Steve Delfin | March 26, 2014

Is Your Workplace Giving and Employee Engagement Strategy Delivering?

Part of the Charities@Work Blog Series

Is Your Workplace Giving and Employee Engagement Strategy Delivering?Are you and your team working harder than ever to implement the latest workplace giving and employee engagement tactics, but not seeing the results you expected? It might be time to consider a fresh set of eyes and experience to help you realize the new opportunities and potential of a more strategic, progressive employee workplace giving and employee engagement program.

Getting Started: 

While workplace giving has evolved well beyond the days of an annual fall campaign for the local United Way, many of the strategies and tactics used by employers remain disconnected from broader corporate social responsibility and people strategy.

There’s been much talk about the need to strategically connect these activities (see America’s Charities 2013 Snapshot Report), and some companies are in fact moving to a more integrated, strategic approach.  But others are finding it difficult to break out of old traditions and ways of looking at employee giving.

The key is to look at your employee workplace giving program as part of a larger whole and not an isolated, once-a-year activity disconnected from the broad range of strategic possibilities. And the way to do that is to approach workplace giving like you would any business challenge – with a strategy complete with metrics, accountability and a value proposition that ties to whatever broader social responsibility and people strategy goals your company or organization has deemed a priority.

When providing strategic consulting services for employers interested in developing a more focused, strategic approach to their workplace giving, philanthropy and employee engagement efforts, America’s Charities utilizes the following six step process.

6 Steps For A More Progressive & Successful Employee Giving Program:

  1. Define your challenges and opportunities.
  2. Identify what success looks like for you.
  3. Understand your company’s broader business environment including, but not limited to your broader social responsibility, employee engagement and related goals.
  4. Generate a range of solutions appropriate for your culture and resources.
  5. Analyze the risks and benefits of each proposed solution by conducting beta tests, key stakeholder interviews and related “proof of life” measures.
  6. Choose the solution(s) best suited for your company.  

What the Data Says About Workplace Giving & Employee Engagement Programs

Employer Intentions: The vast majority of employers recently surveyed by America’s Charities say they intend to continue emphasizing employee workplace giving and many indicated plans to create increasingly sophisticated programs that:

  • ŸAre branded and strategically aligned with the company’s overall social responsibility, employee engagement and related goals.
  • Employ new giving models and technology designed to involve and engage increasingly digitally sophisticated employees, particularly Millennials.
  • Recognize the relative budget constraints that most corporate giving and social responsibility offices operate under.
  • Empower employees to participate in the giving experience both inside and outside the walls of the workplace.

Employee Expectations: From that same survey, we found that employees expect the following from their company’s giving program:

  • Match of their donations to charity with a company contribution.
  • A more progressive workplace giving program that offers choice and uses technology to connect employees with the charitable marketplace.
  • Tangible evidence of the employers’ support of and commitment to philanthropy as part of its social responsibility footprint.
  • Expanded opportunities to give both money and time throughout the year including paid time off to volunteer including employer-sponsored volunteer projects.
  • More internal opportunities to share experiences with fellow employees through social networks, the company intranet/newsletter and social events.

Based on the emerging trends and expectations we’ve studied from surveys of employers, there are some dramatic shifts taking place in terms of workplace giving right now. I’ll be sharing more insights from those surveys at this year’s Charities@Work 13th Annual Corporate Citizenship Summit, April 3-4, 2014 in NYC.  So if you haven’t yet, register for this year’s event now. My team and I will be there to share how your company can develop a world class workplace giving and employee engagement program.  Of course, you can always reach out to me at as well.

Steve Delfin

Steve's BlogSteve has 30 years of experience working in and with major national and international not-for-profit organizations and socially-responsible international corporations, including a long history of engagement with and leadership around workplace giving and employee volunteerism programs. 

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