How Workplace Giving Can Benefit Your Organization
Double the Donation joins Allegiance to outline workplace giving opportunities and how to earn more from these programs.
- Workplace giving types, including matching gifts and volunteer grants
- Best practices for engaging donors with workplace giving opportunities
- The value workplace giving can provide to your fundraising efforts
- & more!
Hi everyone. Thank you all for joining us today. For those of you who I have not met yet, I’m Logan Montone. I’m the product manager of Allegiance’s online giving product, WeDidIt. And joining me today is Mackenzie Burckbuchler from Double the Donation, and she’s going to be teaching us a bit more about workplace giving. Mackenzie will take us through her presentation, and then we’ll have some time at the end for q and a. So, without further ado, Mackenzie can get us started whenever she’s ready.
Awesome. Thank you, logan. Really excited to be here today for this presentation on how workplace giving can benefit your organization.
The reason that I think this is an important topic is I know a lot of fundraising organizations look for ways to fundraise smarter, not harder, as the saying goes. And workplace giving definitely allows you to do that. And so, throughout today’s presentation, I really hope to show you the major value workplace giving can provide to your fundraising efforts and emphasize why it’s important to pursue these giving avenues and educate your donors about them. Before we dive into those topics though, a formal introduction to Double the Donation. If you are unfamiliar with us, we’re the leading provider of tools to nonprofits and educational institutions to help them raise more from corporate matching gifts and volunteer grant programs.
What that really means is that we offer this matching gift automation technology that really helps to streamline and optimize the matching gift process for both your donors and your team so you can raise more from this form of workplace. And then my name is Mackenzie Burke Butler. As Logan mentioned, I’m on the partnerships team at Double the Donation, which just means I get to work with a lot of our integration partners here today because Double the Donation and Allegiance do have an existing partnership.
And so 360 Match Pro, which is Double the Donation’s matching gift automation software, works with Allegiance Solutions and we really work together to help educate about matching gifts. It’s really why we’re here today in terms of the formal agenda for today’s presentation. I do want to divide the content up into three main sections.
And so, first, I want to start with a workplace giving an overview. I like to zoom out and begin there because I think this can be helpful in making sure we all have the same understanding. Plus, I think understanding that workplace giving landscape and some of the available forms of workplace giving and trends in this space then allows us to use that knowledge to inform our best practices and strategies for taking advantage of that opportunity.
And so, that’s what we’ll do. We’ll spend a little bit of time discussing how to leverage workplace giving as well. What are some tips and ideas to keep in mind? And then, we’ll formally overview those benefits for your team. I know that’s a lot to dive into. So, without further ado, I really want to get into the content.
As we overview the workplace giving landscape and the relevant factors within it, I want to be sure that we zoom out a bit, define workplace giving, talk about types of workplace giving, their prevalence, and relevant trends. I think having all of that information on hand and fresh in our minds will help spark some ideas of what we can do to capture or seize on these opportunities.
And so, to begin with a very basic and formal definition, workplace giving is a company-sponsored program that provides its employees with the opportunity to financially support nonprofit organizations. In other words, through workplace giving, employees can make charitable donations to the nonprofits that they care about.
Then Workplace Giving obviously allows you as a fundraising organization to reach both individual and corporate donors to secure more dollars for your mission in the long run. And the reason that we’re here today, too, is that workplace giving is a largely untapped revenue or funding source that a lot of nonprofits might be missing out on.
Even though the opportunities available through these programs are really robust. The bottom line really is that workplace giving represents this win-win, win opportunity. As a nonprofit or a fundraising organization, you win because you’re able to reach new donors through this avenue, reach companies effectively increase your revenue. Companies win because they can use these workplace giving programs to really demonstrate their responsibility to consumers, employees, and top talent. When companies offer these programs, they often benefit from a positive public image as well, and that can help them boost employee retention, improve their talent sourcing, and more. And then, of course, the employee or the donor who donates to your organization benefits because they’re able to support a cause that they care about while taking advantage of this benefit. They have this dual motivation to participate and to give, and that can be extremely powerful and rewarding. We’ll more formally define and uncover the benefits for your team of fundraising through workplace giving. But I thought starting here with this high-level overview and quick highlight could prime us for that discussion and get us thinking about why to devote any time to promoting workplace giving opportunities to your donors.
As we talk about workplace giving though, and you begin to understand the benefits of these programs, you might be wondering if workplace giving and corporate philanthropy, another word that we hear a lot, is a way to fundraise smarter if they’re the same thing. And sometimes, I hear these words used interchangeably, and that’s usually okay.
That’s because workplace giving is a type of corporate philanthropy. Corporate philanthropy, of course, is the act of a corporation or business promoting the welfare of others generally through charitable donations or funds of time. And, of course, that definition sounds really similar to how we just defined workplace giving, which brings me to this point.
We know that all workplace giving is corporate philanthropy. However, not all corporate philanthropy is workplace giving. So, corporate philanthropy might also encompass things like corporate sponsorships or the corporation just making an explicit donation to a nonprofit. However, workplace giving is employee-activated or employee-initiated, and so, in other words, individual employees play a greater role here.
The company donates because of or in direct response to employee interests and really employee action. And so, I bring this up because I think that’s the benefit of workplace giving. Then it’s this benefit that you can have greater reach here and you can use workplace giving as a dual engagement strategy to nurture a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the donors themselves and to nurture or initiate a relationship with the company itself.
You’re seeing those dual benefits. Workplace Giving really does allow your donors to give and contribute in ways that make sense to them and in ways that empower them and get them really excited about their gift. I make that call out to show you that Workplace Giving really does have all of these benefits and emphasize why you should get started thinking about it today.
Because these programs are employee-activated or employee -initiated, as I said, it’s easy to evaluate your donor base, recognize opportunities, and begin engaging individuals with workplace giving programs immediately. It’s like a low lift, right? There are less hoops to jump through. You can really get connected and get started today.
And so, workplace giving is a really important and impactful fundraising tool for nonprofits and fundraising organizations of all sizes. We can all benefit from workplace giving. However, that, of course, begs the question, I think, is workplace giving a one size fits all? What exactly is workplace giving?
Because it might sound fairly abstract, right? What does it mean and what different workplace giving avenues are available? And so, to understand that I like to begin by highlighting that diversifying workplace giving is one of the best ways for a company to get their employees to participate.
There then tends to be multiple types of workplace giving programs available to leverage, which again is really good news for you. And as we mentioned, companies do want to increase participation in these programs, and that’s why we’re seeing them diversify. Companies offer a lot of choices when it comes to workplace giving.
There can be a lot of different workplace giving programs that a company implements. And so, workplace giving is this umbrella. Because of that, I want to spend a little bit of time briefly outlining and talking about four common and really valuable types of workplace giving that can help your organization.
And we’ll start with matching gifts. Corporate matching gifts are of course, the most common type of workplace giving, and I’m sure many people on this call have heard of matching gifts. As many of you might know, when a company offers a corporate matching gift program, essentially, it’s like it sounds right, they’re financially matching donations their employees make to nonprofits.
In its most basic or simplest form, you can think about a donor who gives a hundred dollars to your nonprofit, but if their employer offers a matching gift program, the donor submits a request to their employer for the gift to be matched. And then you also receive a hundred dollars from the company.
And so, that donor’s a hundred dollars initial gift. Really led to $200 of funding for your mission. And so, because of that obvious benefit. Corporate matching gifts are arguably the most effective and important giving channel to focus on when it comes to workplace giving. I always like to say, which it gets repetitive, but for the cost of soliciting one gift, you really get two when you acquire and retain a match-eligible donor.
And so corporate matching gifts are really important to pursue. You want to know which of your donors are eligible and then help them really navigate corporate matching so that they can submit their match requests really easily and successfully, and your organization can obviously receive those funds.
Of course, we’ll get into that in more detail as we get into best practices, but it’s important to remember that matching gift programs allow employees who are your donors to have twice the impact on your mission. They’re able to have their gift go twice as far, and that can be really empowering for the donor and can fuel their overall satisfaction.
The other form of workplace giving that I have starred here because of its importance is volunteer grant programs. And volunteer grant programs are second only to matching gifts in their prevalence. So, again, good news. And under a volunteer grant program, employees who volunteer on a regular basis can submit a grant request to their employer.
This means that the nonprofit will then receive a set amount of money or a donation based on the number of hours the employee committed to them. Essentially, then volunteer grant programs turn time donated by employees into really tangible funds for your organization. This is a really important form of workplace giving because it’s, again, maximizing support or impact, but it can also help you encourage volunteerism, engage employees who maybe might be unable to donate financially, and, obviously, more benefits than that, too.
We even know that this is important because volunteers tend to be some of your most loyal advocates for your nonprofit, and so, since volunteerism in and of itself is powerful, if you can couple that volunteerism with a financial donation, that can really help you propel your efforts, and can increase the individual’s sense of belonging commitment to your organization if they know that the time they donated also resulted in this financial benefit for your organization.
As our next form of workplace giving, we have payroll deductions. And with payroll deductions, employees can arrange to have a portion of their paycheck taken out and automatically contributed to a nonprofit. And this might be what you think of when we talk about workplace giving, a very common form and what was the norm for a while.
Of course, when multiple employees across several companies choose to give part of their paycheck to the same nonprofit, your nonprofit, you can receive this influx or large volume of funds and support. And so, payroll deductions are really important for that revenue stream as well.
Of course, finding ways to encourage eligible employees to donate a small portion of their paycheck to your nonprofit to spread their impact out over time can be helpful as we work to keep them engaged and invested all year as well. And so, oftentimes, I always like to mention, too, a lot of payroll deductions might even be eligible to be matched.
And if they are, that, of course, can be even more powerful and impactful for helping you increase your volume of donations. And then the last form of workplace giving we want to highlight is annual giving. And while we typically think of this as being far away, it’s never too early to begin thinking about it. During the year-end giving season, usually we think of this as in between October and December. Many companies run these seasonal giving campaigns, encouraging their employees to set up that automatic payroll deduction to a nonprofit. And then they usually match those donations as well. And so, again, annual giving, pretty similar here, but it can boost your fundraising revenue and, it’s really important to think about as you look for ways to meet and exceed your yearly goals. While each of these workplace giving forms do differ slightly, they all can provide a really important fundraising lift to your organization. Workplace giving is that win we just discussed before. And so, now that we understand what workplace giving is and its slight difference from corporate philanthropy, and what makes it so powerful, we might be wondering how prevalent is workplace giving.
I think that becomes the logical next question. And the good news is that these workplace giving programs are fairly widespread. If we think about the general corporate giving landscape, we see that the top 10 corporations donate over 2 billion dollars annually in cash to nonprofits. And much of that is through matching gift programs.
Which, again, we just outlined as this form of workplace giving. And so, this statistic really demonstrates that workplace giving is a crucial or integral component to an organization’s charitable endeavors and charitable priorities. Specifically, matching gift programs continue to be implemented and prioritized by companies because they provide that benefit of allowing employees to maximize their own impact. These programs have become so popular, in fact, that 11% of cash contributions to nonprofits are made through matching gift programs, which is really powerful to think about. The bottom line is really that there are a lot of corporate dollars out there for your organization to begin benefiting from.
Additionally, we know that 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, and 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grant programs. These large companies with tons of employees are really continuing to implement and prioritize these programs in large numbers. And, of course, it’s not just these Fortune 500 companies either, right?
Of course, some smaller or more regional companies that could be in your direct community could and do offer these programs as well. I make these callouts just to show that the workplace giving really is big enough that there’s room for many nonprofits and a lot of fundraising organizations, including your own, to benefit from it.
And so, when you think about the opportunities available there and how this can help you reach many donors, individual donors, and corporate donors, I think it becomes clear why we want to focus on best practices today. And before we do transition to that part, the other good news about workplace giving, besides there being multiple forms of it available for your organization to leverage and clearly the value that it can bring based on those numbers we just went over, is that several trends signal that workplace giving is only continuing to grow in importance.
And so, specifically, I’ve outlined four on the screen. First trend that we’re seeing is increased monthly giving. And so, of course, monthly giving can help provide your organization that steady revenue stream that we discussed. So, that’s, again, good news, can lead to more giving overall since donors can spread their gift over time.
To further explain that trend that we’re seeing here in recent years, there has been this significant increase in recurring monthly gifts from corporations and individual employees, so many companies are taking advantage of those automatic payroll deduction programs, so employees can automatically donate directly from their paycheck every month. At the same time that they’re doing this, companies are also leveraging matching gift programs to further incentivize those employees to participate in this monthly giving. And so, if a donor knows that their gift could go twice as far each month, that’s really empowering and motivating. And so, again, that just highlights the importance of this trend.
Moving on, another trend that we see is increased match ratios and maximums. We see that companies are actually continuing to increase the rate at which they’ll match donations and increasing how much they’ll match per employee per year. Another call out that I like to make here because it’s a question that I get a lot is we even saw this throughout Covid, and despite other signs of like recent economic downturn, companies are still increasing their match ratio and increasing their maximum.
And so, I think that’s really encouraging to think about and shows that it’s here to stay, right? Shows that companies are increasingly open to expanding their programs because they want these programs to be utilized. Of course, then, this change goes hand in hand with the other trend that we’re seeing, which is higher employee participation.
Of course, this can correlate directly to more funds for your organization. What we’re seeing here is more employees want to take place in workplace giving, employees value when their company offers these programs. And so, they’re participating in higher rates. To boost employee participation, some companies are even getting creative in how they communicate their workplace giving programs. We see that companies will sometimes set participation goals to secure employee buy-in. They’ll make sure that the programs are really accessible, so a lot of participation, which is good news.
There are a lot of different ways that companies go about that. And then our fourth trend here that really signals the importance and rise of workplace giving is that consumers are increasingly having more influence in making sure these programs are implemented. Companies are implementing these because consumers value socially responsible companies.
And having these good workplace giving programs exemplifies their social responsibility. And so, I think these trends in our discussion of these trends, I hope, does two things. First, I hope it outlines the workplace giving landscape, and two, I hope it shows you what workplace giving can do for you and how it will probably continue to grow in importance as a fundraising source just based on these trends that we’re seeing today.
We want to take advantage of these trends and really use workplace giving as a donor engagement and a fundraising tool. And so, that’s what our next section will focus on. Then I want to provide you with some best practices for leveraging workplace giving and engaging your donors in this way.
My hope is that these strategies will allow you to more fully harness these giving forms. And so, primarily, I will focus our discussion on matching gifts and volunteer grants since those are the two most common workplace giving forms. But I’ll also provide tidbits of insights on others as well.
But before we dive into this section, let me preface this with one key point. Although I just discussed that these programs are prevalent, becoming really increasingly generous, we also know that there tends to be a lack of awareness among donors regarding their own eligibility for these programs.
Workplace giving is common, yes, but many employees aren’t aware of this and not aware that they can give in this way. And so as a result, nonprofits have to sit in the driver’s seat to maximize donor awareness and increase your chances of securing these workplace giving forms.
And so, that’s what we want to keep in mind as we move forward and think about these best practices. And so, I always like to suggest communicating with donors directly to increase awareness of workplace giving and motivate them to action. Although I know this might seem really basic or simple, let me explain the importance here.
As I said, while we discussed that companies implement these programs, there tends to be this lack of awareness among employees regarding their own eligibility or even what workplace giving is and how it helps your organization’s fundraising efforts in the first place. And so, donors might not know what volunteer grant programs or matching gift programs even are.
And donors certainly might not know that their company specifically offers that matching gift or volunteer grant program. To provide a really illuminating statistic to back that up, we know that 78% of match-eligible donors have no idea whether or not their employer offers these programs. And so, to close that knowledge gap, your organization should begin sharing valuable information about workplace giving and providing these educational tips for individuals for how they can get involved.
Of course, to educate the most individuals possible, you’ll likely want to share some educational materials and resources across multiple channels. For example, on your website, you might consider having a matching gift and volunteer grant page where you discuss this as a way to support your organization and offer donors these ideas of which companies offer these programs,
encouraging them to identify their own eligibility and more. Additionally, you might consider dedicating a newsletter to these workplace giving forms. Talk about different forms of workplace giving, help donors understand which ones they can get involved with. And then, of course, you could also use something like your social media accounts to highlight matching gifts and increase donor involvement or highlight volunteer grants and increased donor awareness of those. There are really a number of places and ways in which you can promote workplace giving, and so use all of your communication channels available to close that donor awareness.
We know that these different platforms cater to different audiences. So, while some of your supporters might interact with your newsletter only, others might interact with your social media pages only, right? Again, this really emphasizes the importance of adopting a multi-channel approach so that you have better coverage, increased visibility, and more donors interact with this content and learn about workplace giving, such as matching gifts and volunteer grants.
Ideally, once you educate donors about workplace giving- so you tell them, “This is what a matching gift is. You can have twice the impact on our mission,” or “This is what a volunteer grant is. Your volunteer time could be coupled with a financial donation.” that’s going to pique their curiosity. It’s going to build their excitement to participate, and then they’ll want to support your organization in this way and help you propel your efforts forward.
So that education piece in and of itself is often really sufficient. We just want to put that education piece out across multiple channels to increase that visibility. Plus, I think the other piece of the puzzle is that educating donors about workplace giving helps really showcase and demonstrate your responsibility as a fundraising organization.
Once they see that you’re prioritizing these giving forms and working to help them understand a benefit available to them, they might see your organization as really transparent, authentic in your efforts, and they’ll appreciate that. In turn, they’ll be highly motivated and empowered to support you both in the short and the long term.
And so, we know that donors like to see you fundraising in SmartWay and of course, workplace giving and promoting it, increasing donor awareness as the ultimate example of you fundraising wisely. You’re demonstrating or displaying this good steward. Of donor funds, you’re showing donors that you want to help them stretch their contributions even further, and that can oftentimes increase in the donor being really satisfied, wanting to reward your organization, and becoming just more trustful of you overall.
And their satisfaction, like I said, can improve. As another example of how to better position your organization to capture workplace giving, make sure that as you provide that donor education, you also demonstrate the value of workplace giving. So, beyond just being another fundraising tool, how is workplace giving impactful?
What does that extra funding really mean? And so, my point here is that you want to make it clear how workplace giving allows you to do more for your mission programming. If you’re a school, maybe Workplace giving allows you to fund three more scholarships. Matching gift revenue last year allowed you to fund three more scholarships.
If you’re an animal shelter, maybe Workplace Giving allowed you to help 200 more dogs last year because of those volunteer grants. If you’re a broadcasting station, maybe Workplace Giving allowed you to fund an extra program last year, right? There are a number of ways you can apply this to your specific organization, and there are a number of ways you can communicate impact and value, but the importance is to tie it all back to your mission.
Donors ultimately contribute to your organization because they appreciate your mission. They want to support that mission. And so, if they see workplace giving as really crucial to ensuring their mission, that mission is carried out, they’ll be really eager, and energized to learn more about these giving forms and get involved immediately, reporting on how much workplace giving has allowed you to accomplish.
And using storytelling to demonstrate the sheer value of workplace giving to reaching beneficiaries makes it really powerful and poignant for the donor. And, of course, when it comes to matching gifts and volunteer grants, it’s really easy to communicate that impact through storytelling.
You can tell a story of a beneficiary that was reached by matching gift dollars and you can share how a volunteer’s time and their company’s grant helped you complete a project, you can make it really clear and tangible for the donor what their commitment and investment of dollars or time will do and make possible.
And so, focusing on those donor benefits is really key. Making it clear that workplace giving allows the donor to play a bigger role in the solution. Workplace giving allows them to maximize their own individual impact. Doing all of that can really help you demonstrate the value of workplace giving and get your donors eager to learn.
Eager to get involved. You really want to make them the hero in this story and show just how much workplace giving does as it relates to your mission, along with just educating donors about the opportunity and building that excitement by showing them that they can have this elevated impact or that your organization can reach more beneficiaries this year.
Through workplace giving, you’re also going to want to help donors navigate these workplace giving programs as well. Specifically, you want to help them navigate matching gifts and volunteer. And so, our next two best practices here will set you up to do just that. And so, let’s dive in with this first one.
And that’s talking about the importance of capturing employment data. The reason that this is important is once you have employment data on hand, you can use that to determine which of your donors qualify for workplace giving opportunities and if they do, which programs their employer offers.
In terms of where and when to capture employment data. I think the more proactive you can be, the better. So, as donors go through the act of giving, maybe you include a field on your form, asking them to input their employer name with the context, letting them know why you’re asking for your volunteers.
Maybe you have a field in your volunteer application or signup forms, asking them the same thing so that you can determine their volunteer grant eligibility. Capturing that information from your donors and volunteers that are already eager to support you in that moment is really important. With that employment data on hand, there are, of course, a number of possibilities.
First, if a donor works for a company that offers these programs, you can alert them if their eligibility and outline how their company’s program is structured. For example, maybe you know that your donor works at the Home Depot. You can tell the donor that their company will match any gift over $25 up to $3,000 per year.
You can tell the donor that full-time and part-time employees are eligible to receive that match. You can make the donor really aware of their eligibility and their next steps. Since we’ve talked about their awareness of these programs might be low, you can guide them through that. Maybe you have a volunteer that works for Microsoft.
You can tell this individual that they can request a grant of $25 per every hour volunteered with your organization. You can directly inform your supporters of their own employer program details in both of these contexts or even if you capture employment information. And some individuals actually work for a company that doesn’t offer any of these workplace giving program.
Maybe you can encourage that donor to advocate for the creation of those programs to their employer. So, having your donor introduce this idea to their employer, try to get those initiatives underway, can be a really powerful way to help expand the number of programs offered. The other thing you can do with this employment data though is to look for or identify trends.
So maybe as you collect that information, you realize that a number or portion of your eligible donors work for the same company. For example, maybe you realize a lot of your donors are getting their gift matched by the Home Depot, like in that example I gave before. Once you have that information on hand and you track that information, you might be able to use this as a way to directly reach out to the Home Depot and see if there’s room for a deeper relationship.
You can make a business case to them and show them that they’re engaged employees support your cause. Again, this brings you one step closer to other forms of workplace giving and corporate philanthropy, like an official partnership or sponsorship. And so, being able to really use employment trends as an outreach tool for companies is important too.
So you can reach out about those corporate philanthropy opportunities or even see if there’s a way for them to extend their workplace giving program too. Maybe they don’t yet offer volunteer grants. Can you ask them to add this in? Or can you see if they’ll tailor their matching gift program to match to your organization at a higher rate?
There are so many possibilities that abound when you track employment data and use it to really facilitate connections and outreach, alert donors of their eligibility, and even if they’re not eligible, use that to expand your workplace giving strategy and engage more companies with this form of giving.
And so, that’s the importance of tracking employment data here and how it can unlock opportunity for you to earn more from matching gifts from volunteer grants, but also to secure more formal relationships with companies, which I know is important as well. You might be wondering, though, once you have employment information on hand, what else can you do to fully take advantage of workplace giving and make sure your donors really take advantage of their program?
And so, what we know is that in addition to lacking information about their own eligibility, donors often encounter another challenge when it comes to taking advantage of workplace giving programs, particularly those volunteer grant and matching gift ones. Like I said before, even once they’re aware, Hey, I’ve, I’m eligible for a matching gift or, Hey, I’m eligible for a volunteer grant.
Supporters might not understand the exact next steps they need to take to participate in those programs. So, they might wonder how do I get involved and participate in this workplace giving opportunity and ensure that your organization benefits. And so, when we think about this in a matching gift context, we know that every company has a different request process.
While some companies might have a form that employees have to fill out online, other companies might just guide their employees to a portal where they can submit a match request. Plus, while some companies have year-end deadlines by which employees must submit their request, others might require the request to be in within a certain number of months, whether that’s three months after the donation or nine months after the donation, right?
Something like that. There are a variety of ways in which companies can structure the request process and their program deadlines. Without the knowledge of that, your donors might be at a loss for what to do next, and so, as a result, they might just skip out on submitting the request, and, therefore you might miss out on those.
But if we can take this more proactive approach here and actually help donors determine their matching gift next steps, you can increase those completion rates and benefit from this form of workplace giving more. So, once you determine the donor’s eligibility, you can tell that donor exactly where they need to go or what they need to do in order for their gift to be matched.
Guide donors to that request portal. Maybe help them access their matching gift form. Remind them of upcoming deadlines and more. You can send those reminders and consistently show donors that you want to help them understand their next steps. The simpler you can make it for your donors, the better and the more you’ll be able to benefit.
When we also think about this in a volunteer grant context as. Along with just needing to know if they’re eligible. Volunteers need to know how to log their hours and then how to submit those hours to their employer. So, if you can again help by having really effective volunteer hour tracking tools in place, remind volunteers to always make sure that they’re on top of their hours.
You definitely improve your ability to capture this form of workplace giving too. Always providing your volunteers regular and ample opportunities to volunteer as well so that they can reach their company’s threshold is important. You want to help your supporters make sure that their eligibility remains and that they’re able to leverage it.
So again, with both these, the idea is to take a proactive repo approach and answer these your supporters’ questions as they come up. Plus, of course, by helping donors navigate their own programs, you can also receive benefits beyond just capturing workplace giving, which I like to mention too, when donors see you helping them in this way, I like to think of this idea of reciprocity as kicking in.
They’ll want to return the favor, and so they’ll be more likely to support you in the long run. You can retain them year over year and turn them into these really strong advocates for your mission. So, helping donors navigate workplace giving does help you earn more from these funding sources, and of course, better capture them, which is our goal.
But also by promoting workplace giving in this way and being the guide for your donors, you can nurture a meaningful and strong relationship with them that endures over time. Moving on a little bit, though. We all know that it will not just require you to outline that request process once and then be done as with all of your other donor communications, and donor touchpoints.
Reminding donors often and giving them multiple chances to engage with their workplace giving program when it makes the most sense to them is really key. So, offer these multiple chances for your donors to kick off their matching gift journey. Remind donors of their volunteer grant eligibility at various points throughout the year, right?
Make sure that you dedicate parts of your campaigns and overall communications to workplace giving, and use this as a donor touchpoint and way to nurture the relationship. When it comes to increasing or improving follow-through for donors to submit their matching gift requests, it always pays to bump those next steps to the top of the donor’s inbox and to give them those next steps in a really timely manner.
And so, all I mean by that is that in the hours or days after the initial donation, send donors their matching gift next steps so that they can kick off the request process while they’re still in the giving mindset. Maintain that giving momentum, and then even at key times throughout the year, you can send those reminders.
For example, as you may know, a lot of companies set those deadlines, like we said, by which they must receive a matching gift request, and often those deadlines are at year-end. So, while you should encourage your donors throughout the year and close to that point of donation, you can also remind them as that deadline approaches.
The same goes for volunteer grants. We know that a lot of those deadlines are also at end of year, so this might be a really good time to follow up with your supporters and remind them to submit their hours. Maybe you send volunteer grant reminder emails close to the time of your events, and then remind volunteers in the days after to make sure they’ve logged their hours and submitted.
It’s really all about offering your supporters multiple chances to engage in the process so that they, and you don’t lose out on this opportunity to earn more from workplace giving. You can also think about, key fundraising pushes and events you have throughout the year. You can remind donors that they might be eligible for these programs and that their participation can help you really meet those goals quicker.
Creating that sense of urgency and using workplace giving to help the donor understand the importance of their contribution. , whether that’s a financial contribution, where their gift will be matched or their contribution of time where it will be matched with a grant is, this is all really key in helping you motivate action.
Along with just helping donors determine their eligibility and next steps, and then reminding them of those next steps though, the other thing you want to help donors do is take advantage of their employer’s workplace giving program to the best of their ability. And I know I briefly mentioned this before, but I did want to make a more formal shoutout here.
And so, really help your donors seize on this opportunity. For example, with matching gift programs, we know that companies will set these minimum and maximum amounts that they’ll match per year. And so, you want to help donors meet that minimum and donate as much as they can towards the maximum so that they can have that elevated impact.
So reminding them of those minimum and maximum amounts can do just that. Where this really comes into play, though, is that with volunteer grant programs. Companies will sometimes set hour thresholds where a supporter must volunteer a certain number of hours before the company will issue that financial grant or donation.
If that is the case, it’s important that you really provide ample opportunities for those volunteers to reach that threshold and maximize the amount their company will contribute. Encourage those elevated levels of participation and show donors really just how much their generosity could multiply show just how meaningful that generosity is.
As we know too, a lot of companies that offer matching gift programs also offer volunteer grant programs. I think I mentioned before that 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, and 40% offer volunteer grants. Of course, there’s a lot of overlap there too. And along with just Fortune 500 companies, a lot of companies are offering both of these opportunities.
So you want to help your supporters participate in both of these programs and make them aware of both. Encourage them to be these cross-functional donors. So, then you can help donors fully maximize their participation in workplace giving so that they can support your mission and derive a lot of satisfaction from that with annual giving and payroll deduction.
I know two other forms that we mentioned before, you want to off also make sure that your donors understand that their deduction could also be doubled. So, make sure that if that is match-eligible, you’re informing them of that. Make sure that you’re helping your donors get involved in multiple ways, so that they can stay connected to your organization over time.
Build on their employment satisfaction and their donor satisfaction so that they feel like they’re really valuable, helpful, and important, and helping your organization in more ways than one that can help you build a really strong relationship. The other piece of the puzzle that I feel I would be a little remiss if I didn’t mention here too is that as you promote these multiple ways to give back and encourage individuals to get involved with workplace giving, it’s really important to express appreciation and g.
In the case of a matching gift, not only is this individual deciding to contribute to your organization, they’re going the extra mile, and submitting their match request to their employer or through their employer’s, vendor program. And so, with volunteer grants, not only is this individual dedicating their time, they’re also logging their hours, submitting those hours to their employer. Again taking an additional step or going the extra mile if we want to think about it that way. And so, we need to thank them, right? Not to mention really the value that these workplace-giving donors provide. Your organization truly is unrivaled. You’re benefiting from their contribution and their employer’s contribution, and so, you want to be able to retain these individuals year over year.
You don’t want them to lapse or churn. You really want them to stay engaged, and so, that’s why I’m making this shout-out or call-out here. That’s really crucial to recognize these supporters for their contributions, the extra action they took, and more. That recognition piece is key. And so, I always like to say thank them early and thank them often.
So offer these workplace-giving donors a chance to be highlighted on your social media, maybe if they want to or ask them if they want to tell their why story on your website and share what their organization means to them. Send them those hand-delivered thank yous and more. There’s a bunch of different ways you can express your gratitude and recognize your supporters.
Really the bottom line is though, you want to thank these workplace-giving donors often and show them that their efforts don’t go unnoticed and that this workplace giving really is helping your organization advance. As you receive matching gifts and volunteer grants, and even other workplace giving forms, this is something that we touched on before, but I also just think that it’s important to communicate the results on a regular and consistent basis.
Monitoring and reporting on workplace giving participation can help you show just how crucial these programs are. So, perhaps you track the number of match-eligible donations received or the dollar value of those donations or you show how many volunteer hours have been matched with grants.
If you can actually communicate those results and show that donors are taking advantage of these opportunities and that it’s making a big difference in your mission and mission programming, that can be really key to helping you create some social proof and encouraging others to see if they qualify and could take advantage of a similar program.
Because, as we said, a lot of benefiting from workplace giving is just simply increasing awareness and getting your donors to understand how important this form is. Plus, as you communicate the results, you can also use those results to show companies and corporate partners that these programs are really vital and should be implemented.
When companies really see that they’re matching gift and volunteer grant programs are helping you drive results, and create change and make progress, that really encourages them to understand just how important these programs are and reminds them of the good that comes from that. By doing so, you’ll also begin to really build relationships with companies that offer these programs and so, that regular communication can lead to greater collaboration and more opportunities to really advance your relationship with corporate partners or donors as well.
Providing these clear and compelling messages that quantify and highlight the impact of workplace giving throughout the year and to demonstrate how these programs really propel your mission forward. I think it is pretty. And while I know we just laid out a lot of best practices there already, I do want to use this slide to make one additional call out.
We do know that workplace giving programs can change frequently. We went over those trends in the beginning that highlight some of many recent changes. And so, as companies increasingly prioritize CSR and look to engage their employees in these really meaningful ways, workplace giving programs continue to increase or grow in popularity.
Because of that, changes are always occurring and so, it might seem difficult to keep track over and maintain a pulse on those changes. If you think about it, I think this is the third time I’ve said it, that 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, 40% offer volunteer grant programs, and of course, there’s more.
Then just thinking about those two forms of workplace giving alone, the number of companies that offer these programs is large. Plus, those companies might periodically change the minimum or maximum amount. They match their match ratio, their hour threshold for volunteer grant payments, and more.
And so, it’s important to keep tabs on those changes to ensure that you’re not letting any untapped potential or unidentified opportunities really slip through the cracks. And so, I recommend always trying to stay up to date on program changes for businesses specifically in your local area. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, identify corporate contacts at businesses near you and maybe periodically check in on the status of their programs.
Ask your donors that work for these companies to help alert you if changes, stay on top of those, major companies that a lot of your donors are working for. And be sure to be aware of those program changes. To make this even easier, since I know the manual research and outreach might seem like a bit of a lofty undertaking, and we’re always looking for those low-lift strategies.
We also recommend using something like a matching gift or a volunteer grant database to help. Using that database can help you pinpoint or identify that information quickly so you can very easily and naturally let your donors know their eligibility for these workplace giving program. So, overall, remember that you want to educate donors about workplace giving.
Help them navigate it. Thank them for their efforts and show them the meaning of those efforts and really stay on top of program changes to position yourself for success in both the short and long term. So, I know we just went through all those examples of workplace giving and highlighted how to promote those opportunities to donors, to keep them engaged.
But I think, and I think that hopefully makes it obvious that workplace giving can help nonprofits, but those benefits that it can provide are multi-pronged. They’re, there are a lot of ways that your organization can benefit from leveraging workplace giving opportunities. And so, I want to formally outline some of those benefits in this last little section before I get to your questions.
In case you need internal buy-in to get your team members to begin thinking about workplace giving and pursuing it, I think these can be some good points to make to secure that buy-in. And so, first, we know that workplace giving helps you build stronger relationships with companies and their employees alike.
When company employees contribute to you through these avenues, you then have a connection with the organization that can be really enduring and powerful. We said that companies want their employees to participate in workplace giving, and so, when their employees support you, that can automatically foster a sense of connection and belonging.
Those long-term and strong relationships between a nonprofit and a company, of course, can lead to ongoing partnerships, corporate sponsorships for your events and programs. I know how important that corporate support is in helping you diversify your revenue streams and be really resilient to changes in the fundraising landscape.
And so, that’s why I make this call out here is that those strong relationships and having that strong corporate support, which workplace giving can open the door to, can make a major difference in your fundraising. Plus, when donors give through these avenues, they have that dual motivation to give, which can lead to dual satisfaction and this dual feeling of involvement with your organization, right?
The more a donor feels like they’re having this impact on your mission, and the more connected they are to you because of that deep relationship, the more likely you can retain them year over year, of course, but also the more likely they will be to become this fierce advocate for your mission.
Eager to help you spread your mission. To reach other individuals that maybe have an interest in helping you make this progress. And so, when you reach individuals through workplace giving, you’ll get more than just monetary support, I think is the point here. You’re benefiting from building a nonprofit community and fostering this sense of community among your supporters so that they’re really empowered, and you have these strong relationships.
Very similar to what we just talked about. We know that once you’ve reached donors through workplace giving, this can open up the door for you to earn that greater corporate support. We’ve said repeatedly that companies want their employees to participate. And so, when companies see that their employees are using workplace giving specifically to donate to your organization, that can be that door opener for you.
And so, what to do with that door opener is really show the corporation how maybe deeper and more tailored engagement with you can solve a problem that they’re facing. Show how it can help them retain more employees, attract top talent, can potentially increase demand for their products or services.
You can use donors that are giving through workplace giving to make a business case and use employee support as this reason or justification for the company to engage with you further. And so, again, maybe that could look like the company makes you part of their payroll deduction plan.
Maybe they make you part of their annual giving campaign, or maybe they even want to sponsor your next event or tailor their matching gift program to you more. Get creative in how you use this new connection that you have to a company when their donors or their employees excuse. Give through workplace giving, so that you can further the relationship.
And then moving on to another benefit. Nonprofits also, of course, save time and resources by promoting workplace giving. In other words, I like to think of it as workplace giving can improve your fundraising ROI. When your nonprofit is receiving these gifts in a cost-efficient way, that allows you to obviously do more for your mission.
And we know that promoting workplace giving is very cost-efficient and effective. When you reach a match-eligible donor, their gift goes twice as far. When your volunteer submits a grant request, their time turns into tangible funds for your nonprofit, right? And so, obviously, this can help you improve a variety of metrics, such as minimizing your spend on your solicitations, or fundraising campaigns.
And then efficient fundraising and effective fundraising results in that high ROI means that you have more money available to designate towards your mission and mission programming, which allows you to make more progress, right? It’s all about creating that domino effect and finding these ways to fundraise smarter, which I think workplace giving allows you to do.
Also, reaching donors through these programs can help you boost other metrics like their donor lifetime value. And so, workplace giving is a really effective way to nurture a relationship with your donors, get them eager to give and give again, which again increases this ROI. And so, of course, as you look towards the future and the long-term or long-run success of your organization, having these eager and loyal supporters that are ready and prepared to advocate for you is really important. And so, I know that was a really broad overview of some of the benefits there, but like I said, in case you need to secure internal buy-in to begin promoting these, I wanted to.
Formally outline them, in the slides here. I hope that we’ve demonstrated the importance of considering workplace giving as this fundraising source and engaging your donors through these avenues. I think when you do sit in the driver’s seat to increase awareness, you can definitely benefit.
And so, I hope we provided you some ways to get started. I would love to transition into a question and answer period. Now I think I’m seeing a question come through. So, I’m going to start looking at those but feel free to add them to the chat as well. So, I see one that came through here. Do you have any suggestions for proactively reaching out to employees that have not yet given, but work for a company you know offers a match? For instance, how could we reach employees of ABC Corp to ask them to make a donation and then trigger the donation matching email?
I think that’s a really good question. In terms of that proactive outreach, I think part of it starts with, a little bit of the storytelling that we were discussing before.
So I think that the more you talk about matching gifts. Use storytelling to show, “Hey, matching gifts enable you to have twice the impact. Matching gifts enabled us to help X more beneficiaries, which resulted in this great outcome.” That can get donors really eager to determine their match eligibility.
So maybe this donor doesn’t understand that they’re match-eligible. Maybe they see a story where you’re using that emotional piece, and then they click through to your website or want to go find out where they can become not eligible. I think that can help you increase conversion.
In terms of that proactive outreach though, I think you can also pick up the phone or maybe send an email. I think that it’s okay to proactively reach out in that way and tell the donor over the phone, or over email, whichever avenue makes more sense for your organization. “Hey, did you know that matching gifts are super powerful, and you are eligible for one? Let us help you go through that process. Let us guide you through that process.” And so, I think in terms of that proactive outreach and that conversion, I definitely think that using storytelling to help. Okay, they’re not yet a donor. And we have no personal access to them or their names, thinking about marketing or social media directed towards employees of that company. Great question. Really great question. And sorry for misunderstanding it a little bit then. Something that I’ve heard that’s really cool is potentially doing something like geofencing.
You could do some sort of targeted ad to that specific location, and that could help reach their employees. That’s one thing that I’ve heard of that I thought was really cool. But again, that might be a major lift for some organizations. Another thing I’ve heard that is cool as well is maybe you just highlight this company, maybe it is the Home Depot.
Maybe you can highlight the Home Depot on your communications. And thank the Home Depot for offering a matching gift program, and then that could reach their employees. And then the other thing is, look for opportunities for mission alignment. So, maybe you are an animal shelter.
And do you know that this company that has dog food offers a matching gift program? You might have a really good case there to go to the company and ask if you can get in front of their employees to let them know about your organization specifically since you know that those individuals could be interested.
I think that there are a few ways that you can go about it. Definitely, just communicating match opportunities, finding those mission alignment pieces, looking for organizations in your local area, I think, is another really great way to get started today.
If you know an organization really close to you offers a matching gift program, reach out to those individuals directly and increase their awareness, I think is a great place to start.
What’s the best method for approaching donors about employer matching opportunities if employment status slash business place is unknown? Really great question. I think there’s a couple different answers to this. I think one way to do it is just having an education campaign. So, again, I talked a little bit about that multi-channel approach in the beginning.
So if you incorporate matching gifts into some of your social media posts, onto your website, into some of your email communications, I think you can increase awareness. I think the good news is that matching gifts and volunteer grants those appeals naturally peak a donor’s curiosity. If they hear that their gift could go twice as far, they’re really incentivized to interact with that post and learn more. So I think that’s one way and the good news there.
The other thing is that as a donor goes through the process of giving or if your volunteer is signing up for to volunteer at your event, if you can actually collect their employment information then and be really proactive about it, that’s one way. If maybe you didn’t collect it from the donor during the donation process, but they recently made a gift, you can still reach out after and tell the donor, “Hey. We have this opportunity for you to double your impact if you’re eligible. See if you could have double the impact without having to dig deeper into your pocket.”
And so, I think it really does just begin with this education piece. But really great question.
I see another question coming in, and I want to make sure I get to those since we’re approaching time here. A lot of times, matching gifts require development staff to log into a company’s respective portal and approve the gifts. Do you have any suggestions on how to streamline this when getting many matching gifts?
Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think it’s a hard one because companies do differ in how they disperse matching gift funds, right? So, some companies will have you manage it through a portal. Other companies might directly donate to you to submit that match.
And so it can be complicated to stay on track of, and I recognize that. I think something that we’ve found really helpful in streamlining that process is setting a regular cadence for when you do that. So, if that’s once a month, maybe you devote one day, once a month, to going through this process and approving those requests, or if it’s every other week.
I think setting that regular cadence can help make it seem like less of a major lift and can help streamline the process a little bit as well. And if you ask your donors to let you know when they’ve submitted their match request, that can help you know that you should expect to see that approval request come through.
And so, if your donors are letting you know, “Hey, I submitted my request.” then to accept it. But I would say that regular cadence is something we’ve seen a lot of organizations see great success with. So, I hope that’s helpful.
We might be wrapping up a little bit early here, depending on if more questions come through.
But, um, just really grateful to everyone for being engaged today the great questions that you all had. I think that you guys are well on your way to thinking about workplace giving as a really powerful fundraising tool, and I hope that some of these suggestions help you get started.
I know it can be overwhelming since it is this big umbrella term, but hopefully, we’ve broken that down a little bit for you.
Thank you, Mackenzie, for this awesome presentation. And thank you all for really great questions. I just have a couple of quick things to wrap us up before we let you go. One thing, just little announcement, and maybe some of you have guessed it already, but WeDidIt will be integrating with Double the Donation’s latest version of gift matching, their 360 Match Pro. And that’s expected to be released in April. So, for those of you who are familiar with and maybe use our WeDidIt product, this is really exciting for you. You’ll have access to this, obviously, very important and cutting-edge matching gifts programming soon.
So that’s very exciting. And lastly, in terms of this recording, it will be available in a couple days, and we’ll have it sent out to you and to anyone who has registered for this webinar, even if you didn’t make it today. Also, as you can see, Mackenzie has included both of our email addresses at the bottom of this slide, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to Mackenzie or myself if you have any further comments or questions.
But that really concludes our webinar for today. So, thank you all again for joining, and have a great rest of your day.
Thank you, Logan.