6 ways to incentivize a workplace giving program

Written by
Rachel MillsWhite arrow icon

6 ways to incentivize a workplace giving program

Your employees aren't just looking for a paycheck — they're looking for a purpose. And one of the best ways to find a sense of purpose is to give back to the community. 

Over half the workforce (57%, to be exact) believes corporate America needs to play a more active role in addressing societal issues. This becomes increasingly true for the younger generation. In fact, 81% of millennials state they want their employers to play an active role in being good corporate citizens. 

To attract and retain top talent, employers should create ample opportunities for teams to give back to society.

Corporations can take part in volunteer programs, assign pro bono work, or launch an annual giving campaign. But one of the easiest — yet often overlooked — ways for employers and employees to collectively give back is through workplace giving campaigns. Below, we explain what workplace giving is, how it works, and why it's beneficial for employees, employers, and nonprofit organizations alike. 

What is workplace giving? 

Workplace giving means providing employees with opportunities to give to charity. Through these company-sponsored programs, employees can easily give to the causes they care about.

Workplace giving is often automated, taking a fixed amount out of an employee's check per month — but it doesn't have to be. Employee giving programs come in all forms, including employer matching gifts, payroll deductions, volunteer programs, and fundraising campaigns.

6 ways to encourage workplace giving at your company

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Workplace giving is an umbrella term — there are numerous ways to approach it depending on your team, company size, and human resources department. To encourage employee giving, try the following: 

1. Make it automatic 🚗

The most efficient way to approach workplace giving is through payroll deductions. Work with your accountant to automatically deduct a fixed amount at an employee's request, contributing it to their chosen charity. 

If your accounting system doesn't support charitable payroll deductions, look for an alternative solution. Find a fundraising platform that offers unlimited payment types (Venmo, ACH, PayPal, text-to-donate, you name it), making it incredibly easy for employees to give. 

2. Launch a matching gift program 🎁

Just as employers often match contributions to a 401(k), employers can match donations for a workplace giving program. When employees see their gifts being doubled, they are more likely to contribute. 

To offer a matching gift incentive, utilize the fundraising goal feature on your campaign page. For example, you can promise to match 1:1 all employee contributions, but if your team hits their goal, you will multiply their contributions by 1.5.

3. Get employees involved 👯

Ask your entire staff to nominate local or national charitable organizations to support. Create a team-wide poll, finding the top 3-5 causes to support (depending on the size of your company).

Providing multiple giving options — rather than pigeon-holing employees to supporting a single charity — motivates employees to support their favorite cause.

To contribute to multiple charities simultaneously, take advantage of the Giving Hub on Givebutter. From your Giving Hub, a single user can run multiple fundraiser campaigns from one central location. This public-facing website is easily accessible to employees, where FAQ, About, and other tabs can answer employee questions concerning corporate giving.

4. Combine workplace giving with volunteering work 💪

To support your workplace giving program, give employees several paid days off throughout the year to support their local community. Serve meals at a food bank, clean up parks, or read to children at the local library. 

To keep track of employee volunteer hours, consider integrating your fundraising platform with a volunteer management database. This CRM system can log hours, store contact information, and organize your team to help better your community. 

5. Host an annual giving week 💗

To maximize corporate giving, host an annual Giving Week, inviting friends, partners, vendors, and family members to support your cause. Challenge your network to match employee contributions throughout the year, thereby doubling your workplace giving campaign. 

To make your annual Giving Week a success, divide your departments into teams, thereby taking advantage of peer-to-peer fundraising. Offer a company-wide incentive (such as an off-site retreat) for the department that raises the most funds in one week.

6. Offer charitable contributions stipends 💸

Just as employers offer stipends for gym memberships, lunch, and webinars, companies can offer an annual stipend for charitable donations. Incentivize employees to increase their social impact by providing a set dollar amount to contribute.

Rally your team to give more than their stipend by making charitable contributions a fun experience. Create a branded campaign page, inspire employees to participate in the supporter feed, and integrate your fundraising platform with Slack to increase team conversations around charitable work.

Something for everyone: The benefits of workplace giving

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Workplace giving is an easy way to give back to your community. Plus, workplace giving benefits all parties involved — individuals, employers, and nonprofits. Here are several reasons why workplace giving benefits all three groups.

Benefits for employers 🙋

Creating giving opportunities increases employee engagement, employee retention, and your ability to attract top talent. According to a 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study, 79% of employees say they consider an employer's commitment to environmental and social issues when deciding where to work.

A corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is one of the best ways to show employees your corporate purpose aligns with their values. Workplace giving solutions are just one component to embed within your CSR program, along with corporate donations, pro-bono work, and volunteer opportunities.

Benefits for employees 💰

Workplace contributions are tax-deductible donations that reduce your taxable income. As long as your contributions go to a registered 501(c)3 registered nonprofit, your tax-exempt donation could lead to a larger tax return come April. 

In addition, workplace giving programs — when done right — make it easy to support your favorite charity.

Contributions can automatically be deducted from your paycheck, or employers can integrate a fundraising page directly into your company website. Either option makes charitable giving quick, easy, and accessible.

Benefits for nonprofits 💁

Workplace giving programs benefit charitable organizations because contributions are consistent and reliable. Since many workplace giving programs are automatically deducted from employees' paychecks, this creates a consistent, year-round stream of giving for nonprofits. 

Utilize Givebutter to launch your workplace giving program 

More than half of the United States workforce wants their place of employment to play an active role in bettering society. Because of this, companies are launching corporate social responsibility programs, creating ample opportunity for teams to volunteer, donate, and otherwise contribute to charitable organizations. 

​Workplace giving is just one component within a CSR program. Workplace giving makes it easy for employees to donate to their favorite charities, either through automated payroll deductions, employer matching programs, or ongoing campaigns.

Givebutter's fundraising platform easily integrates with your accounting software, making it easy to create an employee giving program. Plus, Givebutter offers 70+ features like a giving hub, optional fundraising goals, supporter feeds, and custom branded pages to rally your team. Lastly, Givebutter offers the lowest platform fees in the industry, so your employees know roughly 99.5% of their contributions go to the causes they care about.

Ready to launch your first workplace giving campaign? Start your free Givebutter account today to get started.

Written By

Written by
Rachel Mills
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.