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Why Companies Should have Employee Giving Programs

Employee giving programs are workplace-based initiatives that allow employees to make charitable donations through payroll deductions or other means. These programs are an important tool for companies to support the causes that their employees care about and to foster a culture of philanthropy within the workplace.

In addition to benefiting charitable organizations, employee giving programs can provide numerous benefits for both employees and the companies that implement them. Some of the key advantages of such programs include increased employee engagement and morale, enhanced corporate social responsibility, and tax savings for both the company and its employees.

In this post, we will discuss the benefits of employee giving programs and provide examples of companies that have successfully implemented such programs. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of why companies should have employee giving programs and how they can get started.

Employee engagement and morale:

One of the key benefits of employee giving programs is that they can increase employee engagement and morale. Employees who are able to support causes that they care about through their workplace are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their jobs.

Studies have shown that employees who are engaged in their work are more productive, have higher job satisfaction, and are less likely to leave their jobs. In addition, employees who have the opportunity to give back to their communities through their workplace are more likely to have a positive attitude and feel a sense of purpose in their work.

For example, a study by the Charities Aid Foundation found that 78% of employees who participated in workplace giving programs felt more positive about their company as a result, and 75% felt more committed to their job. Another study by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy found that companies with strong employee giving programs had higher levels of employee engagement and job satisfaction compared to those without such programs.

In addition to the direct benefits for employees, companies that have employee giving programs are more likely to attract and retain top talent. Many job seekers today are looking for companies that align with their values and support charitable causes, and having an employee giving program can be a key differentiator in the job market.

Corporate social responsibility:

Employee giving programs can also help companies meet their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals and enhance their reputation. By providing a way for employees to support charitable causes, companies can demonstrate their commitment to making a positive impact in the communities where they operate.

In addition to making financial contributions, employee giving programs can also provide opportunities for employees to volunteer their time and skills to support charitable organizations. This can help companies engage their employees in CSR activities and build stronger relationships with their local communities.

For example, many companies have employee giving programs that include matching donations or volunteer grants, where the company matches the donations or volunteer hours of its employees. This not only increases the impact of the employees’ contributions, but also shows that the company is committed to supporting the causes that its employees care about.

Having an employee giving program can also enhance a company’s reputation and help it stand out in the marketplace. Consumers and investors increasingly value companies that prioritize CSR, and having an employee giving program can demonstrate a company’s commitment to making a positive impact in the world. This can help companies attract and retain customers, investors, and talent.

Top Forms of Corporate Giving Programs:

Matching gift programs: Matching gift programs provide matching donations for eligible charitable contributions made by employees. These programs can help increase the impact of employees’ charitable giving and provide additional benefits for both the company and its employees.

Volunteer grant programs: Volunteer grant programs provide grants to nonprofit organizations for every hour that employees volunteer. These programs can encourage employees to volunteer their time and skills to support charitable causes and provide additional benefits for both the company and its employees.

Corporate foundations: Corporate foundations are charitable organizations that are established and funded by companies. These foundations can support a wide range of causes and provide additional opportunities for companies to engage in philanthropy and CSR activities.

Cause-related marketing: Cause-related marketing is a type of corporate giving program that involves companies promoting charitable causes and donating a portion of the proceeds from sales to those causes. This can help companies raise awareness and support for charitable causes, as well as enhance their reputation as

In-kind donations: In-kind donations involve companies providing goods or services to nonprofit organizations instead of financial contributions. This can include donating products, providing services such as consulting or design, or offering discounts or special deals to nonprofit organizations.

Sponsorships: Sponsorships involve companies providing financial or in-kind support to events, programs, or initiatives organized by nonprofit organizations. This can help companies support charitable causes and enhance their reputation as socially responsible organizations.

Employee engagement programs: Employee engagement programs involve companies providing employees with opportunities to get involved in philanthropy and CSR activities. This can include organizing company-wide giving campaigns, hosting charity events or fundraisers, or offering employees paid time off to volunteer.

Impact investments: Impact investments involve companies investing in for-profit or nonprofit organizations that have a positive social or environmental impact. This can help companies support socially responsible initiatives and generate a financial return at the same time.

Why companies should offer employee matching gift programs as part of their employee giving program:

In addition to providing payroll deductions and other giving options, companies can also consider offering employee matching gift programs as part of their employee giving programs. These programs provide matching donations for eligible charitable contributions made by employees, which can help increase the impact of employees’ contributions and provide additional benefits for both the company and its employees.

Some of the key advantages of employee matching gift programs include:

Increased impact: By providing matching donations for eligible charitable contributions made by employees, companies can help employees increase the impact of their giving. This can make it more rewarding for employees to participate in the employee giving program and encourage them to support more causes.

Enhanced reputation: Employee matching gift programs can also enhance a company’s reputation and demonstrate its commitment to philanthropy and CSR. By matching employees’ charitable contributions, companies can show that they are not only supporting their employees’ charitable causes, but also making a positive impact in the communities where they operate.

Tax savings: Employee matching gift programs can provide tax savings for both the company and its employees. For the company, matching donations can be tax-deductible expenses, which can help reduce its tax liability. For employees, matching donations can increase the amount of their eligible charitable contributions, which can provide additional tax savings on their tax returns.

Examples of companies with matching gift programs:

Microsoft: Microsoft’s employee giving program, known as the Microsoft Employee Giving Program, offers matching donations for eligible charitable contributions made by employees. The program matches employees’ donations dollar-for-dollar up to a certain amount per employee per year.

Salesforce: Salesforce’s employee giving program, known as the 1-1-1 model, offers matching donations for eligible charitable contributions made by employees. The program matches employees’ donations dollar-for-dollar up to a certain amount per employee per year.

Google: Google’s employee giving program, known as Google.org, offers matching donations for eligible charitable contributions made by employees. The program matches employees’ donations dollar-for-dollar up to a certain amount per employee per year.

Overall, employee matching gift programs can provide numerous benefits for companies and their employees. By offering such a program as part of their employee giving programs, companies can increase the impact of their employees’ charitable giving and enhance their reputation as socially responsible organizations.

Tax benefits:

Employee giving programs can provide tax benefits for both the company and its employees. For the company, implementing such a program can be a tax-deductible expense, which can help reduce its tax liability. In addition, many companies offer matching donations or volunteer grants as part of their employee giving programs, and these contributions can also be tax-deductible.

For employees, participating in an employee giving program can provide tax savings as well. Many charitable donations are tax-deductible, and employees who make charitable contributions through payroll deductions can claim these deductions on their tax returns. This can help employees save money on their taxes while also supporting the causes that they care about.

In addition to the direct tax savings, employee giving programs can also provide other financial benefits for employees. For example, some companies offer matching donations or volunteer grants as part of their employee giving programs, which can help employees increase the impact of their charitable contributions. This can make it more rewarding for employees to participate in the program and encourage them to support more causes.

Overall, the tax benefits of employee giving programs can provide significant value for both companies and their employees. Companies can save money on taxes and enhance their reputation, while employees can save money on their taxes and support the causes they care about.

Case studies:

Here are a few examples of companies that have seen positive results from their employee giving programs:

Google: Google’s employee giving program, known as Google.org, allows employees to make charitable donations through payroll deductions and provides matching donations for eligible charities. The program has been successful in engaging Google’s employees in charitable activities and has raised millions of dollars for a wide range of causes.

Microsoft: Microsoft’s employee giving program, known as the Microsoft Employee Giving Program, provides matching donations for eligible charities and offers employees the opportunity to volunteer their time and skills to support nonprofit organizations. The program has been successful in engaging Microsoft’s employees in charitable activities and has raised millions of dollars for a wide range of causes.

Salesforce: Salesforce’s employee giving program, known as the 1-1-1 model, provides matching donations for eligible charities and encourages employees to volunteer their time and skills to support nonprofit organizations. The program has been successful in engaging Salesforce’s employees in charitable activities and has raised millions of dollars for a wide range of causes.

Starbucks: Starbucks’ employee giving program, known as the Starbucks Foundation, provides matching donations for eligible charities and offers employees the opportunity to volunteer their time and skills to support nonprofit organizations. The program has been successful in engaging Starbucks’ employees in charitable activities and has raised millions of dollars for a wide range of causes.

Bank of America: Bank of America’s employee giving program, known as the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, provides matching donations for eligible charities and offers employees the opportunity to volunteer their time and skills to support nonprofit organizations. The program has been successful in engaging Bank of America’s employees in charitable activities and has raised millions of dollars for a wide range of causes.

Goldman Sachs: Goldman Sachs’ employee giving program, known as the Goldman Sachs Gives program, provides matching donations for eligible charities and offers employees the opportunity to volunteer their time and skills to support nonprofit organizations. The program has been successful in engaging Goldman Sachs’ employees in charitable activities and has raised millions of dollars for a wide range of causes.

These examples demonstrate the potential benefits of employee giving programs for companies, including increased employee engagement and morale, enhanced reputation, and tax savings. By implementing such a program, companies can support the causes that their employees care about and make a positive impact in their communities.

How companies can implement such programs:

If you are a company considering implementing an employee giving program, here are some steps you can take to design and implement an effective program:

Identify the causes that are most important to your employees: Before implementing an employee giving program, it can be helpful to conduct a survey or hold focus groups to find out what causes are most important to your employees. This can help you design a program that aligns with your employees’ values and interests, which can increase engagement and participation.

Offer a range of giving options: To make your employee giving program accessible and inclusive, it can be helpful to offer a range of giving options. This can include payroll deductions, matching donations, and volunteer grants, as well as one-time donations and participation in company-sponsored fundraising events.

Provide clear and concise information: To ensure that your employees understand your employee giving program and how to participate, it is important to provide clear and concise information. This can include guidelines on eligible charities, how to make donations, and how to claim tax deductions, as well as resources and tools to help employees learn more about the causes that they can support.

Promote the program to your employees: To increase awareness and participation in your employee giving program, it can be helpful to promote the program to your employees. This can include sending regular updates and reminders, sharing stories and testimonials from employees who have participated in the program, and recognizing employees who have made significant contributions to the program.

By following these steps, you can design and implement an employee giving program that engages your employees and supports the causes that they care about. This can help your company make a positive impact in your community and enhance your reputation as a socially responsible organization.

Conclusion:

Employee giving programs can provide numerous benefits for both employees and the companies that implement them. These programs can increase employee engagement and morale, help companies meet their CSR goals and enhance their reputation, and provide tax savings for both the company and its employees.

If you are a company considering implementing an employee giving program, there are many resources available to help you get started. You can learn more about the benefits of such programs and find out how to design and implement a successful program that meets the needs of your company and its employees.

By implementing an employee giving program, you can support the causes that your employees care about and make a positive impact in your community. This can help your company stand out in the marketplace and attract and retain top talent, customers, and investors.

Additional resources:

Giving USA: Giving USA is an organization that provides research and data on charitable giving in the United States. Their website includes a section on workplace giving, which provides information on the latest trends and statistics in this area.

Charities Aid Foundation: The Charities Aid Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports charitable giving and philanthropy. Their website includes a section on workplace giving, which provides information and resources on how companies can implement employee giving programs.

Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy: The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy is a membership organization that brings together CEOs and senior executives to share best practices in corporate philanthropy. Their website includes a section on employee giving, which provides information and resources on how companies can implement successful employee giving programs.

Giving Compass: Giving Compass is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and information on philanthropy and charitable giving. Their website includes a section on employee giving, which provides information on the latest trends and research in this area, as well as resources for companies looking to implement employee giving programs.

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Panelist Tech FAQs

This article will explore the basics of legacy giving for nonprofits.

Legacy Giving – Nonprofit Catalog

Legacy giving is a unique fundraising opportunity that can be ongoing like other development work, such as seeking major gifts or grants, and can also access an untapped source of donations. This type of gift is important to your donors who want to leave a lasting legacy and positive impact on your mission as it allows them to give larger donations at a future date.

Before you plan how to incorporate legacy giving into your fundraising strategy, let’s review the basics:

What is legacy giving?

Legacy giving, or planned giving, is a donation that has been incorporated into the donor’s financial or estate plan, usually to be given after they pass away.

This is typically a large donation that can provide significant funds to a nonprofit and tax benefits to the donor or the donor’s family. Legacy gifts or planned gifts are often unrestricted, although donors can specify particular programs or projects that their gifts will need to go towards.

These are the common types of legacy gifts.

Types of legacy gifts

Legacy gifts are unique in that they’re non-cash. In other words, they’re given out of assets or overall estates rather than day-to-day income. Donors can often give larger planned gifts than they’d be able to purely out of pocket. There are numerous ways to plan a gift to a nonprofit, so there are options to accommodate each situation. Consider these key types of legacy gifts:

Bequests: A legacy gift where the donor includes a nonprofit in their will, leaving a portion of their estate to it.
Retirement plans and life insurance: A legacy gift where the donor leaves their unused retirement assets to a nonprofit or names the nonprofit as the beneficiary of their life insurance policy.
Charitable gift annuities: A legacy gift where the donor gives a large donation in exchange for a fixed income payment.
Retained life estates: A legacy gift where the donor transfers ownership of their property to a nonprofit but retains the right to use it until the set term is up.

Only a donor can decide which type of legacy gift works best for their situation, goals, and plans. Make sure your supporters understand their options so they can choose and customize their gifts accordingly once you start a conversation with them about planned giving.

Legacy giving FAQ

Who is eligible to give a legacy gift?

Anyone is eligible to give a legacy gift, but people who have a will, life insurance policy, property, or other significant assets are more likely to give. Because there are so many types of these gifts, the parameters are wide, but these donors at least have to have something to give. Donors with proven wealth make ideal first prospects, but even lifelong savers who might not otherwise be on your radar as top prospects can make significant legacy contributions if you put in the work of developing your relationships with them and explaining the impact they could have.

To narrow down this donor pool, you might research a prospect’s involvement with your cause, such as past giving or volunteering. You can also survey your supporters to learn more about their interest in legacy gifts and your organization. Some of your supporters might have already included your nonprofit in their will.

What is the most common type of legacy gift?

Bequests are the most popular type of legacy gift. They’re typically easier to arrange than other gifts, since wills are easy to update. Providing easy-to-use estate planning tools to your bequest prospects can help you secure more planned gifts.

Many people may choose to give via bequest but won’t tell your nonprofit about their gift. This is why a survey can be helpful to identify existing donors or people who might be interested in planned giving.

Why are legacy gifts important to the nonprofit?

Nonprofits benefit from legacy gifts financially. These donations can be considered long-term income for a nonprofit because they promise future funding that can be projected and planned on to support future growth. They can also be invested in some cases to return even more funding.

It’s a gift that will support the nonprofit for years without requiring extra expenses from the nonprofit, making planned giving among the highest-ROI fundraising activities. Rather than hosting a gala, for example, nonprofits might secure legacy gifts by simply making their supporters aware of planned giving as an option and reaching out to prospects to discuss it. It’s a promise of future funding that can come from nearly any supporter at little or no cost to your organization.

How does a legacy gift benefit the donor?

Depending on the type of legacy gift, donors might not feel the financial effects of giving in their lifetime. Because they don’t interrupt daily cash flow, they provide an opportunity to give a large gift to a cause the donor is passionate about. Leaving such a gift can make the donor feel like they’ve left an impactful legacy.

The reduced day-to-day burden is helpful, but there are also financial incentives to legacy giving. Some gift types, like bequests and charitable remainder trusts, offer significant tax benefits for donors and/or their heirs. The donor is given the flexibility to develop a planned gift that best suits their financial situations and desired outcomes.

Legacy giving gives control to the donor in more ways than one. Not only can the donor choose which type of gift they’d prefer to give, but they can also decide what’s done with that gift. For example, in a bequest, the donor might allocate their money to a specific cause or project.

How can nonprofits start promoting legacy gifts?

Even if you have a clear understanding of legacy gifts and the potential impact they would have for your organization, your supporters might not. The best way to promote legacy gifts is to make donors aware of their options.

You might find opportunities to bring up legacy giving in conversations with top prospects, or you might send out communications to your supporter base specifically about these types of gifts. No matter what, make it as easy as possible for your supporters to explore their options and plan their gift. Offer easy to use tools for creating bequests, like Freewill. Over time, you can develop a dedicated planned giving program that sources, cultivates, and stewards new legacy gifts for your nonprofit.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

Nonprofit Marketing – Learn more about the basics of nonprofit marketing and how to structure your marketing strategy.

A Guide to Planned Giving – Take a deeper dive into planned giving and how to get started.

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