How Are Nonprofits Responding to Rising Expectations of Corporate and Individual Donors?

How Are Nonprofits Responding to Rising Expectations of Corporate and Individual Donors?

By Lynne D. Filderman and Steve Greenhalgh

Multimedia from this Release

Co-authors: Lynne Filderman & Steve Greenhalgh

Monday, June 23, 2014 - 11:35am

Having just released the latest research on employee engagement and corporate–nonprofit partnerships, we’ve been reflecting on how corporate giving and workplace giving, both time honored traditions, are changing.

Both of us have spent our careers working across the corporate and nonprofit sectors with a particular focus on building successful partnerships and advocating for strong employee engagement programs. We have witnessed first-hand the evolution from check writing philanthropy to a more strategic focus and one that is responsive to the company’s mission and employee charitable interests.

The Evolution of Workplace Giving

Yes, workplace giving has evolved from having a single choice to offering an expanded list of charities and causes to offering full year-round employee engagement. In fact, through the years workplace giving has grown to more than $4 billion annually.

In February 2013, America’s Charities released Snapshot 2013: Trends and Strategies to Engage Employees in Greater Givingrevealing a dramatic shift in employee giving over the past decade.

We followed that up with several engagement opportunities with other charities to determine how they were changing structures and operations to adapt to a quickly transforming culture.

This dialogue led to the release of a companion piece titled Snapshot 2014: Rising Tide of Expectations – Corporate Giving, Employee Engagement and Impact at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Accountability: What the Nonprofits Have to Say

As the primary authors of this report, we feel the research contributes greatly to the discussion around impact and accountability and hope that it will drive companies and charities to look deeper into how they can invest in making a difference in communities in the U.S. and around the world.

To our knowledge, this is the first time charities have been asked to provide their perspective on workplace giving and corporate partnerships. Yet, charities are a key but often silent, stakeholder in giving at the workplace.

And while the findings from Snapshot 2014 are intriguing, we are fascinated with the new world charities are facing with employee engagement, the digital culture and donor expectations. More importantly, it is encouraging to see that charities are responding. 

Going Beyond Communicating Mission & Reporting Outcomes

We live in a world of easy and instant access to information. Corporate and individual donors expect to find detailed information about a charity before deciding where to contribute financially and/or offer volunteer time.

With brand and name recognition no longer enough to warrant support, there is...

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