4 Types of Corporate Giving Campaigns

by Scott Davis, Sr. Director of Marketing
Jan 26, 2016 9:00 AM ET

4 Types of Corporate Giving Campaigns

Fundraising takes many forms, but corporate giving typically fits into one of a few categories.

Americans Donated an Estimated $358.38 Billion to Charity in 2014 , according to the Giving USA Foundation. These donations either came from the company directly or via a corporate foundation. Depending on the size of your company and the industry you’re in, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what corporate giving route would be the most successful. Although there are countless corporate giving programs out there, there are four types that stand out.

1. Donations

Donations can generally take two forms: cash or product donations. With cash donations, companies donate money to non-profits of their choice within a certain budget they’ve allocated for giving back. With product donations, companies donate needed goods and services rather than cash. For example, Client Panera Bread has a program called Panera Gives, where they donate either a certificate for food or fresh bakery products to non-profits who are having charitable events. They also run one called Day-End Doughnation, which donates unsold bakery and bread items to organizations that aid with hunger relief (and also non-profits).

The receiving organizations are at liberty to do what they want with the donations provided. Both kinds of donations are a way for companies to support and give back to their local communities as well as build meaningful brand impressions. These donations can come in big or small sizes, as are the companies that donate them.

2. Grants

Companies that seek to make a particular impact in local and global communities choose to offer grants. Oftentimes, the company creates a foundation to specifically oversee the grant making and to ensure that they’re achieving the outcome they want to generate. Grants generally take one of two forms, programmatic and capability building, though they may go by several different names.

Capacity building grants are typically for general purpose or operational support. Rather than focus on renovating a building or adding a new program, these grants are built around strengthening an organization’s infrastructure, management and governance. Programmatic grants are tied to a particular program or project and usually support a specific cause.

Both types of grants are the responsibility of the nonprofit, which must request grants directly from the organization and, depending on the company, might be required to meet specific deadlines and criteria. For example, Walmart provides grants based upon the quality of a nonprofits’ grant application, mission and need. Grants can range from a few hundred to millions of dollars.

3. Matching gifts

This type of corporate giving program is a great way for organizations to let individual employees be apart of the donation process. Companies who apply matching gift programs promise to contribute to the same nonprofit as the employee, typically matching their donation dollar for dollar. This type of program engages the employee and can improve employee retention, which often becomes the company’s justification for funding them.

4. Employee volunteer grants

In a volunteer grant program, the company promises to provide a donation to eligible nonprofits when their employees volunteer. For example, Google provides $50 grants for every 5 hours an employee volunteers. This not only allows companies to donate to nonprofits that employees care about, but it also encourages employees to take action, which is sometimes what a nonprofit needs most.

Volunteer grant programs are the perfect opportunity for organizations to contribute financially where their employees that might not have the funds to do. This program also improves employee morale and makes employees feel like the company supports their efforts. Nonprofits also benefit because they essentially get two for the price of one—donations and volunteers.

With so many different ways to give back, it can often become difficult to maintain and track where your donations are going and why. That’s where Versaic comes in. We offer the only online solution for grant and donation management that works precisely the way you want. Our client-centric team is here to make your giving programs the most successful and impactful. Contact us today to learn more.