Are you a corporate executive trying to figure out why your well thought out and generous giving programs aren’t being utilized as much you’d like? If so, this article is for you!
Reasons for Low Participation in Employee Giving Programs
Lack of awareness is the most common reason donors and volunteers aren’t submitting grant requests. One of the things we hear from our nonprofit clients’ donors is that they often have no idea their employer offers a matching gift or volunteer grant program until they searched our online database of matching gift companies. Sure, if you’re the HR rep or president of your company’s foundation you’re well aware of the giving programs, but for the average employee, the programs are often very much a mystery.
If you’re one of the companies that offer grants for retirees as well, imagine how unlikely it is that they’re kept in the loop. The key to increasing utilization can be boiled down to increasing awareness and making the submission process easily accessible.
Wide Distribution of Information
Do you want to get a feel for how good (or bad) of a job your company is doing promoting matching gifts? Don’t ask employees “do you know about our matching gift program” because you’ll get very skewed answers, since no one wants to look uninformed. Instead ask a more open ended question such as “what do you know about the corporate giving benefits available to you?”
Texas Instruments is one of the many companies which both matches donations and offers grants for volunteering. While we don’t have a complete picture on how they promote their matching gift and volunteer grant programs, they definitely take a proactive approach!
Below is copy of their alumni / retiree e-Newsletter from last year’s holiday season. Included in it was a section on how retirees can make their charitable gift giving go farther. We’ve also seen similar examples of the company promoting employee giving programs to current employees so it’s clear they’re one of the companies doing a great job of distributing employee giving information.
We encourage your company to take a look at how you’re communicating matching gift information to employees and retirees.
Easily Accessible Guidelines and Submission Information
While Double the Donation doesn’t administer matching gift programs for corporations, we often hear from confused donors who are trying to submit match requests, but can’t figure out the process. While there are countless examples of companies doing a good job promoting these employee giving programs, let’s stick with Texas Instruments since they make it easy not only for employees, but also retirees.
Through the Texas Instruments Alumni Association, there’s a clear link in the website’s navigation bar to a section called “matching gifts.” Within the page, there are detailed guidelines, a link to submit a match request electronically, and a phone number which retirees can call in case they need assistance. It’s a perfect example of providing employees with the information they need to take advantage of the giving programs they’re eligible for.
- Lack of awareness is the number one reason employees and retirees don’t utilize matching gift and volunteer grant programs.
- Evaluate where and how you’re promoting matching gifts to determine if you should expand your marketing to employees.
- Create a page on your company website with guidelines and links to the appropriate matching gift form.
Additional Resources for Corporations
Are you a corporate employee looking for ways to more effectively design and manage your employee giving programs? The following resources and articles may interest you: