Adam Weinger | March 2014
As more and more companies adopt corporate giving programs, it’s getting harder to stand out. Modern companies realize that corporate philanthropy is good for business and recruitment and are rushing to create competitive corporate philanthropy programs.
Unique corporate giving programs:
While it’s well known that over 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies match donations from employees and 40 percent offer grants for volunteering, many companies have implemented unique programs to really get their employees excited. These include:
- No-strings-attached grants
- Time off for donations
- Grants based on years of service
- Grant programs for spouses and dependents
And with the benefits that matching gifts and volunteer grants bring, it’s no surprise companies are vying to outshine each other with these one-of-a-kind programs.
Employee giving programs not only boost your public image but can attract future employees who want to work in a charitable environment. These programs come in different shapes and sizes, and reward volunteering as well as monetary contributions.
So what companies are winning the race to provide unique employee giving programs?
BP (British Petroleum)
After the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has been striving to make right in the eyes of its consumers and those affected by the oil spill. Aside from BP’s efforts to revitalize the Gulf area and promote tourism and industry, it is also making it incredibly easy for employees to give back.
BP employees can now give $300 to a nonprofit with no strings attached. The company does not require employees to give a gift of their own or volunteer any time. By giving its employees such an unprecedented say in its corporate philanthropy program, BP employees are becoming active stakeholders in the giving process. I’d argue that is a great thing!
And there are plenty of “standard” options at BP as well. BP offers $10 for every hour an employee volunteers at an eligible nonprofit and will match contributions as small as $25 and as large as $5,000.
If RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser learned anything from his time at Microsoft, it was how to create an environment that fostered innovation and giving. Its corporate giving program matches grants of up to $10,000, a hard number to beat in the industry. It also rewards employee volunteerism by contributing $15 an hour to nonprofits when their employees contribute their time.
The internet media company rewards employee loyalty with the gift of giving. After five years of service at RealNetworks, an employee receives $500 to give to the charity of his or her choosing.
Nestle has one particularly innovative way to encourage employee giving. While it only offers to match 50 percent of an employee contribution, it rewards its employees with a reward that is hard to resist.
If an employee donates the equivalent of one day’s salary to a nonprofit, they receive two extra vacation days. It is not exactly the most selfless act, but is sure to draw the attention of both philanthropic employees and those looking for extra time off.
CarMax is taking a cue from the insurance industry and letting its employees extend corporate benefits to their children.
CarMax provides financial support to the nonprofits its employees’ dependents care about. Through the company’s matching gift program, the retailer matches eligible contributions for any dependent up to the age of 26.
The company also provides grants of $10 for every hour an employee volunteers with a nonprofit.
If you’re interested in learning more about matching gift companies, check out Double the Donation’slist of top companies with matching donation programs.
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.