The 411 on Employee Giving Programs
There is really no question that the World Wide Web has played an instrumental role in serving as a robust, easy and streamlined platform to bring people from all parts of the world in one place. It has enhanced all the way people look for jobs, take care of their responsibilities and commitments –wholly contributing to the constant prosperity of this planet and its residents. One of the ways humans like to help each other is through donations.
Both employers and employees all over the globe emotionally relate to certain causes and do whatever is within their reach to support those causes. In the corporate world, ‘employee giving’ has gained unprecedented popularity in the recent years.
Employee giving programs, which are also referred to as workplace giving programs, now provide a way for employees and employers to have a stronger relationship and a means for them to proudly support a cause that means something to them.
What Exactly Is Employee Giving?
Employee giving is a way for companies to help their employees donate money to their desired causes. Employees who volunteer to be a part of the program get their desired donation amount deducted right from their paychecks. Now, what makes these programs more engaging for employees is that many employers are willing to match those donations for their employees. For example, if an employee gets $25 deducted from their paycheck biweekly, the employer will match that amount with another $25. Therefore, the final donation made to the cause will be $50. There are many other ways for employers to support and promote such employee giving programs.
The Different Types of Employee Giving Programs
As mentioned above, there are many different ways in which modern business organizations promote and support such philanthropic engagement activities. Here are some common employee giving programs used by different companies around the world.
The name is pretty self-explanatory i.e. the employer matches the donation made by its employee. In most cases, the matching gift program is implemented by the employer on a 1:1 matching basis. This means the employer will donate $25 if the employee is donating $25. However, some companies go the extra mile and offer better ratios. Some can even implement a matching program with 4:1 ratio where a $25 donation of an employee is matched with $100 donation from the employer. Microsoft’s matching program is one of the most impressive. The company matches a donation as small as $1 and a maximum of $15,000 per year, per employee.
Once again, such programs serve as a great way for employers to show their social responsibility. Moreover, it even helps with employee retention and loyalty.
Dollars for Doers
In this particular type of program, the employer is willing to donate a specific amount of money when an employee has spent certain number of hours volunteering for the chosen cause. Bank of America is a good example here. As a part of their program they donate $250 after a volunteering employee has spent 50 hours in serving the chosen cause. The renowned banking establishment would double its donation when an employee completes 100 hours of volunteering. Full-time and part-time employees can both benefit from this program.
This type of program supports human involvement in the community as the volunteering employee has to give their personal time to the cause rather than having an amount deducted from their paycheck every month. On the other hand, the company is able to show its resolve with CSR (corporate social responsibility) by donating a specific amount of money along with employee’s personal involvement.
Volunteer programs are available in different forms. There is a team volunteer grants program and volunteer support program. In a volunteer support program companies will donate their products or services to nonprofit organizations. In a team volunteer grants program, employees from different companies spend their time serving the same cause. They will spend certain hours volunteering for the cause and the companies will provide them the grants as a reward. Walmart runs an effective team volunteer grants program where it rewards a grant of $5,000 when there are at least 50 associates volunteering for a cause.
Shared efforts are always the best efforts. In these programs companies get a chance to show their corporate social responsibility to other companies whereas nonprofit organizations benefit from team efforts. Employees get to work together and find pleasure in knowing that there are many others like them.
Why Technology Is Important for Employee Giving
Believe it or not, technology has a direct impact on employee giving programs. An amazing employee volunteering program can end up in smoke just because the company did not use the right technology. A snapshot report of 2013 shows technological innovation as one of the key indicators to increase a company’s giving impact. Technology plays a vital role in employee giving programs and their success because it can identify what works and what does not. Keep in mind that while Microsoft can boast a participation rate of 65% of its matching gifts program, other giant tech companies have participation rates below 10%.
It is not that these other companies do not have any employee giving programs. The reason behind such low participation rates for them is that they did not identify the right programs and could not process their existing programs successfully. Platforms like DonationXchange are now a need for modern corporate entities to make their employee giving programs successful and prove their corporate social responsibility. An effective technological platform will allow you to manage your giving programs efficiently even when you are running dozens of them altogether. Last but not least, software tools and platforms take you one step closer to a paperless environment which saves time and creates a more sustainable workplace.
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