Support this valuable research and help improve the practice of employee giving and engagement, CSR, and social impact. Click here to learn about our sponsorship opportunities and to sign-up. 

4. Nonprofits: Distribute the Snapshot 2017 survey to your donors and use this as your donor listening exercise. We will give you a unique survey URL to distribute to your donors, so you’ll have your organization’s full dataset to benchmark against the larger field’s response. Email Lindsay Nichols at for your unique link. We also encourage you to share information about the survey with your corporate partners and board directors, as this tool will help them as well. Click here to learn more about how this survey will help you, and for a promotional toolkit to make sharing the survey easy. Note: We are closing the survey at the end of April.


Since 2000, America’s Charities has been reporting trends that are shaping this evolving field from both the employer and nonprofit perspective: We call this seminal research “Snapshot,” because it is just that: we capture current thinking and trends on employee giving and engagement and CSR in a particular moment of time. In other words, we’re taking a snapshot of what matters most.

In 2017, our Snapshot report series continues to capture topics at the forefront of social responsibility, employee engagement, digital culture and impact. But for the first time ever, we are exploring trends in employee giving from the perspective of employee donors. We will learn about what employees value, how they make decisions about charitable giving and volunteering, and how their giving impacts their relationships with their employers.

Snapshot 2017 is groundbreaking research. While there have been employee surveys in the past, never at scale and never with apples-to-apples data from employers and nonprofits to which we can directly compare and contrast. In Snapshot 2013 and Snapshot 2015, we asked employers what their employees wanted. In Snapshot 2014, we asked nonprofits what their (employee) donors wanted. Now, we can test those findings. 

Next Steps

We are keeping this survey open through the end of April to give employers time to distribute this survey internally. Then, in partnership with America’s Charities’ Snapshot 2017 Advisory Committee, we will parse through the data and publish a final narrative report in time for the traditional ‘workplace giving season’ in the fall. In all, our Snapshot 2017 research will help employers and the larger workplace giving field gain valuable insights into how to:

  • communicate more effectively with their employees
  • build partnerships with nonprofits that align with the values of their workplace donors
  • attract and retain the best talent

Employee donors raise $4 billion for nonprofits and causes annually through the workplace. This is our opportunity to learn from them. Please join us in taking the survey and sharing it among your network. We can’t wait to see what you have to say.


Our thanks goes to Senior Advisors Lynne Filderman, Steve Greenhalgh and Peter Panepento, and our committed Advisory Committee, for the development of the Snapshot 2017 survey. The Snapshot 2017 Advisory Committee includes:

  1. Dave Armon, 3BL Media
  2. Gary Levante, Berkshire Bank
  3. Matthew Nelson, New York Life
  4. Laura Plato, Causecast
  5. Aman Singh, Futerra
  6. George Weiner, Whole Whale
  7. Adam Weinger, Double the Donation
  8. Heather Wright, PwC

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