3 Mistakes Small Business are Making with Their Workplace Giving Program

“Build your business around being the most helpful to the world and don’t ever forget why you started giving back.”Ryan Devlin, This Bar Saves Lives


Workplace Giving and CSR

Year after year the companies that perform better with consumers are those companies that not only care about giving back but show they care. Workplace giving is no longer a program that is “nice to have”, but rather it is necessity to your company’s success.  Today, workplace giving is more flexible than ever thanks to technology and the growing demands of the millennial workforce.  Small businesses looking to innovate and rise above the noise of today’s competitive market are using workplace giving to accomplish this goal.

Let’s take a look at some of the pitfalls to avoid when getting started with workplace giving.   

Overlooking the Importance of Choice:

Everyone likes making their own decisions, and this holds true when it comes to causes they support.  Research shows that when charitable choice is given, employee precipitation increases (America’s Charities Snapshot Report).  

The world of workplace giving is changing rapidly. The days of companies supporting a handful of charities based on a decision from the top is over.  One recent study found that more than 63% of survey respondents indicated that it is extremely valuable that their employer offer choice of the individual nonprofit/cause he/she can give to.

The largest source of charitable giving in the U.S. comes from individuals. These individuals will demand choice when it comes to their workplace giving programs.  Companies that make it easy for employees to give to causes they care about see higher success rates.

Your employees will feel good about being able to support the causes that matter to them, and they will be happier about where they work. By empowering employee choice you will breath new life into your giving programs.  

Poor Communication of Programs and Difficult Guidelines:

The first two questions we ask our clients that are experiencing low employee participation numbers are 1) How are you communicating your programs to your employees? and 2) How easy it is for them to make a gift?  While these sound like simple questions, they mean everything in the world of workplace giving.  

Communicate clearly and communicate often, and make it easy for your employees to give when they feel inspired.  Mobile and web-based donations will be a key to success for the younger workforce.

Good Done Great provides outstanding workplace giving technology. That said, digital tools are never a replacement for good old-fashioned human touch. Ensure that your efforts to educate, encourage, and solicit employee participation are done through face-to-face interactions in addition to online channels. This is a great way to further engage your people and community.  

Not Bragging about Your Success:

We are taught at a young age that it is never polite to brag about yourself. Companies have historically followed this rule from fear of not appearing sincere in their philanthropy.  Don’t feel ashamed to tell your story.  In fact, by not telling your story your absence is speaking for you.  Stakeholders might assume you aren’t giving back as much as you should, so be a rule breaker and celebrate all the good work you are doing.  

To help share your story it is important to set goals and measure your impact.  Having goals and metrics help hold you accountable and further integrate your social impact work with your company culture.   Utilizing technology to support these goals can help you better track your impact and share results with your stakeholders.  

With the world of workplace giving continuing to evolve and grow, don’t get left behind.  Avoid these three common mistakes and watch your giving program take off.   For more information on getting started check out our post about FAQs for Small Businesses Launching a Matching Gift Program.