Businesses use corporate philanthropy to create social value by promoting the welfare of others. In addition to benefiting the community, corporate philanthropy benefits your company and employees as well. As social, environmental, and economic responsibility are on the rise, the importance of corporate philanthropy has increased as well – becoming essential to business success.
A study by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship found that 80% of companies offer a workplace giving program, with more than 70% offering a match for monetary donations. Of those workplace giving programs, companies that adopt modernised technology, incorporate a set of proven best practices, and effectively communicate their offerings have significantly higher employee engagement rates. Good2Give’s purpose-built Workplace Giving Platform currently services over 120 highly satisfied corporate clients and can help take your corporate philanthropy program to the next level. Our platform provides businesses with user-friendly financial engagement reporting on your giving programs and enables charities to communicate with and thank their supporters. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to revamp your existing corporate philanthropy programs, Good2Give’s team of experts and advisors can help you increase your philanthropic efforts, and in turn, business success.
What is corporate philanthropy?
Corporate philanthropy refers to the investments and activities a company voluntarily undertakes to responsibly manage and account for its impact on society. Philanthropy is most often thought of as financial contributions, but it can also take form in time and resources. Workplace giving, gift matching, corporate foundations, grants, and corporate volunteering make up a large part of corporate philanthropy.
The purpose of corporate philanthropy contributions is to advance a social cause. Whether your company invests time, money, or resources, you can show gratitude and make a direct impact in the communities that have helped make your business profitable.
Businesses often feel it is their social responsibility to give back to their communities, which in turn builds a positive culture and workplace. By participating in corporate philanthropy, businesses positively foster employee engagement, generate business value, enhance relationships with consumers, and create a positive work environment.
Types of corporate philanthropy
The five most effective types of corporate philanthropy are:
- Workplace giving: Workplace giving means that employees can give directly to the charities they care about as a pre-tax donation, directly from their pay. For businesses interested in corporate philanthropy, workplace giving is a smart way to demonstrate a strategic commitment to community investment. Good2Give’s purpose-built Workplace Giving Platform provides a technology solution for more than 120 socially and environmentally responsible businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
- Gift matching: Gift matching is a type of corporate philanthropy in which companies financially match donations that employees make. Whether employees make donations through Good2Give’s Workplace Giving Platform or independently, our technology and charity due diligence services allow companies to seamlessly manage their gift matching programs.
- Corporate foundations: Corporate foundations are not-for-profit bodies funded by a company for the purposes of social and community investment. Good2Give provides administrative, regulatory and charity finance management services for corporate foundations.
- Grants: Grants provide the ideal process to align giving initiatives with corporate values. A grant payment is made for a distinct purpose and creates a meaningful relationship between the investor and grant recipient. Good2Give provides strategic advice, program development, and end-to-end project management of business sponsored and employee-nominated grants.
- Corporate volunteering: Corporate volunteering provides your company with the opportunity to develop staff skills and positively boost your reputation in your local community while creating positive social change. Donating money, time, and resources complement each other perfectly which is why Good2Give has a growing range of volunteering solutions that seamlessly integrate with our Workplace Giving Platform.
There are numerous ways to participate in corporate philanthropy. Good2Give provides technology, financial and advisory services to make corporate community investment and giving easy, effective, and efficient.
Trends in corporate philanthropy
Corporate philanthropy has been around for years, with some businesses embracing it more than others. Over the last few years, there’s been an increase in businesses participating in corporate philanthropy, and a diversification in the size and types of companies that participate. With more employees and companies seeing the value of corporate philanthropy, many trends have emerged and accelerated. Recent trends in corporate philanthropy show a shift towards recurring giving, caused-focus giving, and peer-led giving.
Businesses are gradually shifting from one-time giving to recurring giving. As more companies recognize that year-round support has longer lasting impact, there is a growing need for technology platforms that make it easy to coordinate year-round efforts at minimal cost. Using Good2Give’s Workplace Giving Platform as a base and customizing additional services to suit your companies needs, makes it easy to run recurring corporate philanthropy programs.
As corporate philanthropy is on the rise, so is adopting cause-focused giving rather than general giving. This has resulted in companies donating to fewer non-for-profits and charities than ever before. Companies are now looking to give to organisations that align with their strategic interest, values and vision. Whether your company has an existing corporate philanthropy philosophy or you’re looking for advice on strategy development, Good2Give’s team of specialist advisors support businesses across all sectors.
With millennials and Gen Zers taking up a larger part of the workforce, they’re increasingly having more influence on workplace giving culture. Not only do they want be more hands-on and learn to give with their peers, but they’re also more likely to give and support a cause their peer recommends rather than their boss. This increase in peer-led giving has also led to an increase in the desire for personalized dashboards which allow employees to clearly see their direct impact on causes they care about. Visibility and measurement are critical to a successful corporate philanthropy program, which is why accurate and engaging data is at the heart of Good2Give’s services.
Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies works to promote a thriving global economy. In 2019, they redefined their longstanding position on the purpose of a corporation. Although BRT is a US-based association, their members work for large corporations with offices across the globe and keep the global economy top of mind. For decades, generating profits and shareholders was thought to be the sole purpose of a corporation, but now it is critical to success that businesses are led to the benefit of all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders – the new standard for corporate philanthropy and responsibility.
To determine whether this shift toward corporate philanthropy was shared across all sizes and sectors of business, Salesforce commissioned the study “Philanthropy’s Expanding Role in the Corporation,” which included more than 500 companies of all sizes. 60% of the companies surveyed operate globally, with offices located in multiple countries.
- 51% of the companies surveyed already have some form of corporate philanthropy outreach in place
- 77% of companies are aware that employees are more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work if their company offers a corporate philanthropy program
- 82% of medium and large companies say their employees have inquired about starting a workplace giving and volunteering program
- 84% of all companies surveyed said they would welcome technology and free information that enables businesses to offer corporate philanthropy programs to employees while minimizing the impact on business.
Are you aware of the research into the benefits of a workplace giving and volunteering program?
Source: Beagle Research Group, LLC
Corporate philanthropy vs CSR
Corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are often used interchangeably – however there is a distinct difference between the two.
Corporate philanthropy is defined by making generous contributions – whether in money, time or resources – to promote and bring about social change. CSR goes beyond that, and often includes corporate philanthropy as part of its program. CSR programs aim to make the core business functions of a company more sustainable. While both CSR and corporate philanthropy focus on benefit to the community, CSR programs benefit business in the form of improved morale, increased staff retention, attracting new business, and differentiation from competitors.
The most successful corporate social responsibility programs integrate corporate philanthropy while directly involving the company’s business model and business practices.
Corporate philanthropy is a win-win, benefitting every aspect of a business. When corporate philanthropy is part of an efficient CSR program, everyone benefits: your brand, your employees, your bottom line, your customers, your causes, and your community. Corporate philanthropy not only helps make the world a better place, but also makes your business more successful.
The biggest and most beneficial outcome of corporate philanthropy is the impact on your community. Regardless of the motivation for implementing a corporate philanthropy program, the community and not-for-profits benefit largely. When companies offer grants or financial support, local organisations are given the opportunity to provide programs and supplies that might otherwise be impossible. Likewise, volunteering gives organisations the manpower and time they don’t have.
Employee engagement and recruitment is another key benefit of corporate philanthropy, one that benefits your business and brand. Establishing yourself as a philanthropic company gives you an edge when recruiting new employees, and boosts morale of your existing workforce. Without existing corporate philanthropic efforts, it can be a daunting task to implement a program that appeals to a wide range of employees while aligning with your business goals. Good2Give’s advisory services can help you develop a program that creates positive impact for the causes and issues that matter to all stakeholders, while achieving business goals. We support the development of CSR and corporate philanthropy programs from inception and research, through to launch and implementation – providing customized solutions to suit your specific needs.
In addition to impacting your community and employee recruitment and engagement, corporate philanthropy has a number of benefits that boost your business and everyone around you:
- Increased sales: Customers, especially the younger workforce, like to support business that have heart
- Customer loyalty: Studies show that even if a product costs more, most customers will stick with brands that do good. If two products cost the same, almost every customer will buy from the business that promotes their philanthropic efforts.
- Better recruiting: Customer loyalty and satisfaction isn’t where it ends. You’ll get a larger pool of job applicants, because people want to work for places that care.
- Happier employees that stick around: Your employees will benefit too, especially when they’re actively involved in your company’s corporate philanthropy. Employees will be more productive, and they’ll want to stay.
- Better company culture: When companies have a clear, community-focused mission, everyone who works there is better and more engaged.
- A bigger network: Corporate philanthropy and giving means reaching out, meeting people, and connecting with your community. It’s an amazing way to make new connections, learn about your community, and inspire company innovation.