Steve Delfin | March 28, 2013

What’s Changed About Workplace Giving? Not What You’d Expect

By Steve Greenhalgh

For several months, I have been conducting research for a new study commissioned by America’s Charities called, Snapshot: Trends and Strategies to Engage Employees in Greater Giving. Snapshot follows two previous studies issued by America’s Charities, which I also helped produce – “Employee Workplace Campaigns: At the Crossroads” (issued in 2000) and “Changing Directions” (issued in 2006).

Encapsulating how the landscape of philanthropy, workplace culture, and demographic expectations have changed over the past decade, Snapshot confirms that we are experiencing one of the most dramatic shifts ever in workplace giving. 

Working with many companies through my corporate social responsibility and employee engagement consulting practice, I’ve observed an interesting phenomenon. Throughout the course of the last decade, three primary elements have shaped the transformation of workplace giving and workplace culture: charity choice, technology, and employee engagement.  However, what is of particular interest is those three elements haven’t changed over the last decade; what’s changed is how companies are applying those elements to employee giving programs and workplace culture.

While many of the companies that I consult have been implementing workplace giving programs for decades, the other companies are newer to the market.  The newer companies haven’t experienced the traditional workplace giving campaign model.  In its place, they are responding to current research and their own employee interests to formulate branded, strategic giving programs that align with the company’s philanthropic interests.  They understand that elements like charity choice are no longer a choice, but rather the foundation and an essential part of a giving program.  We found this to be the case with America’s Charities Snapshot report, where nine out of ten companies reported that they now offer a choice of charitable organizations to employees.

Technology has successfully been used to automate the capture of giving information for more than a decade, but now it is literally transforming the giving experience. From allowing employees to connect with peers in social causes to providing content about favorite charities, what were once simple giving programs are now giving way to engagement programs.  The shift is being driven by our digital culture now, and the companies who have implemented the traditional workplace giving campaigns realize this.

We’ve moved beyond an automated giving process to a transformed user experience.  More and more, companies are empowering employees to participate in the giving experience inside and outside the walls of the workplace.  They’re giving employees the opportunity to engage, invite, like and share, and this revolutionary employee experience is translating into greater involvement, satisfaction and participation.

The consequences are an infinite expansion in the opportunities to engage employees in greater giving and help them feel a sense of pride, reward and accomplishment for their involvement and that of their friends and peers.

At America’s Charities we specialize in bringing employers together with charities to engage employees in greater giving – whether it’s time, talent or money.   We are experts at helping employers strategize and create employee engagement and workplace giving programs that align with their social responsibility efforts.

Interested in more information about how we can help your company, association or organization? Contact us!  We would love to discuss the best approach for your organization.




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