Bain & Co.

Opt-out scheme transforms giving

The firm is deeply committed to driving transformational social impact and partners with a range of innovative and effective organisations that are creating meaningful change in their communities.

Employees at Bain & Company also give their own time and talent to help make a difference through affiliation groups, non-profit casework, externships, volunteering and fundraising.

Since 1999, workplace giving has been another key way employees can support causes and communities they care about. To date, Bain & Company’s Workplace Giving program has contributed more than $1 million to its charity partners.

Opt-out scheme transforms giving

In 2014, Bain & Company implemented a Workplace Giving opt-out scheme for all new starters to help increase its commendable 50% participation rate.

New team members in the firm’s relatively fluid workforce were included in the giving program unless they ticked a box to say they preferred not to be involved, with a default donation each month going to a selection of key charity partners.

“A core part of our culture is giving back and our program taps into that collective spirit.  By automatically including new staff in Workplace Giving, it means they can feel part of our culture from day one. All new starters receive an in-person session on workplace giving as part of their induction,” said Lucy d’Arville, Partner at Bain & Company.

“People have the option to change the recipient and donation amount at any time, or to withdraw from the program. However only a very small portion of our new starters choose to withdraw, particularly once they understand how efficient and easy workplace giving is,” she adds.

Competition and communication builds engagement

In 2015 the firm further evolved their offline Workplace Giving program by partnering with Good2Give; enabling staff to donate online to their choice of thousands of charities.

Frequent, creative and clear communication has been key to engaging staff in the relaunch of their giving program.

“We wanted the introduction of the new Workplace Giving Platform to really resonate with staff. We needed them to understand how easy it is to use and really inspire them to get involved,” said Lucy.

The firm also focused on improving reporting from charity partners on the impact of employee donations, and provided a monthly status update of Workplace Giving participation rates. Charity partners were invited to participate in guest presentations, a network of in-house workplace giving champions was created, and a workplace giving tip – such as a profile of a charity or workplace giver, or information about giving – was included in a weekly newsletter.

Measurable results

Bain & Company’s sustained communications saw the firm’s Workplace Giving participation rate move from 51% to 62% over the course of 2017. Offering staff a broad charity choice – with some 2000 charities available on the platform – also played a role in helping to drive participation rates up.

A recent staff survey demonstrated the success of the employee education efforts, with a ‘lack of awareness/understanding’ as a barrier to joining the firm’s giving program falling from 21% in 2015 to 0% in 2016.

Over the last year, Bain & Company staff donated over $120,000 to some 90 charities through Workplace Giving. Currently sitting at ~60% participation, the firm hopes to continue this momentum, with a goal of 80% participation in the program.

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