The key to a great WPG program is broad participation and matching is one of the main reasons your employees will participate – so be strategic about it. We observe that the best workplace giving programs enable broad employee choice, ease of use, transparency and a more than lip-service commitment from the company.
Here are a few tips to help you create some business wins and attract more resources to your program.
1. Broaden Charity Choice In Your Program
If you want people to give money or time under the company program instead of outside it, they need to be able to access their favorite charities from your solution (not just the ones you pick for them). To connect broadly with your people, you need to match broadly, which may mean supporting hundreds or thousands of charities (again a new breed of software can help with this). But even if you don’t match broadly, make sure the tool enables you to give to your chosen charities…
2. Put as Much of Your Budget as Possible Into Matching
Okay, that seems a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised! Most companies underestimate matching as a way to both incent participation and align corporate giving with employee giving. Try to reduce spend on the administration of your program (that’s where cost-effective new technology solutions come in) and find budget or redeploy existing philanthropic spend to foster a passion for fishing rather than handing out fish! Horizontal impact is where it’s at…
3. Strategically Match Corporate Pillars
Broadening charity choice sometimes scares people, because they think it will cannibalize support for existing corporate charity partners. The data shows otherwise (a rising tide raises all boats!). And you can still empower choice but create bias for corporate sponsored causes or pillars: match broadly at one rate, and “super-match” for specific causes, pillars or fundraising events at a higher rate.
4. Make Sure It’s Easy to Donate and Easy to Get the Match!
We live in a webby world where choice, empowerment, transparency, instant communication and collaboration are constantly at our fingertips. If something takes more than a couple of clicks, you’ve lost them! Make sure it is easy to participate in your program and take advantage of matching offers by choosing a tool that provides flexibility and ease of use (a dose of empowerment, transparency and administrative ease would be nice too!)
5. Get Creative with Your Budget and Your Offers
A good giving solution will enable you to set limits for matching offers to specific campaigns and donation maximums, with an overall matching limit so that you can spread and leverage your budget effectively. You should be able to differentiate matching offers to different populations, override match caps for disaster relief or user preference and other neat stuff like that. If you don’t have a large budget, you could also consider combining your CSR efforts with a key supplier or service provider. Get Creative!