Philanthropy's Importance to Employees, Employers, Nonprofits Growing

Philanthropy's Importance to Employees, Employers, Nonprofits Growing

Changes in the country's workforce and new attitudes toward work are affecting workplace giving, even as philanthropy is becoming increasingly important to employees, employers, and nonprofits, a report from the Giving USA Foundation and Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds.

Funded by Deloitte, the report, Giving USA Special Report on the Evolution of Workplace Giving (54 pages, PDF), found that employees increasingly want a say in how they give time and money through the workplace, as well as how their employer gives back and which charities it supports. According to the report, employees also want to use their talents, skills, and time in support of causes that they find personally meaningful and respond well when employers are willing to match their contributions of time, cash, or other assets to a cause they care about. Previous studies have found that among millennials, who are a third of the current U.S. workforce, 79 percent want to work for an employer who cares about how it contributes to society, 76 percent factor in "a company's social and environmental commitments" in their employment decisions, and 64 percent would refuse a job offer if a potential employer did not take its social responsibilities seriously.

Drawing on three case studies, the report highlights best practices for employee engagement and workplace giving campaigns, including innovations such as volunteer grant programs in which employers match their volunteer hours with dollars; supporting employee resource groups as part of an employer's diversity and inclusion initiative; and sponsoring community-wide fundraising campaigns. 

"This report underscores the importance of the partnership between nonprofits and corporations," said Giving USA Foundation chair Rick Dunham. "These findings emphasize to companies, fundraising professionals, and nonprofits that effective communication, through a wide range of platforms, empowers employees to become donors and advocates for their causes in and through their workplaces, which is not only advantageous for the nonprofit, but for the corporation as well."