Jim Starr | April 11, 2019

1 Employee Benefit That Will Give Your Company a Competitive Edge

Recruiting, retaining, and engaging top talent through workplace giving

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 Cone Communications’ latest 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
  • Volunteering
  • Fundraising/crowdfunding
  • In-kind giving
  • Drives
  • Matching gifts

5 benefits of an employee giving program:

1. Attract (and Win) Top Talent

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

4. Increase ROI

5. Impact the community and Generate a Positive Reputation for Your Company

How to leverage Employee Giving as Part of Your Employee Benefit 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.

Click here to start an employee giving program.

Infographic with stats about employee giving as an employee benefit

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