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Why Corporate Philanthropy Is a Key to Employee Engagement

3p Contributor | Tuesday April 22nd, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Adam Weinger

Employee EngagementWe’ll get right to it: Studies have shown that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by more than 200 percent. Two hundred percent!

Forbes recently published an article that said engaged employees are better producers, more committed to the organization, and are in their career with long-term ambitions. The article went on to cite an employee engagement study: “Level of engagement was more important in achieving good performance than good performance was in creating better engagement.”

Put simply, employees who are engaged in their work do better work.

Traits of engaged employees: A snapshot

  1. Enthusiasm: Employees are enthusiastic about their job, the company, and the company’s mission.
  2. Inspired and motivated: Employees are motivated to work hard and effectively, and inspired by the company to make their community a better place.
  3. Empowered: Employees feel empowered by their colleagues and supervisors to take on meaningful roles within the company.
  4. Confidence: Employees have confidence that their work is making a difference.

What drives employee engagement?

People, passion and values are behind employee happiness. Yes, of course, salaries and benefits are right up there, but in the long run, people stick around when they’re proud to work for a company and passionate about the mission.

An employee’s perception of the organization’s value is an important driver of employee engagement. Corporate philanthropy — the act of a corporation or business promoting the welfare of others, often through charitable donations — can help companies show their employees they care and have shared values.

Corporate philanthropy programs

Matching gift and volunteer grant programs

When companies give back to local nonprofit organizations and charities, employees can see support for causes close to their hearts. Programs that include charitable matching gifts, or allow employees to volunteer with local nonprofit organizations and earn grant money for said charities, go a long way with employees who are interested in making a difference.

According to Charity Navigator, nearly 72 percent of all charitable giving in 2012 came from individuals — this totals $223 billion and exemplifies the interest of individuals in contributing to their favorite causes and the ones they hold dear to their hearts. When employers offer these types of programs, an employee’s donation can literally be doubled. These individuals will donate whether or not their employers offer programs like these, but when available, donors will be happy to take advantage them.

Charitable event fundraising matches

Another form of corporate giving that many companies offer are grants for fundraising efforts (events and the like). Not only do these make employees happy, but they also benefit corporations, and undoubtedly nonprofit organizations.

  • Employees have an enjoyable and rewarding team-building experience with events like walks, runs or bike events.
  • The corporation gives back to the community and enhances its image and reputation.
  • Nonprofits receive volunteer support and/or additional funds.

Read more about some of these companies here.

Overall, engaged employees are better workers, and companies can be a catalyzing factor in this behavior. By partaking in corporate philanthropy and offering charitable giving programs, corporations allow their employees to be proud of the work their employer does as a company, and also the work it does for the community.

Image credit: Better Works Inc, Flickr

Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, a company focused on helping nonprofits increase the amount of money they raise from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Follow Double the Donation on Twitter or LinkedIn.


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