National Philanthropy Day, celebrated on November 15th, is a day to recognize the impact philanthropy has on our communities and encourage participation in charitable activities that benefit society at large.
The term philanthropy comes from Greek philanthropia meaning kindness, benevolence, and love of humankind. Companies promote these ideals through corporate philanthropy programs, which can include donating or matching funds to charities or organizing volunteer programs for their employees. While individual giving is the single largest source of nonprofits’ funds, accounting for 68 percent of all giving, corporate philanthropy totaled $20 billion in 2018, 5 percent of all giving.
Here are some ways your company can incorporate philanthropy into the workplace:
Spread the Word
Use social media to engage employees, customers, and locals. Last year’s Giving Tuesday was largely promoted on social media and generated over $400 million in online donations for charities worldwide. Since the day started in 2012, the movement has spread to 98 countries due to its reach on social channels.
Social media can also be used to promote corporate sponsorships, which is when a company partners with a specific nonprofit organization by supporting it financially. By using social media to raise awareness of your company's chosen cause, it can also inspire your followers to donate and get involved as well. With 78 percent of employees wanting to engage with corporate social responsibility initiatives, promoting your company’s goodwill efforts leaves a positive impression. The same can be said of your consumers. 63 percent of American consumers were looking to businesses to take the lead on social and environmental change.
Employee Grant Stipends
Another way to encourage and increase philanthropic giving among employees is through employee grant stipends, which are funds companies provide employees to specifically be allocated towards donating to nonprofits. Every year the BP’s Fabric of America Fund provides $300 per employee to donate to whichever organization they choose. Similarly, Goldman Sachs runs a donor-advised fund where current and retired employees work together to nominate nonprofit organizations to receive grants.
These forms of philanthropy enable employees to support the causes closest to their hearts without breaking the bank. But these programs also showcase their employer’s trust in their decision making and interest in giving back to the community.
Enlisting Employee Skills For Good
Some companies lend their employees’ skills to worthy causes as a way to give back. During Microsoft’s Annual Global Hackathon, employees with a variety of expertise (not just software engineers) help launch budding projects to help those in need, such as apps for people with visual impairments and projects for increasing broadband availability. Similarly, bankers and money managers from Citigroup participate as mentors through nonprofits like Management Leadership for Tomorrow’s Career Prep Program.