Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business model that guides businesses in committing to play a positive role in society. For many companies, this can mean reducing their environmental impact, improving diversity and inclusion, and following fair labor policies. Another common way to implement CSR initiatives is to participate in corporate philanthropy through matching gift programs.
Corporate philanthropy includes any of the activities that a corporation or business performs to promote the well-being of others (typically through donations of money or time). These programs are instrumental in helping the business build a strong reputation. Not only do customers appreciate socially responsible companies, but prospective and current employees also value working for businesses that are committed to social good.
Because of these benefits, corporate philanthropy initiatives such as matching gift programs can be viewed as an investment in your business, helping you maintain strong relationships with customers, retain employees, and even reduce internal costs. In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of matching gift programs and why it’s important for your business to have one:
There are many different ways that your business can participate in CSR. Let’s get started by defining matching gift programs, one of the simplest (yet most impactful) ways to encourage employee giving and help nonprofits further their purpose.
What is a matching gift program?
Through a matching gift program, a business will financially match donations that their employees make to nonprofit organizations, typically at a 1:1 ratio.
When an employee contributes to a nonprofit and submits a match request, their donation will be doubled at no extra cost to them. These programs help them make an even greater impact on the causes that they are passionate about. In turn, employees will feel respected and appreciated at work because their company helps them support these causes.
What are the benefits of starting a matching gift program?
There are a wide variety of benefits associated with CSR for both your business and its employees. CSR programs help increase employee loyalty, improve company culture, and reduce turnover by making employees feel connected and valued.
Matching gift programs can also have a positive impact on employees’ mental health. Contributing to a worthy cause through financial donations and volunteering boosts mental and emotional well-being. Matching gift programs not only encourage and spread awareness about giving to nonprofits but also give employees the power to contribute more than they could on their own.
Improved employee morale
In addition to improving your employees’ mental health, giving can also increase employee morale at your company. As a leader at your business, you know the value of building a positive workplace with employees who are happy and fulfilled in their jobs. But there are other benefits that stem from having happy employees besides a pleasant work environment:
- Increased productivity. Happier employees tend to have more energy, be more focused on their work, and ultimately achieve more each day. More productive employees help your company set and accomplish ambitious goals to expand your operations.
- Higher quality work. In addition to getting work done faster, satisfied employees are more likely to go the extra mile. Employees who are happy in their roles are often more creative, pay closer attention to detail, and work better in teams.
- Better retention. Happy, driven employees are the most likely to remain with your company for years to come. Retention rates can have an impact on your bottom line as it’s much more expensive to hire and train new employees than it is to retain current ones.
Boosting morale at your business with philanthropic opportunities can also build a stronger company culture. Your employees might band together to donate to their favorite cause and help them reach their fundraising goal with the help of your company’s matching gift program. Or, you could organize company volunteering days at some organizations where the business has matched employee donations to build connections and relationships outside the office.
Nonprofits depend heavily on financial gifts from their supporters to fund their programs, pay staff members, and make a difference in beneficiaries’ lives. By encouraging employees to give through a company matching gift program, they help nonprofits continue to make a positive impact, expand their operations, and further their purpose.
Your company can help increase the number of donations nonprofits receive by regularly sharing information about your matching gift program with employees. Make sure each employee knows that you have a matching gift program, understands how a matching gift program works, and receives instructions for requesting a matching gift at your company. You can share lists of well-known or even local nonprofits with brief descriptions of their purpose to help inspire employees to give.
Another way to incentivize giving through your matching gift program is to recognize the employees who contributed the most at the end of the year. Reference your matching gift data to determine which employees donated the most and award them with recognition and a small incentive (like a gift card or their favorite snack) to encourage other employees to follow their lead.
Attracting talented employees
When your company is recruiting new hires, you’re most likely looking for talented, highly qualified candidates. But these prospective employees have equally high standards for their potential employers. They will not only look into your company’s culture and work environment, but they will also carefully consider your business’s compensation and benefits.
In addition to a competitive salary, the talented candidates you want on your team are looking for a more complete compensation package that includes:
- Health coverage
- Yearly bonuses
- Workforce development opportunities
- Philanthropic opportunities
Keep in mind that the job market is just as competitive on the employer side as it is for candidates. When job hunting, prospective employees are on the lookout for employers that will support them, their interests, and their philanthropic goals. To stand out among the sea of other companies looking for qualified new hires, make sure to highlight your commitment to supporting the causes employees are passionate about.
Matching gift programs benefit companies in many ways, from recruiting to retaining new employees to boosting productivity. These benefits can help your business grow by increasing your revenue and building a positive, productive company culture and reputation. As an added benefit, your company can empower employees to help nonprofits achieve their goals, whether they contribute to the organization’s next giving day or push them across the finish line at a fundraising event.
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