Workplace Giving Had a Reboot in 2012 to Meet Changes, Challenges in the Economy

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 5:49 pm
Steve Delfin

In 2012 there were further signs that the once staid tradition of employees taking part in annual workplace giving campaigns has been upended by digital technology, younger workers with new ideas, and the need for more engagement between employers and employees. Those are the preliminary findings from America’s Charities 2012 Snapshot: Trends and Strategies to Engage Employees in Greater Giving, its third report since 2000 about the $3 billion employees donate on the job each year to nonprofits.

Giving is up at a majority of companies surveyed, but employee participation rates are down at nearly 50 percent of them. Experts say this is a sign that those who are already involved feel comfortable; however, more needs to be done to engage additional employees.

More than two-thirds of companies surveyed offer matching payroll contributions—a 58 percent increase since 2006. This is especially striking given the economic stress corporate America has been under.

America’s Charities ( brings public and private sector employers together with charities to engage employees in greater giving. It offers a comprehensive solution that generates unrestricted, sustainable financial support for charities through employee workplace payroll giving and other individual efforts. Nearly 100 companies participated in the survey; altogether, they raised more than $230 million through traditional employee giving campaigns in 2012.

The full Trends report will be available for free soon. Go to for more information.


The Top Five Trends are:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1. <!--[endif]-->Brands R Us. A majority of companies (80 percent) in the survey are branding their workplace giving programs with their own names, themes, and/or logos.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2. <!--[endif]-->We “Like” to Share Why We Give. Currently, 30 percent of respondents allow employees to post videos and/or testimonials supporting their favorite charities as part of the giving program. More than half report they are likely to incorporate more social media tools into the giving activities.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->3. <!--[endif]-->The Millennials Arrive. Young workers want their giving to be peer-oriented. Companies are also recognizing they need to provide millennials with opportunities to meaningfully participate by volunteering.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->4. <!--[endif]-->High Impact, Low Cost. Companies are concerned about the time and the cost of conducting employee giving campaigns. About 85 percent of respondents said administering the campaign is one of their top challenges.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->5. <!--[endif]-->One-Stop Shop. Companies are devising an overall strategy for giving, volunteerism, skills-based pro bono, and engagement.

In addition, more than 80 percent of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the company is committed to a strong program and that employee giving is still a priority.

Steve Delfin is president and CEO of America’s Charities.

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