3 Employee Giving Lessons Corporations Can Learn from Nonprofits

April 30, 2018 Andrew Troup

In my last post, we explored ways that corporations can learn from nonprofits around employee volunteering. But that’s not the only area where corporations can glean lessons from their nonprofit counterparts – for companies looking to boost their employee workplace giving, it could be worth borrowing some ideas from nonprofit donor engagement best practices.  

Here are three lessons corporations can learn – or reinforce – from nonprofits: 

1. Streamline the giving process. 

In a nutshell, make it as simple as possible for someone to donate. Nonprofits know the power of having clear, compelling calls-to-action in their digital properties, like websites and social media profiles. If you’ve got a great matching gift opportunity for employees, make sure it’s visible, and accessible – highlight it as soon as they log into your employee giving platform or onto your intranet, send engaging internal communications to keep people in the know, and keep online donation forms simple. To take it a step further, offer your employees flexibility in how they give, whether it’s through automated payroll deductions, options to give via credit card, or even by allowing them to log donations made directly to nonprofits that might be eligible for matching gifts. The simpler you can make it for people to donate or request a match, the more likely your employees are to give more, more often.

2. Make it personal. 

Nonprofit marketing expert Bethany Maki recently wrote of the importance of making donors “feel personally a part of creating change.” The same should be true for your employees. Get to know what matters most to your employees, the causes that resonate with them and issues they feel passionate about advancing. When you present giving opportunities, be smart about your messaging approach – your employees may be more inspired to give if they feel they are personally investing in creating change vs. adding dollars to a company donation pool. The stories and messages you share to get people to donate are just as important as the impact stories you share after to show why that donation made a difference. 

3. Tell the story that comes after the donation is made.

If you’re hoping to get your employees to give more, more often, it’s critical to use results-focused storytelling to build momentum. Best-practice nonprofits are using this full-circle impact storytelling approach to communicate back to donors about how funds are being used, what’s different because of their donations, and whose lives are better because of their support. Similarly, if you’ve activated your employees around a particular matching gift opportunity, be sure to follow up with them on what impact the total donation had on the cause or nonprofit, and make sure to note that each of them was critical to achieving that success. Then, to go one step further, make sure you are regularly communicating about the total impact of all your company’s CSR initiatives so employees understand they are part of an even bigger collective effort.  

Take it from nonprofits: Streamline the donation process, make the mission personal, and come full circle with your impact story to inspire future giving. 

Ready for more  Get tips for launching an employee engagement initiative that leverages giving here. 

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