Corporate giving has traditionally been a top-down driven enterprise, with executives determining where company dollars end up, and little room to wiggle in between. And though 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, a whopping $6-10 billion is left on the table each year. Add to that a low participation rate – currently hovering around 9% – and one question springs to mind: Why?
Consider the following:
- Approximately 1 out of 10 employees take advantage of their company’s matching gift programs. Meanwhile, many of their peers may not be financially able to participate, and are left feeling pressured or guilty as a result.
- Matching gift programs often go completely unnoticed by employees – buried somewhere in the company bylaws. Even if employees are made aware of such benefits, they typically carry strict deadlines, and are use it or lose it affairs.
- Matching campaigns require time and money on behalf of the donor company, and in many cases cannot be sustained as the staff grows.
- Corporations often do not have the resources to vet charitable causes. Because of this, donations are funneled through an umbrella organization, which significantly impacts an employee’s ability to donate to a cause that is important to them.
Employee directed corporate giving is a different animal, however. These programs target the millennial workforce, engaging them directly to increase productivity and boost retention rates. Through this model, employees are invited to share in the responsibility and delegation of corporate funds, supporting causes that they, themselves, champion. And because there is no payroll tax associated with employee directed corporate giving, corporations still get the tax write off.
GiveStream has been turning corporate philanthropy on its head by allocating corporate charitable funds directly to employees, and allowing each of them to choose charities that they personally identify with. According to an ICIMS study, 94% of millennial employees and 92% of those from Generation X are intrigued by nontraditional benefits such as those provided by GiveStream.
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