Ways Workplace Giving Can Amplify Volunteer Engagement
Workplace giving is a particular form of corporate philanthropy—but the key factor that makes a program considered to be “workplace giving” is the role employees play in the initiative.
Essentially, workplace (or employee) giving places individual team members in the driver’s seat of a company’s efforts. Lucky for you, your nonprofit volunteers may very well overlap with those qualifying for workplace giving endeavors, opening up new opportunities for your organization to expand its impact.
Though there is a wide array of workplace giving programs to consider, we recommend exploring the following opportunities, specifically in regard to volunteer engagement.
Also known as dollars for doers, volunteer grants are a very prominent form of workplace giving. In fact, the above-mentioned analysis from Double the Donation reports that more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer such initiatives as a way to encourage their employees to get involved in their communities.
And in doing so, volunteer grants offer an excellent opportunity for nonprofits to maximize the value of their dedicated volunteers. The same research from Double the Donation indicates that 80% of participating companies provide between $8-$15 per hour volunteered by an employee. If a volunteer spends 100 hours with your nonprofit in a year, that’s over $1,000 toward your bottom line!
Matching gifts are one of the most popular examples of corporate philanthropy, and there’s a significant overlap between individuals who qualify for volunteer grants and those who qualify for matching gifts. In fact, 85% of the top matching gift companies also offer volunteer grant programs—just like 67% of worldwide donors also choose to volunteer locally in their communities.
So if some of your volunteers are also contributing financially to your organization, consider highlighting matching gifts as a key way to drive their impact further. Not to mention, 84% of donors are more likely to give if they know their gift will be matched.
Another program to keep an eye out for is VTO, or volunteer time off. This essentially means that an employer offers its employees additional time off work—above and beyond any existing sick or vacation time—to spend volunteering with nonprofit causes.
This way, your volunteers will continue to donate their time to your organization, and they’ll be getting paid to do it! With this added incentive, many volunteers would be willing to increase the number of hours they spend working with your nonprofit. And it’s a pretty prominent offering, too—with 66% of companies surveyed providing employees with some sort of paid-release time volunteer program.
Finally, team volunteer events can be a great way to get larger bunches of volunteers involved with your organization.
If an existing volunteer works for a particularly charitable-minded company, consider encouraging them to get a group of their coworkers together for a team-building excursion. This will mean more hands aiding in your nonprofit mission, as well as an opportunity to retain new individuals as long-term volunteers as well.
Communicating Workplace Giving Opportunities to Volunteers
Once you understand which types of workplace giving programs are available, it’s time to begin communicating the opportunities to your supporters. Here’s what we recommend.
1. Increase awareness of workplace giving as a whole.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of corporate employees who qualify for the programs have never been informed of their existence in the first place. That said, it’s important to make your volunteers (and donors!) aware of the opportunities.
To do so, you may share information on your social media profiles, mention workplace giving in new volunteer onboarding materials, or host a presentation on the topic to all of your existing supporters. Plus, you can trigger automated email streams that provide volunteers with helpful details about workplace giving programs such as volunteer grants, matching gifts, and more.
2. Make it easy to locate program guidelines.
Since many supporters don’t know their employers participate in workplace giving, they likely won’t know how to get started with the process. That’s why it’s essential that your organization makes it as easy as possible for volunteers to locate the information they need to participate.
Luckily, Kindest integrates with the leading provider of workplace giving tools for nonprofits: Double the Donation. This makes it easy for organizations to leverage Double the Donation’s comprehensive database of matching gift and volunteer grant information. With this technology, individuals can begin typing their company name in an intuitive search tool and be met immediately with detailed program guidelines, direct links to next steps and submission forms, and more.
3. Demonstrate gratitude for the initial engagement and workplace giving support.
Our final suggestion has to do with purposeful volunteer appreciation—both in terms of an individual’s initial engagement with your organization as well as whichever steps they take to pursue workplace giving programs on your behalf.
And luckily, a lot of your favorite donor appreciation methods can be modified to thank your volunteers, as well. This might include a handwritten thank-you note, a personal phone call, photos and updates, and more.
Keep in mind that within your acknowledgments, you’ll want to emphasize the increased impact that an individual has on your nonprofit’s mission, thanks to workplace giving participation.
All in all, one of the most essential elements of a successful workplace giving strategy, paired with smart volunteer engagement, is ongoing and effective communication. Continue sharing new and exciting ways for your most dedicated supporters to get involved, and they’ll be happy to do so. Best of luck!