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Employee Matching Gift Programs: A Competitive Advantage in Recruiting Top Talent

March 31, 2023
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Employee matching gifts can be a valuable tool for companies looking to recruit talented employees. These programs allow employees to donate to their favorite charities, and the company will match the donation up to a designated amount.

So how do employee matching gift programs help with recruiting talented employees?

One of the main benefits of employee matching gift programs is that they help attract and retain employees who are passionate about giving back to their communities and have a purpose behind their efforts. By offering this type of program, companies demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and philanthropy, which can be a significant factor for job seekers when choosing an employer.

In addition to attracting talent with employee benefits, matching gift programs can also help enhance the company's reputation in the community and among potential job candidates. When companies support the causes that their employees care about, they send a message that they value their employees' interests and are invested in making a positive impact beyond their core business.

Finally, implementing an employee matching gift program can also boost employee engagement and morale. Employees who participate in these programs feel empowered and valued, and they may develop a stronger sense of loyalty and commitment to their employer.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these reasons for using employee matching gift programs to attract and retain talented employees.

How companies demonstrate their commitment to social impact and philanthropy with a corporate matching gift program

Corporate matching gift programs demonstrate a company’s commitment to social impact and philanthropy because these programs involve companies matching donations made by their employees to eligible non-profit organizations, usually on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Here are some ways in which companies demonstrate their commitment to social impact and philanthropy through their corporate matching gift programs:

1. It makes it easy for employees to donate to causes they care about.

Companies encourage employees to participate in their matching gift program by making it easy and convenient to donate to vetted charities. This can include having a user-friendly mobile application where employees can easily make donations and submit their matching gift requests when they feel inspired rather than waiting to make donations when they’re at a computer.

Removing the friction between being inspired to donate and being able to donate makes it much more likely that employees will participate in the matching program and make a social impact. This is generally a feature of a corporate gift matching program that makes employees feel included, lending to a higher likelihood of retention.

2. It creates an inclusive program that empowers employees to decide where their company’s philanthropy dollars go.

Traditionally, corporate philanthropy embodied a top-down approach, which gave decision-making power to the corporate leaders occupying the c-suite positions. This framework did not lend well to reflecting the diverse views of the company’s entire workforce.

While generally the decisions made by executives were made with noble motivations, they likely did not reflect the diverse interests of the workforce.

For example, while few will argue with donations made to a nonprofit focused on combatting climate change, some employees may be more invested in cancer research because they have firsthand experience.

The modern corporate philanthropy framework gives power to employees and allows them to decide where donation dollars should head towards.

At Groundswell, we believe impact is local. We love to tout the phrase “give where you live” because your dollars make the biggest impact when given to the organizations making a difference in local communities.

An inclusive corporate gift matching program empowers employees to make key decisions on who should receive their support, lending to diverse representation in its application when compared with traditional top-down methods of corporate philanthropy.

3. Setting ambitious giving goals and milestones reminds team members of their social impact.

Companies that set ambitious goals for their matching gift programs, such as a target dollar amount or percentage of employee participation, have a higher likelihood of building a strong company culture around giving. It also allows companies to showcase their effort both internally and publicly.

An employee gift matching program can help to motivate employees and demonstrate the company's commitment to social impact and philanthropy.

This lends well to attracting employees who are deliberate about their social impact while building trust in the company.

Enhancing a company’s reputation and public image with employee matching gifts

Simply put, any effort a company makes that aligns with corporate social responsibility best practices are generally well received by the public. That same sentiment resonates with candidates for employment, giving companies a leg-up in the war for talent when pitted against other businesses that may not offer the same employee benefit.

When employees use their employee gift matching program, the company’s social impact in the community grows. Companies making a social impact likely build a reputation around generosity and philanthropy. Those companies become known for their impact on the community, likely attracting both customers and talented employees who want to be associated with a socially responsible company.

In a world where social media gives everyone a public platform, reputation is a key component in attracting and retaining hardworking employees who align with those corporate values.

Boosting employee engagement by subsidizing social impact

In March of 2023, Groundswell surveyed 600 employees working at companies with more than 50 employees. The results revealed that 64% of employees we polled believe they are more motivated to work more effectively and efficiently when their company’s philanthropy aligns with their values.

The results also revealed that 66% of the employees we polled said receiving a charitable giving stipend would inspire them to be more charitable.

From this study, we can deduce that employees who are offered to participate in an employee gift matching program are more likely to put more effort into their work than those who aren’t offered a program. Additionally, employees are also likely to contribute to a more charitable workplace culture when offered a stipend for their charitable giving.

Subsidizing employee social impact can boost employee engagement and lend to a more involved workplace culture.

Overall, employee matching gift programs can be a powerful tool for companies looking to attract and retain talented employees. By investing in their employees' philanthropic interests and demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility, companies can differentiate themselves in the job market and build a more engaged and loyal workforce.

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Unlocking Philanthropy: A Ready-to-Use Corporate Giving Policy for Modern Businesses

Sample Corporate Giving Policy You Can Use Today

In today’s socially conscious environment, more companies than ever are recognizing the value of corporate philanthropy. Not only can a robust giving policy boost a brand’s image and reputation, but it can also play a pivotal role in community development and global betterment. If your company is considering the establishment of a formal corporate giving policy or refining its existing strategy, this sample policy might be the perfect starting point for you.

Download Sample Policy

Pillars of a Strong Corporate Giving Policy

Corporate giving programs range from employer donation matching programs to full blown corporate social responsibility programs with grantmaking and volunteerism.  Many companies find somewhere in the middle that aligns with their size, budget, geographic presence and most importantly company values and commitment to diversity and inclusion. But what truly makes a corporate giving policy stand out? Let’s delve into the key features, from donation matching to the strategic use of platforms like Groundswell.

1. Donation Matching: Doubling the Impact

One of the most effective tools in a giving policy is donation matching. This is where companies match employee donations to eligible non-profits, effectively doubling the contribution. Such programs not only amplify the impact but also motivate employees to participate, knowing their chosen cause will receive twice the support.

2. Charitable Stipends: Encouraging Employee Choice

Charitable stipends are allowances given to employees to donate to a non-profit of their choice. This not only encourages a culture of giving but also empowers employees to support causes they’re passionate about. The stipends can be a fixed amount annually or can vary based on the employee’s role or tenure.

3. Dollars for Doers: Volunteering Translated to Contributions

“Dollars for Doers” programs convert volunteer hours into monetary donations. When employees volunteer their time for a cause, the company makes a donation equivalent to the hours spent. This fosters a culture of hands-on involvement and ensures that both time and money are being donated to valuable initiatives.

4. Corporate Grants: Sowing Seeds for Bigger Change

Beyond individual employee contributions, companies can set aside a dedicated fund for corporate grants. These grants can be given to non-profits, research initiatives, or community projects that align with the company’s CSR objectives. Such grants can lead to substantial, long-term changes and foster strong partnerships with community leaders and organizations.

Why Choose Groundswell for Your Giving Initiatives?

Incorporating these elements into a giving policy requires streamlined management, transparency, and ease of execution. This is where platforms like Groundswell come into the picture.

Groundswell offers an efficient and affordable solution for companies aiming to elevate their philanthropic endeavors. Here’s why it’s the ideal choice:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Groundswell’s platform is designed for both companies and employees, ensuring smooth navigation and straightforward donation processes.
  • Versatility: Whether it’s donation matching, handling charitable stipends, or managing corporate grants, Groundswell offers solutions tailored to each company’s unique needs.
  • Cost-Effective: Groundswell provides a comprehensive suite of tools at competitive prices, ensuring that more of your money goes towards the cause rather than platform fees.
  • Transparency: Track donations, monitor employee involvement, and generate detailed reports to measure the impact—all in one place.

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An effective corporate giving policy is a blend of structure, employee engagement, and impactful contributions. By incorporating elements like donation matching, charitable stipends, “Dollars for Doers,” and corporate grants, businesses can create a ripple effect of positive change. And with platforms like Groundswell, executing these initiatives becomes not just feasible but also highly efficient and cost-effective.

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5 Tips to Boost Engagement & Impact on Giving Tuesday

Leverage GivingTuesday to boost generosity

Every November, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is known as GivingTuesday, which often serves as the unofficial start of end-of-year giving campaigns. This comes on the heels of holiday shopping deals on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. It is a worldwide phenomenon, inspiring millions to lean into the end-of-year holiday spirit with generosity and compassion. For many charities, GivingTuesday has become their biggest day for donations – and can help resource their ability to have an even greater impact in the year ahead.

For companies, GivingTuesday and the end-of-year giving season offers an opportunity to double down on their commitment to social responsibility, strengthen relationships with employees, and boost their impact in the community and broader world.

At Groundswell, we partner with companies all across the country to design and launch GivingTuesday campaigns – leveraging our easy-to-use platform that makes it easy for employees to participate and send donations to the causes and charities that they care most about. Below are some best practices to boost engagement and inspire generosity during the giving season.

1. Make Giving Easy:

A lot of giving platforms out there make it incredibly hard to donate. Some don’t have all 1.5 million IRS-approved charities listed. Others require employees to navigate through a web of intranet or sharepoint sites to find the giving program landing page. And others require that HR is notified of any donations an employee wants to make. At Groundswell – we are committed to removing all of the friction, and ensuring that employees can find charities easily, through a platform that is accessible from the palm of their hand, so they can give whenever they want to.

2. Launch a GivingTuesday Match Campaign:

Through Groundswell you can customize and launch a special GivingTuesday match campaign in a matter of minutes. Simply pick the nonprofits to include in the special campaign, select the start and end-date for the campaign, and then determine the match – 2x, 3x – along with any overall budget limits, then you’re done!

3. Boost engagement by involving ERGs:

Share nonprofit recommendations from Employee Resource Groups to provide inspiration around causes and nonprofits that matter to your employees. You can feature these nonprofits on dedicated ERG Corporate Spotlights and Campaigns that will be visible to all employees on their Groundswell dashboard.

4. Surprise (and Delight) Employees With A Gift to Give:

Consider sending a surprise “gift to give” to reward those already participating in your giving program (and to incentivize others to enroll). These gifts might be used to further maximize impact through the existing campaign, or to donate to other nonprofits your employees care about. Groundswell’s custom gift feature allows companies to easily schedule and send gifts with little to no administrative burden.

5. Level up with Volunteer Matching:

Groundswell’s Volunteer Matching program – sometimes known as Dollars for Doers – recognizes that some employees may not have funds to contribute, but have time – and rewards them in the same way. It’s an inclusive approach that invites everyone to participate in GivingTuesday, even those who may not be able to donate their own funds.

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12 Employee Benefits Survey Questions Modern Companies Should Ask

In today's business environment, having the right and highest performing talent is more critical than ever. With benefits packages playing a vital role in these decisions, how can companies truly gauge their effectiveness? By initiating regular employee benefits surveys.

Scroll down for a free survey template below.

Let's dive in to the importance of asking the following questions.

Is our workforce satisfied with the current employee benefits package?

Gaining insights from "how satisfied are you with our company’s benefits package?" can offer companies a quick pulse on the effectiveness of their benefits. A dip in satisfaction might signal a need for re-evaluation, especially if you're looking to maximize your budget.

How comprehensive are the employee benefits we offer?

Do employees feel that the organization covers a wide range of their needs? Asking, "do you feel our benefits package is comprehensive in its offering?" can shed light on any potential gaps in coverage.

Are we showing true commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion through our benefits?

Are the company's efforts in promoting DE&I resonating? This can be gauged by asking if the benefits genuinely support diversity and inclusion. If they aren't, here's an opportunity to collect ideas directly from your employees.

Read more about how to make sure your giving program is equitable and inclusive.

Do our benefits reflect our company culture and values?

The question, "do you feel our benefits package supports our cultural values?" will highlight any potential discrepancies in practicing what you're preaching.

Did you know? Two-thirds of employees say it’s important for a company to align to their values.

Are we catering to the needs of a remote or multi-location workforce?

With remote work on the rise, is the company adapting its benefits accordingly? It's essential to find out if employees feel supported, regardless of their work setting.

Would employees recommend the company based on our benefits?

This is an easy one to skip, but it's a great question to ask. See how influential your benefits package is for employee referrals. Determining if employees would advocate for the company based on its benefits can be a key metric for recruitment.

How do specific benefit categories fare?

By querying satisfaction levels across various benefits – physical health, social impact, mental health, financial health, and fringe benefits – can companies discern which areas are thriving and which need enhancement?

What additional benefits do employees desire?

Is there a particular benefit that could make a difference in employee satisfaction and retention? Discovering this can be as straightforward as asking, "if you could choose one benefit not currently offered, what would it be?"

If your workforce desires a more meaningful benefit, see why decentralizing your corporate philanthropy strategy can achieve greater impact at scale.

How often should I send an employee survey about our benefits?

While every business has their own set of unique needs, conducing a quarterly employee survey at minimum can help you get a pulse check.

There will be some natural and unplanned peaks in valleys throughout the year that can drastically affect employee morale and company culture. By proactively seeking feedback through surveys, companies can foster a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring they remain at the forefront of employee satisfaction.

What are some affordable benefit options we can provide employees?

Corporate matching or giving programs can be a low-cost addition to your benefit offering that supports your employees’ unique passions and perspectives through charitable giving and boosts your company’s commitment to social impact.  Groundswell offers a comprehensive solution with a simple implementation and nearly zero administration burden.

[Free Template] Employee Benefits Survey Questions

  1. How satisfied are you with our company’s benefits package?
  2. Do you feel our benefits package is comprehensive in its offering?
  3. Do you feel our benefits package supports our cultural values?
  4. Do you feel our benefits package supports our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion?
  5. Do you feel our benefits package supports our remote or multi-location workforce?
  6. How likely are you to recommend applying based on our benefits package?
  7. How satisfied are you with our physical health benefits (i.e. health care, sick leave, etc)?
  8. How satisfied are you with our social impact benefits (i.e. corporate matching, volunteering, etc)?
  9. How satisfied are you with our mental health benefits (i.e. vacation time, EAP, etc)?
  10. How satisfied are you with our financial health benefits? (i.e. retirement, student loan assistance, etc)
  11. How satisfied are you with our fringe benefits and perks? (i.e. fitness subsidies, stipends, etc)
  12. If you could choose one benefit not currently offered, what would it be?
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