increasing donor retention through matching gifts

How Nonprofits Can Use Matching Gifts to Improve Donor Retention

In recent years, donor retention rates have been hovering slightly above 40%. This means that if you have 100 donors, roughly 60 of them are only making one-time donations. If the focus on donor retention isn’t strong and comprehensive, a nonprofit organization will need to concentrate on acquisition of new donors instead, an importantly vital but often more costly pursuit.

There are numerous ways to boost donor retention ranging from simply interacting with donors more to utilizing social media. However, did you know you can also improve donor retention by using matching gift programs.

To help you improve your donor retention with matching gifts, we’ll answer 3 important questions:

  1. Why is donor retention important? 
  2. What are the benefits of combining matching gifts with donor retention?
  3. How can our nonporift increase donor retention with matching gifts?

We’ll dive deeper into each question and provide you with actionable tips to help you retain donors.

1. Why is Donor Retention Important?

When a donor continues to give to your nonprofit, the most obvious benefit is the regular extra revenue.

However, keeping donors coming back has additional rewards.

First, your organization has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with donors. Think about it this way: you can’t cultivate a friendship with someone if you’ve only meet them once.

The same principle applies to building donor relationships. A donor that continues to give to your cause is much more likely to volunteer at your next event, serve on your board of directors, and advocate for your cause.

A donor that has a strong connection to your cause will share their passion for your mission with others, which could lead to even more donors.

For instance, you might launch a peer-to-peer campaign where your supporters raise money on your behalf. When donors share their personal experiences with their friends and family, it can be a create tool to acquire new donors. 

Finally, retaining donors means you can gain useful feedback through these meaningful relationships. A donor that’s truly invested in your cause can provide suggestions and advice on how you can improve your stewardship, outreach, and much more.

By implementing their suggestions, you’ll not only gain their trust, but show other potential supporters that you will listen to their concerns.

If you want to learn more about donor retention, Fundly has an ultimate guide with expert tips.

2. What Are the Benefits of Combining Matching Gifts with Donor Retention?

While there is a surplus of useful donor retention advice out there, it is worthwhile to note the mutually beneficial union that results from putting matching gifts and donor retention together.

1. Shows that your nonprofit is a good steward of donors’ funds.

Donors that will stick with your nonprofit for the longterm want to know that your organization is maximizing their donations.

Promoting matching gift programs will let them know that you are doing just that.

2. Helps keep your organization at the front of donors’ minds.

Sending out communications about matching gifts to dedicated donors, whether through email, snail mail, or social media, will help them stay involved with your organization without feeling pressured to donate more of their own money. If you only ever talk to your donors when you want their donations, they’re more likely to stop contributing to your organization.

However, telling them about matching gift programs either during the donation process or directly after in a thank-you email will let them know that you want to help make their donations go further.

3. Results in larger future donations.

When nonprofits mentioned matching gifts when asking for donations, response rates jumped 71% and average donation amounts increased by over 50%.

Letting donors know that they can make a greater impact with their donations generates a higher response to future appeals and results in larger contributions.

3. How Can Our Nonprofit Use Matching Gifts to Increase Donor Retention?

The following recommendations can be helpful for boosting donor retention using matching gifts.

1. Send a matching gift appeal immediately after a donor makes a donation.

If you don’t know who your donor’s employer is, supply them with general information about matching gifts after they’ve made a donation either in an acknowledgement or a thank you email.

If you have done your homework and know where your donor works (and more importantly, if their employer offers a matching gift program of some kind), give them company-specific information.

You can offer general guidelines or give more explicit directions like where to find matching gift forms. This is particularly important if your donors work for major gift matching companies.

Getting in touch with donors in the form of a thank-you email that also informs them of matching gifts immediately after they’ve donated is a great way to have a positive interaction with donors. You’re helping them maximize their donation and keeping in touch with them at the same time.

The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation keeps their thank you emails genuine and informative, but they also let donors know about matching gift programs. They even thank donors in advance for looking into matching gift and volunteer grant programs.

Thank you email featuring corporate matching gift programs

Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation

 

2. Let donors know when their company’s matching gift came in.

Depending on how fast the donor’s company processed the gift-matching paperwork and sent the money to your organization, it could be weeks or months until the donor’s matching gift comes in. They might have forgotten about it by that point. Letting them know that their matching gift was received is another great way to reestablish contact with a donor, potentially encouraging them to donate in the future.

North Carolina State sends out emails to donors, thanking them for their initial donation and also informing them that their matching gift was received.

NC State Matching Gift Thank You Email

NC State Matching Gift Thank You Email

Notice too that the email ends with “NC State greatly appreciates your continuous support.” A final statement like this can help encourage donors to stick around and continue to donate.

3. Inform donors about matching gift statistics.

Whether it’s at the end of the month or at the end of the year, letting donors know how much you’ve raised because of matching gifts is not only a good way of keeping them in the loop but it also encourages future donations.

Halos of Hope uses Facebook to let donors know about how their donations and matching gifts are making an impact. Not only does the post highlight Shari, it also lets followers know about matching gift programs and suggests donors ask their employers about them. Because Shari and others who follow the Halos of Hope Facebook page now know more about how their donations are being matched, they’re more likely to contribute in the future using matching gift programs to double, or in Shari’s case, triple their donation.

Halos of Hope Matching Gift Thank You on Facebook

Halos of Hope Matching Gift Thank You on Facebook

Determining how much money your organization raised from matching gifts and how many donors used matching gift programs will also help your nonprofit establish goals for matching gift donations as well as let donors know what kind of impact their donations are making.

Whichever method you use to let donors know about your matching gift statistics, it’s key to include information about current and future projects. Keeping donors updated on what their donations are funding establishes a personal connection, increasing donor retention.

Check out these other helpful ways to boost donor retention.


Making sure that donors stick around can be tricky, but using matching gift programs to maximize donations can help donor retention rates at your nonprofit.

For more useful fundraising tips, keep reading these additional resources:

  • How to Market Matching Gifts. If you want more ways your organization can promote matching gifts, we have a whole list of ideas and examples to get you started!
  • The Ultimate Guide to Annual Funds. Donor retention should be a primary part of any annual fund strategy. Learn about more tips and tricks you can use to increase donor retention for your annual fund.
  • Top Matching Gift Companies. Promoting matching gifts can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the top corporate philanthropy programs. This guide will walk you through 20 of the best matching gift companies.


Corporate Volunteer Grants Employee Engagement

How Corporate Volunteer Grants Can Increase Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is generally defined as the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to achieving the mission of the organization. At most companies, there’s a lot of lip service paid to making sure employees are engaged. But have you ever wondered why? Have you thought about strategies companies can use to increase employee engagement?

Basic Facts about Employee Engagement

To better understand employee engagement, we turned to Dale Carnegie Training which has done extensive research into the topic. A few key insights include:

  1. When an employee is disengaged, there is a high likelihood that this individual will seek employment elsewhere.
  2. 71% of employees are not fully engaged.
  3. Companies with engaged employees outperform other companies by about 202%.

When employees feel a strong connection to their company, they are likely to be more engaged, and thus less likely to leave. Disengaged employees tend to view their job as nothing more than a paycheck.

Learn more about why employee engagement is so important.

So, how do you engage your employees?

There are four traits that engaged employees exhibit:

  1. They are inspired
  2. They are confident
  3. They are enthused
  4. They are empowered

While there is a wide array of actions a company can take to help its employees become more engaged, we’ll discuss one very important action in this article: corporate volunteer grants.

Corporate Volunteer Grants

Corporate volunteer grants are a type of giving program that encourages employees to volunteer in the communities in which they live and work. Employers provide monetary grants to eligible nonprofits whenever an employee takes time to volunteer.

These grants are generally paid out in two ways:

  1. A set rate per hour of volunteering (i.e. $10 per hour, with a minimum of 10 hours)
  2. A set rate once a certain volunteer threshold has been reached (i.e. $250 once an employee has volunteered 20 hours)

Of course it’s important to remember that these payment structures vary from company to company.

Learn more about employee volunteer grants.

How will volunteer grants increase employee engagement?

It has been shown that employers that not only offer volunteer opportunities but also encourage and participate in them are more likely to have employees with the same shared sense of philanthropy.

Employees are proud to work for a company that involves itself in the community and are more likely to bring a good name to your business via volunteer activities.

Need numbers?

  • A study by Dale Carnegie surveyed 1,500 employees and found that 54% of employees who were proud of their company’s contributions to society were engaged.
  • A Lloyd Morgan survey of 50,000 employees showed that by increasing employee engagement levels, organizations could expect an 87% reduction in employees’ probability of departure.
  • A Deloitte survey suggests that 61% of millennials who rarely volunteer would still consider a company’s commitment to giving back to the community when evaluating job opportunities.

Check out these other ways to increase employee engagement.

Group volunteer activities

Another good method of increasing employee engagement is to encourage group volunteerism.

Group volunteerism increases camaraderie amongst employees who may not usually speak to or see each other. It also increases employee engagement by producing a shared sense of purpose amongst coworkers.

Some companies take it a step further by providing grants when teams of employees volunteer together. It’s a great way for companies to support the organizations which employees are passionate about.

Learn more about team volunteer grants.

When companies implement programs like corporate volunteer grants and group volunteer activities, the most immediate benefit is that a local nonprofit has received the donations and time of individuals who deeply care about their causes.

However, the secondary benefit is that corporate volunteer grants can help boost employee engagement by producing a shared sense of purpose amongst employees and between them and the company.

For more information about employee engagement, check out these best practices.

Corporate Philanthropy Employee Engagement

Using Corporate Philanthropy to Increase Employee Engagement

An engaged and satisfied workforce can undoubtedly turn a good company into a great one. According to a recent Gallup Poll, only 30% of the workforce is actively engaged.

The key to keeping your employees happy certainly includes a solid benefits package and free cookies in the kitchen every once in a while, but ensuring a sense of shared philanthropic values between the corporation and employee is also a huge piece of the puzzle.

Learn more about why employee engagement is vital to your company.

Here’s how to use corporate philanthropy to increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

Offer Employee Giving Programs

Over 60% of Fortune 500 companies offer a matching gift program that will match an employee’s donation to an eligible nonprofit organization.

Matching gift programs tend to double an employee’s donation, but sometimes they can triple or even quadruple the initial gift.

Matching gift programs increase employee engagement by showing them that your company not only encourages giving but partakes in it as well. Matching gift programs can also instill a sense of working pride in an employee.

Encourage Volunteerism

Many corporations arrange group volunteer opportunities around the holiday season, but why stop there? A point of pride for many employees is knowing that they work for a company that shares the same sense of philanthropy.

Some companies even offer paid time off once per month to allow their employees to volunteer at a nonprofit organization of their choice. This not only has the benefit of donating time to a charity, but it also allows the employee a sense of participation and satisfaction.

Check out the importance of using corporate giving programs to boost employee engagement.

Volunteer Grants

To encourage volunteerism, many companies also offer volunteer grants, which are monetary donations to a nonprofit organization that vary in size depending on the number of volunteer hours.

Volunteer grant programs not only show your employees your dedication to charitable volunteering, but they also demonstrate your commitment to encouraging more than just the standard holiday volunteer programs.

Group Volunteering

What better way to encourage employee engagement than a volunteer event where everyone gets together? Group volunteering not only allows employees to work together and give back to the community, but it also lets them interact with one another in settings that they don’t usually find themselves in.

Helping employees form stronger bonds is important to keeping them happy and engaged.

Learn more about ways to increase employee engagement.

Engage the Millennials

Millennials between the ages of 18 and 30 are flooding the workforce looking for ways to share their innovative ideas and technological savviness. Unfortunately for many companies, these employees tend stay for a couple of years and then leave, looking for something more challenging or worth their time.

Millennials view work differently than older generations. Older employees are looking for salary and benefits, while millennials are looking for meaningful and flexible work.

Corporations must find ways to keep millennials engaged in the company. Yes, this means decent salaries and a flexible work environment, but this also means allowing their voices to be heard in various ways.

Companies that offer philanthropic programs and the opportunity to give back to the community, and especially programs that allow input and feedback from employees, are going to be more successful in keeping the millennial employees engaged and satisfied.

Read more about how nonprofits can engage millennials.

By incorporating corporate giving and volunteer programs and engaging millennial workers, companies can help increase employee engagement and increase productivity.

Learn more best practices to help boost employee engagement.

employee engagement surveys

Employee Engagement Surveys: A How-To Guide (Samples)

Employee engagement surveys are a great way to gauge how content employees are. By collecting data on a regular basis, whether monthly, quarterly, or yearly, employers can discover better ways to keep their employees happy and engaged.

Because employees who are disengaged tend to leave companies earlier than those who are more involved and satisfied, it is important to create a survey that probes into employees’ thoughts and can be used to help foster a corporate culture of employee engagement.

Learn more about why employee engagement is so important.

Although it might seem like an easy task to put together a few questions, have employees answer them, and then look at the results, the creation of an employee engagement survey is actually more complex than that.

Complex doesn’t mean impossible, though, and with enough planning and thoughtfulness, you can create an effective employee engagement survey that will help you retain employees and give you valuable feedback to help them stay engaged with your company.

Listed below is a general outline for creating an employee engagement survey.

Naturally, you might need to tailor and adjust some of these tips to suit your company’s particular needs.

Set goals and objectives

What are you trying to measure with your survey? Obviously employee engagement is the main component, but if your goal is to simply gather data and do nothing with it, it might be a good idea to think past that.

Figuring out more about your employees and how they view their relationship with your company can help you increase their engagement, leading to higher productivity. Knowing this can help you strategize with managers and other leaders in your company to produce the right types of questions for your survey.

Determine the types of questions you want to ask

There is a multitude of ways to ask employees about their engagement. The only true definitive pitfall to avoid is asking employees simple yes or no questions. By not accessing more detailed feedback, you limit your options to help disengaged employees feel more content in the workplace.

Here are some more effective ways to ask employees questions in your survey:

1) Create spectrums for employees to express to what degree they agree or disagree with a particular statement.

For example, you might state, “I am often given opportunities to voice my opinion” and then add a spectrum beginning with “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.” Making each question a statement with which employees can identify is an effective way to gauge employee engagement.

2) Consider using time-based questions.

Making statements like “I enjoy coming to work” and having employees rank their preference on a scale from “Always” to “Never” can be a good tool to measure whether employees feel valued and engaged on a daily basis.

Obviously, you can’t ask time-based questions on the entire survey, but you can create a specific section for questions like these.

3) Incorporate open-ended questions.

Instead of having employees check boxes and circle numbers the whole time, use a portion of your survey to ask them about their own thoughts.

It’s wise to put this part of the survey toward the beginning; after going through several questions, employees sometimes skip questions that require more thought, especially if they’re placed at the end.

4) Use a ranking system to determine employees’ priorities.

List a series of vital components of your workplace environment. Ask employees to rank the importance of each one according to their personal preferences. Finding out what’s important to your employees can be vital information when determining how to increase workplace engagement.

5) If you want to get a daily indication of employee engagement, try using a short end-of-day question as employees leave.

Ask them to gauge their happiness for that day using emojis or smiley faces. If a string of negative feedback appears, use that information to look into what could help employees enjoy their time at work more.

6) Determine whether or not you want your survey to be anonymous.

Keep in mind that employees may be more likely to express their dissatisfactions if their names aren’t attached to surveys. An alternative to asking employees to put their names on surveys is to simply ask for the department they work in.

Establish a survey format and length

This step will likely be specific to your company. Make sure to keep your questions geared toward employee happiness and engagement. Use a combination of the aforementioned ways to ask employees questions.

Keep the survey short and simple. It shouldn’t take employees an eternity to tell you about their satisfaction at your company. This point is especially important if you plan on doing monthly or even quarterly surveys.

Depending on how large or small your company is, it might make sense to use an online survey or simply distribute hardcopies.

Communicate your goals and purpose to employees

It’s vital that employees know why they’re being surveyed and what you plan on doing with the data. Letting them know the why, the how, and the when of your survey will foster trust and understanding.

Giving employees a heads up about your initial survey is also beneficial if you plan on putting surveys out on a regular basis. They’ll know what to expect whenever you collect more data.

Collect surveys and analyze the data

Once all of the surveys have been completed and collected, look through the feedback you received. Highlight and discuss trends that you notice across the surveys with managers and other leaders.

Once you’ve assessed the surveys, work toward fixing the problems that your employees have pointed out to you. If it’s a large issue, bring in more people to voice their opinions and brainstorm.

Keep records of past surveys

It doesn’t make any sense to collect data and then not track employees’ satisfaction over time. If you implement big or even small changes, you’ll want to note the difference in employee engagement that will become evident in the answers on subsequent surveys.

Keeping records of your past surveys will allow you to track and see the change in employee satisfaction.

Learn about best practices for increasing employee engagement.

Sample Employee Engagement Survey Questions

To help put you on the path for creating an effective employee engagement survey here is a list of sample questions from SHRM.

Employee Demographic Information

  1. What is your job role?
  2. What department do you work in?

Development / Role-Based Questions

  1. I am satisfied with my opportunities for professional growth.
  2. I am pleased with the career advancement opportunities available to me.
  3. My organization is dedicated to my professional development.
  4. I am satisfied with the job-related training my organization offers.
  5. I am satisfied that I have the opportunities to apply my talents and expertise.
  6. I am satisfied with the investment my organization makes in training and education.
  7. I am inspired to meet my goals at work.
  8. I feel completely involved in my work.
  9. I get excited about going to work.
  10. I am often so involved in my work that the day goes by very quickly.
  11. I am determined to give my best effort at work each day.
  12. When at work, I am completely focused on my job duties.
  13. In my organization, employees adapt quickly to difficult situations.
  14. Employees here always keep going when the going gets tough.
  15. Employees proactively identify future challenges and opportunities.
  16. Employees in my organization take the initiative to help other employees when the need arises.
  17. Employees here are willing to take on new tasks as needed.
  18. Employees in my organization willingly accept change.

Compensation

  1. I am satisfied with my overall compensation.
  2. I am compensated fairly relative to my local market.

Relationship Management

  1. Communication between senior leaders and employees is good in my
  2. I am able to make decisions affecting my work.
  3. Management within my organization recognizes strong job performance.
  4. My supervisor and I have a good working relationship.
  5. My coworkers and I have a good working relationship.
  6. Senior management and employees trust each other.
  7. Employees treat each other with respect.

Benefits

  1. I am satisfied with my total benefits package.
  2. I am satisfied with the healthcare-related benefits offered by my organization.
  3. I am satisfied with the amount of paid leave offered by my organization.
  4. I am satisfied with the retirement plan offered by my organization.
  5. I am satisfied with the workplace flexibility offered by my organization.

Work Environment

  1. My organization has a safe work environment.
  2. I am satisfied with my overall job security.
  3. My organization’s work positively impacts people’s lives.
  4. My organization operates in a socially responsible manner.
  5. My organization’s fiscal well-being is stable.
  6. I am satisfied with the culture of my workplace.
  7. I understand how my work impacts the organization’s business goals.
  8. My organization is dedicated to diversity and inclusiveness.

Takeaways: Employee engagement surveys can be an extremely useful tool for finding out the culture of engagement in your company. By using these tips and finding out what kind of surveys help your company the most, you’ll be able to find out if your employees are as engaged as you think they are.

If you find that employee engagement is lacking, check out these tips.

Matching Gift Acknowledgement

Increase Employee Engagement With Corporate Giving

The importance of employee engagement, which is defined as the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to his or her organization, cannot be overstated. Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%!

Engaged employees are also happier, stay with companies longer, and are more philanthropically minded.

Check out more reasons why employee engagement is important.

While the benefits are clear, employee engagement is a struggle for most companies, with over 71% of employees reporting that they are not fully engaged.

How can you use corporate giving programs to increase your employees’ engagement?

Three Key Drivers of Employee Engagement

It’s said that employees don’t leave companies, they leave people, and it’s true. Many of the reasons employees claim they aren’t engaged in their company have to do with people.

Three drivers of employee engagement include:

  1. Employees’ relationships with their direct managers: 80% of employees who were dissatisfied with their direct manager were disengaged.
  2. Employees’ belief in senior leadership: 70% of employees who lack confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged.
  3. Employees’ pride in working for the company: 54% of employees who were proud of their company’s contributions to society are engaged.

How Can Companies Increase Employee Engagement?

Although Dale Carnegie highlights five great tips for employee engagement, we’ve added a few ideas which our research has shown enhances employee engagement:

  1. Senior leadership must articulate a clear vision to all employees. Without a clear goal, employees will not know what they’re working toward.
  2. Employees should be encouraged to openly communicate and influence the company’s vision with their input.
  3. Direct managers should foster healthy relationships with their employees.
  4. Senior leadership should continuously demonstrate that employees have an impact on their work environment.
  5. Managers should show employees that they are valued as true contributors, giving them a sense of empowerment.
  6. Managers should organize and encourage team volunteerism in communities as a way of giving back and encouraging social interaction outside the office.
  7. Companies should give back to local nonprofits. Corporate giving programs, like matching gift programs and volunteer grants, are a great way for corporations to support organizations that employees care about.

Learn more about how you can increase employee engagement.

Check out this info graphic about employee engagement, created by Dale Carnegie Training

Corporate CSR Benefits from Engaged Employees

How Companies can use Corporate Philanthropy to Increase Employee Engagement

Companies can help keep employees satisfied in any number of ways. But did you know that companies can boost employee engagement and help the community at the same time?

  1. Offer employee giving programs. Nearly two thirds of Fortune 500 companies offer a matching gift program that makes employees’ charitable contributions go twice as far. Matching gift programs help engage employees by showing them that the company not only encourages donating but takes part in it as well. Employees can feel proud knowing that their employer gives back.
  2. Encourage volunteerism. Whether a company offers paid time off for employees to volunteer or encourages employees to team up to participate in fundraising events, employee engagement can skyrocket when volunteerism is part of a company’s philanthropic culture. Allowing employees to band together to better the community helps them feel like the company supports them and will boost their dedication.
  3. Offer volunteer grants. Volunteer grants are donations that companies make to nonprofits after an employee has volunteered for a certain amount of time. Volunteer grants demonstrate a company’s commitment to helping worthy causes and instills a shared sense of philanthropy amongst employees, boosting engagement and satisfaction.

Why Corporate Giving Programs are a Win-Win for Everyone

Benefits of incorporating giving programs like matching gifts, volunteer grants, and volunteerism include:

  • Employees get to experience an enjoyable and rewarding team-building event
  • The corporation gets to give back to the community
  • The corporation’s reputation in the community is enhanced through positive press coverage and other channels
  • The nonprofits receive volunteer support and/or additional funding

While there is a multitude of ways to increase employee engagement, utilizing corporate giving programs can be one of the most beneficial for employees, companies, and nonprofits alike.

Learn more about using corporate philanthropy to increase employee engagement.

 

Employee Engagement Best Practices

Employee Engagement Best Practices: Transform Your Culture

Employee engagement has become a hot button topic in the past few years. There are multiple guides, reports, and articles that all offer tips and tricks to boost employee engagement up from where it is (which is just above 30% by the way).

How do you know what advice to follow?

Well, we’ve compiled a quick and easy list of best practices to help you increase your company’s employee engagement.

Know what employee engagement actually is

Just because your employees show up to work and seem happy doesn’t mean they’re engaged. Employee engagement is loosely defined as the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to helping achieve the mission of the company.

More specifically, engaged employees:

  • Volunteer for extra projects or tasks
  • Help their coworkers and offer advice
  • Support the company’s mission and goals
  • Speak positively about the company
  • Take part in training activities to broaden their skill sets
  • Are open to constructive criticism and feedback

Becoming aware of whether or not your employees are engaged can help you know what strategies to use to boost employee engagement.

Wondering why employee engagement is even important? Check out this article.

Implement employee recognition programs

Your workers want to know that the work they do doesn’t go unnoticed. If an employee does particularly well on a project, big or small, congratulate them on a job well done.

Employee recognition can take a few different forms:

  1. A simple thank you. Letting employees know that you appreciate the daily work they do can be a good way to encourage better performance and increase employee engagement.
  2. Rewarding tenure. When an employee has been with a company for three, five, ten, or even twenty years, use their dedication to your organization as a chance to recognize them and thank them.
  3. Peer-to-peer recognition. Encourage employees to recognize each other for jobs well done or other milestones in their careers.
  4. Tell stories. Instead of having a traditional “Employee of the Month” award, let employees tell stories of success about themselves or their coworkers. These stories can go out in monthly company newsletters, emails, or be posted on an office bulletin board.

Appreciated employees are more likely to feel connected and engaged with the company they work for, and while there are many other ways to recognize your stellar employees, remember that recognition should be frequent and consistent. While some employees may perform better than others, try to highlight each worker’s strengths and let them know you appreciate them.

Develop a culture of corporate philanthropy

Over two thirds of millennial employees expect their employers to focus on societal or mission-driven problems. With the millennial generation set to overtake the baby boomers and the Gen-Xers in the workplace within the next few years, creating an environment of corporate philanthropy is becoming more important than ever.

You can engage your employees by implementing corporate giving programs such as:

  • Matching gift programs that allow employees’ donations to nonprofit organizations be doubled or even tripled by the company they work for.
  • Volunteer grant programs that provide money and other resources to groups of employees who donate and volunteer at nonprofits.
  • Dollars for Doers programs that contribute a set amount of money per hour that an employee volunteers at a nonprofit organization.
  • Fundraising matching programs that match the funds pledged to an employee participating in a fundraising walk or run.

By encouraging employees to be more philanthropically minded, companies can boost employee engagement at work and in the community. When employees feel like the company they work for cares about a cause they themselves support, they are more likely to connect with the company and feel engaged.

Learn more about the different types of corporate giving programs.

Treat employees like people, not machines

Productivity and profits are vital to an organization, but keep in mind that your employees are humans, not robots. While this point may seem fairly obvious, it can be easy to forget that employees perform better and feel more engaged when they have regular breaks and time to recharge.

Easy ways to help your employees feel more productive and engaged include:

  1. Implementing flextime. Flextime requires employees to be at the office during a core period of time, usually a few hours in the afternoon, while the rest of the work day is open for them to use how they want. Flextime can help all employees reach their full potential and be more engaged.
  2. Trying flexspace, which offers the same versatility as flextime with regard to workspaces. Flexspace allows employees to choose their own location for the workday. Some employees may thrive in an office environment while others prefer the noises of a coffee shop. Giving employees the option will help them feel cared for and will boost their engagement.
  3. Offering longer breaks. Employees who don’t take breaks are susceptible to burning out and feeling dissatisfied with their jobs. Encourage your workers to take regular breaks to recharge, especially if they stare at a computer for hours at a time.
  4. Providing them with competitive compensation. Workers want to know that the work they’re doing is valuable, but they also want to feel valued. Giving your employees competitive pay plus benefits can be a huge way to increase employee engagement. If workers feel like they aren’t being monetarily rewarded for their hard work, not only will they feel disengaged, but they may leave their jobs completely.

Obviously, not every company will be able to implement the same programs and procedures. What works for massive companies like Google and Facebook might not be as effective or easy to execute on a smaller level. Discover what your employees want and try your best to accommodate them.

Conduct employee engagement surveys

One of the most effective ways to find out exactly what your employees want and determine how engaged they are is by developing and conducting an employee engagement survey. While employee engagement surveys have recently gotten a bad rap for being too generic and not accurately measuring employee engagement, they can still be great tools for improving engagement if you know what to measure and what to do with the information you gather.

For tips on creating a great employee engagement survey, check out this article.

Offer career support

Employees want to know that the company they work for is personally invested in them. One of the ways you can demonstrate your support and help engage more employees is by offering career support.

Employees should feel like there is mobility within the company. If there are no opportunities for advancement, they will likely sink into a rut, become disengaged, and look for other employment.

You can prevent these problems by having conversations with employees on a regular basis about their career aspirations and goals. Listening to them and giving them the tools and chances to professionally grow will help stimulate employee engagement and help your company thrive.

Communicate effectively with employees

There is nothing that frustrates employees more than a lack of communication between themselves and their supervisors. Ineffectual conversations that don’t help employees understand their projects and tasks can lead to misunderstandings and a decline in productivity.

When employees feel like they have an open dialogue with managers and other company leaders, they will be able to communicate when they are dissatisfied or need support. Being available to employees can help them feel more confident and encouraged, leading to higher employee engagement.

Learn more about increasing employee engagement in your company.

While this is by no means a completely comprehensive list of every single way to increase employee engagement, these best practices, when used together, will help your employees feel more engaged and content at work, resulting in better productivity and profits.

employee engagement tips

10 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

Engaged employees can be a fantastic asset to your company. They work harder, are more passionate about their jobs, go the extra mile, and feel connected to the company and its mission.

Unfortunately, most employees are not engaged at work.

A recent Gallup poll found that only 30% of American workers feel engaged at their jobs.

Increasing that percentage, even by a small margin, can help boost company productivity, overall happiness levels, and can strengthen the bonds between workers and their employers.

Here are ten ways to increase employee engagement!

1. Start at the top

If the managers and other leaders in your company don’t feel engaged, there’s a strong possibility that a majority of your employees won’t, either.

Making sure that everyone from the top leadership down feels like their job is worthwhile and important will create a culture of engagement, one that is critical for helping employees on every rung of the corporate ladder reach their full potential.

2. Create a positive work environment

Employee engagement will suffer if workers don’t look forward to coming to the office every day. Of course, not every company can implement comfortable beanbag chairs and lay out the ultimate red carpet for its employees. You can, however, create a friendly environment, one that emphasizes teamwork and camaraderie amongst managers and employees.

Making sure that workers feel at home and comfortable in their workspace is a key component to helping them feel more engaged.

3. Set clear goals and expectations

If employees are unsure about what direction the company is heading, they’re more likely to check out and stay disengaged. Keeping focused goals in the forefront of your mind as well as in the minds of your staff will help them feel connected to the company and will help boost employee engagement.

Employees want to know that the work they’re doing matters. Whether you’re selling paper products or building playgrounds, reinforce the idea that your company is doing something worthwhile. Employees will feel motivated and connected to each other as well as the company as a whole.

4. Foster a culture of corporate philanthropy

Employees want to feel a connection to the companies that they work for. If a company takes an interest in the causes that employees care about, workers are more likely to feel more engaged.

You can create an environment of corporate philanthropy by:

  • Creating a matching gift program. When employees give to nonprofit organizations, matching gift programs enable employers to contribute the same amount to the nonprofit. Employees will know that the company they work for supports them and the causes that they care about if their donations are matched.

Discover how matching gifts positively impact employee engagement.

  • Encouraging volunteerism. If you know that employees regularly donate their money or time to a nonprofit, help cultivate their relationship with that organization. Employees are proud to work for a company that has a shared investment in the community. Helping employees volunteer either individually or in groups and rewarding that volunteerism with volunteer grants can be a great way to connect with employees and keep them engaged.

Learn more about using volunteer grants to boost employee engagement.

  • Recognizing and praising employees who donate to nonprofit organizations. Employees will feel connected and engaged if you reward them for their charitable donations. Additionally, they’re more likely to continue to give to those organizations if they feel supported by their employers. Encouraging nonprofit giving is a fantastic way to help your employees feel connected to the company they work for and the causes they’re passionate about.

Find out how corporate philanthropy can help employee engagement.

5. Distribute employee engagement surveys

It’s difficult to know what employees enjoy and dislike about working in a company. However, distributing comprehensive employee engagement surveys on a regular basis, whether monthly, quarterly, or yearly, can help you assess what you’re doing right and what could use improvement.

If you detect problems, talk to employees about their concerns. Maintaining an open dialogue will help assuage some issues before they become major problems.

Check out these ways to create an effective employee engagement survey.

6. Encourage individual growth

Employees feel engaged when their employers are invested in them. Encouraging employee growth and providing opportunities to develop their skills either through training or by taking on bigger projects will ensure that employees feel connected and engaged in the workplace.

If workers feel that there is no room to grow individually and professionally, they will either leave the company or become disengaged as soon as they walk in the door every morning. You can avoid these problems simply by helping your employees reach their full potential.

7. Provide feedback – good and bad

If you don’t let your employees know how they’re performing, they will assume that you don’t have a vested interest in them or the work they’re doing. This can lead to disengagement and an apathetic attitude about work.

If an employee does well on a particular assignment, let him or her know that you appreciate the hard work and dedication.

Additionally, if an employee seems to be disconnected and distant and hasn’t been performing up to standards, have a conversation with him or her. The reasons for disengagement could vary, but having a candid exchange can help you determine the best way to help the employee reach his or her full potential.

8. Remember that employees are people, not machines

While productivity and meeting quotas are important, keep in mind that your employees can only do so much. They have lives outside of work that already demand a lot from them. Don’t overburden your workers with more than they can take.

Additionally, allow employees to have regular breaks and time to recharge. Taking short breaks throughout the day can help boost productivity and creativity.

9. Be transparent

Employees shouldn’t feel like they’re in the dark when it comes to the inner workings of your company. Naturally, there are certain things that have to remain confidential, but sharing information about the company’s next steps and goals as well as any news will help employees feel connected and in the know.

10. Encourage collaboration

Allowing employees to regularly work in teams and groups instead of on their own can not only help cultivate friendship and trust among them, but it will also boost productivity and engagement. When employees feel like they are part of a team, they are more likely to work harder and enjoy the work that they do.

Learn more about employee engagement best practices.

Boosting employee engagement doesn’t have to be complex. By combining these ten tips and finding out which ones work best for your company, you’ll be able to retain more employees, keep your current employees happy and content, and increase productivity.

Learn more about the importance of employee engagement.

employee engagement

8 Results-Driven Reasons You Need Employee Engagement

Andrew Carnegie once said, “You must capture and keep the heart of the original and supremely able man before his brain can do its best.”

Although Carnegie wasn’t explicitly talking about employee engagement, this quote perfectly illustrates how vital it is to engage your employees so they will be happier and perform to the best of their abilities.

Unfortunately, employee engagement is sometimes an afterthought. Instead, engaging employees should be practiced at all levels of the business hierarchy and cultivated on a regular basis.

Studies show that less than a third of American workers are engaged at their jobs, so there is definitely room for improvement. But why exactly does employee engagement matter?

Here are eight reasons why employee engagement is vital to your company.

Employee Engagement Helps Cause Marketing

1. Employee Engagement Can Help Your Cause Marketing

If your nonprofit takes up a particular cause throughout the year or during a specific time period, having engaged employees is a must.

Nothing is worse than trying to get people on board with a cause they don’t care about or making them participate in an event that they don’t want any part of.

But engaged employees can be a boon for your company’s cause marketing efforts.

Engaged employees enjoy being part of a solution. They like to participate in events and volunteer with nonprofits.

Employees who are engaged at work will be more than willing to help out when the company they work for pursues a noble cause.

Better Engagement Means Better Productivity

2. Better engagement means better productivity

Corporations whose employees are engaged perform better than companies whose employees are not by over 200%.

When employees are engaged at work, they feel a connection with the company. They believe that the work they’re doing is important and therefore work harder.

According to Gallup, the lack of employee engagement costs American businesses anywhere from $450 billion to $550 billion a year when workplace accidents, absenteeism, and larger heath care costs are factored in. This massive chunk of money could significantly shrink if more companies emphasized employee engagement.

Engaged Employees are Less Likely to Quit

3. Engaged employees are less likely to quit

If you’re completely happy and content in a relationship, why would you break up with your significant other?

You probably wouldn’t.

The same principle goes for employees’ relationships with their employers. Nearly $11 billion is lost due to annual employee turnover.

But, if the members of your team are engaged and feel appreciated, they are less inclined to look for other employment opportunities. Fostering a culture of employee engagement can be the key to reducing turnover rates and boosting employee retention.

If employees feel needed and wanted when they go into work each day, the connections they form with the company and their other coworkers are not easily eroded. By cultivating and maintaining these relationships, you reduce the risk that your employees will quit.

Engaged Employees Bring a Positive Attitude

4. Engaged employees are positive

Workers who feel disconnected and disengaged are more likely to have negative things to say about your company. If a disengaged employee leaves or is fired, they are able to vent their frustrations on any number of social forums and sites.

Because negative feedback tends to be magnified more than positive, your company’s reputation and credibility could be damaged due to a single disengaged, disgruntled employee.

Conversely, engaged employees are positive and have enthusiastic things to say about where they work. Whether they are bragging about their job to customers or simply telling friends and family how much they enjoy working, employees who are engaged will help spread good news about your company.

Employees are Satisfied when they're Engaged

5. Employees feel satisfied when they’re engaged

Employee engagement isn’t just beneficial for your company, however. Employees who are engaged at work feel satisfied with their careers and are generally happier individuals than employees who aren’t engaged.

It’s important to remember that boosting employee engagement isn’t simply about creating more productive, robotic employees and increasing profits. Employee engagement is advantageous for both parties and should be treated as a two-way street.

One of the biggest advantages to increased employee engagement is that you’ll be surrounded by happy workers who enjoy coming to work nearly every day. Engaged employees are cheerful employees.

Engaged Employees are More Philanthropic

6. Engaged employees are more philanthropically minded

Employees who are engaged at work want to know that the company they work for cares about the community. If the company encourages volunteerism or provides matching gift or volunteer grant programs, engaged employees are more likely to take advantage of these opportunities to donate their time and money toward worthy causes.

Learn how to use matching gift programs to foster employee engagement.

By creating an atmosphere of corporate philanthropy, you can not only help employees contribute to nonprofit organizations, but you can also help them feel more engaged and fulfilled at work.

Discover the top ways corporate philanthropy can help your company increase employee engagement.

Engaged Employees are Better Communicators

7. Engaged employees are better communicators

Employees who care about their jobs are more effective communicators with their coworkers, leaders, and customers alike. Disengaged workers may mindlessly go through their day without remembering any of the conversations that they had (if they had any at all!).

Engaged employees, however, will engage each other in stimulating discussions that could turn into productive brainstorming sessions. Incorporating a culture of employee engagement can not only help employees connect with one another, but it can also help create new innovations and ideas.

Engaged Employees are More Creative

8. Engaged employees are more creative

All of the conversations that will spring up within your company because of increased employee engagement have the potential to make your employees more creative.

Disengaged employees rarely produce new solutions or bring innovative ideas to the table; they have little interest in contributing to the bigger picture or being creative with their job.

Engaged employees, on the other hand, find creativity to be essential. They thrive on knowing that they can find new ways of completing tasks and projects and are always looking for fresh takes on old ideas.

Learn more about increasing employee engagement.

By creating an atmosphere of employee engagement, you can not only boost productivity and profits, but you can also help your employees reach their full potential and look forward to coming to work each day. Your workers will feel more satisfied and content with their careers, and your company will benefit from higher productivity and profits.

Additional Employee Engagement Resources:

Matching Gifts Employee Engagement

The Impact of Matching Gift Programs on Employee Engagement

Philanthropy has become a core value of many American corporations. CEOs and corporate leaders see philanthropy as a major part of their commitment to society as well as a valuable benefit for their employees. It’s a way to give something back to employees and support causes that are important to them.

One of the biggest ways that corporate philanthropy manifests itself is in the  form of matching gift programs.

However, an important consideration for implementing, maintaining, or expanding a matching gift program should be its impact on employee engagement. Matching Gifts and Employee Engagement

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is typically defined as the extent to which employee commitment, both emotional and intellectual, exists relative to accomplishing the work, mission and vision of the organization.

Engaged employees work with passion and feel a strong connection to their company. Companies with high levels of engagement also see higher levels of employee retention.

Find out more about why employee engagement is so important.

Unfortunately the converse is also true. Disengaged employees feel distant from their organization and generally do not view their connection to their employers as anything more than a job.

They are less likely to commit time and effort to help the organization succeed. Studies show that disengaged employees are less productive than engaged employees.

A key driver of employee engagement has been reported to be an employee’s perception of the organization’s values. Without a positive feeling about the values of the organization, employee engagement will likely remain low.

At a time when employee engagement is on the decline and corporations are depicted as greedy and insensitive, a well-designed matching gift program can help companies show their employees that they care and have shared values. While this is not the sole driver of engagement, it is an important contributing factor.

Check out these companies that do a great job engaging employees through their corporate giving programs.

Common Themes of Effective Matching Gift Programs

  1. They are easily understood and communicated to employees.The Three Keys to Designing Effective Employee Matching Gift Programs
  2. They are easy for the corporation to administer.
  3. They are flexible enough to be utilized by employees in their desire to support nonprofits and causes of their choosing.

Check out these best practices for matching gifts!

An alternative approach is to construct the matching gift program in a way that garners and encourages support for causes that the organization chooses to champion. With this approach, corporate values are emphasized and reinforced for employees who share those values.

Conversely it can have less of a positive impact on employee engagement as it limits their choices to areas that the company values. This would be the case where a corporation focuses its matching gifts program exclusively in areas like education, for example.

Learn more about matching gift and other corporate giving programs.

Companies seeking to positively impact employee engagement should consider implementing a matching gift program that is broad in scope, easy to communicate, and demonstrates the shared values of the company and employees.

For other ways to increase employee engagement, check out these best practices.