Employees are increasingly seeking companies that align with their values and are looking to corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to test their compatibility. Even further, employees want to be involved in how businesses allocate charitable funds. In fact, a vast majority of consumers (84%) and employees (86%) believe they should have a say in where a business's charitable funds go, according to the Engagement in Corporate Giving study conducted by Benevity.

In my experience as a leader in the nonprofit sphere, there are numerous benefits of letting consumers and employees have a say in where a company’s CSR donations go. It increases employee engagement as workers feel a sense of belonging—that their values align with their workplace. And when employees feel that alignment, they tend to be happier and more engaged, not constantly grappling with a value disconnect. According to a study from public relations firm Porter Novelli, 90% of employees who work at businesses with a strong sense of purpose say they’re more inspired, loyal and motivated.

Not only do CSR and charitable giving initiatives allow consumers and employees to connect with your brand more deeply, but they also help companies redefine their value in terms of social impact. Companies can give people a voice by allowing them to participate and choose where they donate their money. Charitable giving is one way companies can state their values and back them up with action.

Company leaders and owners must collect and implement feedback on how to donate in order to create strong company cultures and align values. Here are three ways to do just that. (Hint: Listening is key.)

  1. Establish a feedback system.
  2. Partner with large organizations.
  3. Dedicate time for feedback.

Read the full article about corporate philanthropy by Kevin Xu at Forbes.