Giving Compass' Take:
- Here are six pitfalls that employees run into when fostering meaningful volunteer and CSR programs in their companies.
- What are the benefits of technology when implementing volunteering programs? How can companies better prioritize giving programs run by employees?
- Read more about leveraging impact for employee giving programs.
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If organizations don’t formalize and automate their initiatives, program administration consumes too many internal resources. At the same time, widespread program adoption is unlikely. Therefore, companies that are truly committed to their employee giving programs must implement technology to help manage the programs, engage employees, and maximize the impact.
Still not convinced? Take a look at these six pitfalls that self-run programs encounter:
Pitfall 1: Vetting the Nonprofits
While there are different levels of vetting, most companies at a minimum will want to verify that a nonprofit is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. This may involve requesting proof of status from the nonprofit and researching their eligibility via online databases.
Pitfall 2: Creating Nonprofit Records in the Accounting System
Once a nonprofit is vetted, accounting needs to create a record to track donation payments. This record usually includes documentation on proof of status for tax purposes. Adding this documentation to multiple records is time-consuming, of course. Does this mean you limit the number of nonprofits your employees can give to?
Pitfall 3: Donation Processing and Matching
This is where the bulk of time will be spent for the HR team. In a self-run approach, team members will need to track each employee’s donation in a spreadsheet, verify receipts, and submit the request for donation payment to accounting. If matching is provided, HR will need to track all donations against the company’s matching policy.
Pitfall 4: Dealing With Uncashed Checks
This is where the bulk of time could be spent by the accounting team. Anywhere from 3% to 4% of donations made to nonprofits go uncashed. It could be that the mailing address has changed, the nonprofit no longer operates, nonprofit staff members are not in the office due to COVID, or any number of other reasons.
Pitfall 5: Engaging Employees
For a workplace giving program to be successful, it needs to be promoted and include engagement incentives like donation matching. However, creating an engaging program is challenging for companies running them without a technology platform in place. Administrators are so focused on operating the program that they lack time to create the campaigns and incentives that not only motivate employees to give, but also keep them excited to keep giving – building a workplace culture of philanthropy.
Pitfall 6: International and Multi-Location Giving
Due to the complexities involved in all the areas mentioned above, most companies running their own programs won’t support international giving. Yet international relief can be where help is needed most and where employees want to give. For example, corporate employees across the country have donated money for humanitarian support in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
Read the full article about employee-giving programs at Bright Funds.