The largest source of charitable giving in the U.S. is from individuals like you, and about $5 billion of that individual giving is generated from individuals who donate through workplace giving.
Workplace giving is an easy, safe and cost-efficient way to make tax-deductible donations to the charities you care about. If you're wondering, "Isn't it better to give directly to the charity, rather than through my workplace campaign?" here are some reasons and benefits of workplace giving:
Charities You Can Trust: Charities participating in workplace giving programs are carefully screened in adherence to a strict set of guidelines set by an employer. In addition to meeting individual employer guidelines, charities who are members of America's Charities also meet strict standards required for inclusion in the U.S. Federal Government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).
Ability to Donate More Money, More Efficiently: While many companies provide employees a variety of ways to donate (i.e. credit card, vacation time), employees should take advantage of payroll deduction donations if the option is available. Through payroll deduction, you can have your company deduct a small amount of money from your paycheck each pay period for a year. This is the perfect way to make a larger contribution and pay for it in small, more feasible installments. And when companies work with organizations like America's Charities, it's easy for individuals like you to track your charitable contributions and access pledge information needed for tax purposes.
Creating Impact Collectively: Maybe you can only donate a small amount of money this year. You may ask, "what difference can that possibly make?" Well, you would be surprised what a charity can do with even a small amount of money (charities are really good at 'doing more with less'). But, don't think of your gift as one, small donation. Think of it as collective giving. When you donate a sum of money to a charity, thousands of employees from across the country are also donating a sum of money to that same charity through their workplace giving programs. And as a result, suddenly that charity has a large amount of money and resources it can use to make a significant impact. And best of all - because you donated through workplace giving - that money is unrestricted money (i.e. not earmarked for something specific), which empowers the charity to sustain all of its programs, services, and day-to-day operations throughout the year.
Importance of Unrestricted Donations: Imagine if I gave you $1,000. You'd be pretty excited, right? But, what if I gave you that $1,000 and said you can't use it for food, bills, entertainment, or vacation. You can ONLY use it for home improvements. If you have a lot of home improvements, you might think okay cool. But let's say you really don't need to make any home improvements right now. What you really need money for is to pay for auto repairs or to pay off your student loans. That $1,000 isn't really going to be of much help to you then. It's the same case with charities. It's not that they don't appreciate money which has been donated for a specific use, but when they have the freedom to use your gift however they choose, it empowers them to use the money for things that they need right now in order to fulfill their mission and make an impact. Your unrestricted donation is truly the most valuable resource a charity could ask for.
Workplace Giving vs. Giving Directly to the Charity: Again, every donation matters and charities appreciate every donation you give, but charities especially appreciate gifts made to them through the workplace because it saves them time and resources. Through aggregation, America's Charities processes hundreds of thousands of individual donations in a cost-efficient manner which allows charities to use more of their time and resources on executing their missions. In fact, our members have chosen to be members of America's Charities because they understand the donation process and the staff and time required to process funds. America's Charities has a team dedicated to that very task and we serve as the "added staff" that many nonprofits lack, and the cost for this service is minimal compared to several salaried employees the charity would otherwise have to hire.
Matching Gift Opportunities: If you donate $500 to a charity outside of an employer-sponsored workplace-giving program, that $500 donation remains $500. That’s great, but it could amount to more. Often times companies will offer to match gifts made by employees either dollar-for-dollar or a percentage like 50%. So if you donate that same $500 through your workplace giving campaign instead of outside of it, that $500 can easily become as much as $1,000 that your designated charity receives.