In the ramp-up to the Fall campaign season and Giving Tuesday, one way that progressive CSR teams are creating more impact in their employee programs is by using their grant budgets. Here’s how:
“De-silo” your philanthropic budget to maximize impact
A fundamental truth about fostering greater engagement in employee giving programs is that matching individual donations with company dollars generates huge impact (in fact, employees are twice as likely to donate when their companies offer a donation matching program). At the same time, many companies also provide grants to charities they have chosen to partner with. And while grantmaking and employee giving programs often operate independently, having both to choose from is actually a terrific opportunity to leverage the company’s budget and enhance its brand, culture and social impact.
Re-directing a grant budget for a bigger upside
Say you’ve decided to make a grant to a particular organization or project. Why not take all or a portion of what you’ve budgeted as a grant and create a Featured Giving Opportunity in your instance of Spark, using the grant amount as a donation matching budget? In addition to educating your people with text, images or video on what the organization does and why it’s important, you can apply double, triple or whatever matching rate you choose to attract interest, secure in the knowledge that you were going to make the corporate gift anyway.
It’s a win-win-win-win
If your employees take up the opportunity and exhaust the matching budget, you’ve got an incredible win: you’ve engaged your people in the exercise, multiplied the return on your budget, and increased the impact on the social issue that you’re investing in. You’ll also have a very happy charity partner. While you’re at it, throw in an associated volunteering opportunity that enables those who want to contribute time and skills to the project. And even if the matching amount is not consumed, you were going to make the gift anyway and can go ahead and do that as a grant.
A welcome part of giving season
This little tip is a simple but powerful way clients are driving greater engagement and impact in their Goodness Programs without necessarily increasing spend. What’s more, it aligns with broader CSR and business strategies, and drives participation without the negative implications that sometimes flow from imposing pressure to participate. Especially during the giving season, that’s a breath of fresh air.
See more workplace giving tips in our infographic.
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