3 Ways Corporate Philanthropy Impacts Employee Satisfaction

Guest blog by Double the Donation

Hundreds of thousands of companies participate in corporate philanthropy in one way or another⁠—whether that’s matching employee donations, providing paid time off to volunteer, offering community grants, contributing in-kind gifts, and more.

After all, these charitable-minded initiatives have significant positive advantages to the companies behind them (even beyond the ability to make a change for the greater good by partnering with nonprofit teams who are doing just that). This might include elevated sales as a result of an improved brand image and notable tax benefits, among other things.

But did you know that corporate giving can also have impactful benefits on a company’s employee engagement levels? In this guide, we’ll share three key reasons why this happens:

  1. Driving employee pride in the company
  2. Incorporating employee passions in the workplace
  3. Deepening relationships with colleagues and leadership

Maintaining lofty levels of employee engagement should be a priority for any company. Highly engaged team members are significantly more likely to report satisfaction with their careers and the companies they work for. As a result, they also see doubled amounts of productivity and decreased job turnover and absenteeism.

Ready to uncover the reasoning behind these findings? Let’s begin.

1. Driving employee pride in the company

Having pride in the company a person works for is one of the three most significant drivers of employee engagement⁠—among relationships with direct management as well as belief in senior leadership. In fact, research shows that 54% of employees who are proud of their company’s contributions to society are engaged in their role in the workplace.

In order to leverage this finding to your business’s advantage, contributing to positive societal change should be of utmost importance. And one of the best ways to do so is with strategic philanthropic efforts.

This communicates two key ideas to a company’s employees:

  • The company cares about improving the world. Employees are not likely to enthusiastically back a company whose only priority is to turn a profit for the CEO’s sole benefit. When companies show that they care about positively impacting the communities (or even the world) around them, team members will be eager to play a critical role in that support.
  • The company cares about employees’ opinions. On a more personal and tangible level, employee-based workplace giving programs allow staff to determine where a portion of the company’s charitable dollars go. Programs such as matching gifts, volunteer grants, and more enable employees to directly choose which organizations their employer supports by making their own donations to kick off the process. These types of giving opportunities are particularly effective because individuals like to have a real say in the way their company is run, and this idea encourages employees to take the driver’s seat in the program.

The bottom line is that corporate philanthropy and company pride share a positive correlation⁠—as do company pride and employee engagement⁠. The more philanthropic the company, the more pride employees tend to have in their employer. And the more prideful employees are of the company they work for, the more engaged they’ll be.

Via Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

2. Incorporating employee passions in the workplace

Your workforce is likely made up of a wildly diverse group of people with a wide range of interests and passions. Instead of requiring employees to separate their work lives from their passions, corporate philanthropy⁠—particularly employee-led workplace giving programs⁠—enables team members to blend the two.

Picture this scenario:

Jim from the Human Resources department is passionate about ensuring accessible mental health support. At the same time, Esther on the sales team cares deeply about working with unhomed pets at her favorite animal shelter. Barbara from marketing spends her weekends volunteering at a local food bank to help combat food insecurity in her community. And you, the CEO of your company, are extremely devoted to funding medical research for life-threatening diseases.

With a matching gift program, each of the above individuals is able to support the causes they care about most while also directing corporate funding to their favorite charities. And when employees know the companies they work for are actively contributing to each individual’s unique passions, they tend to be more engaged in the workplace and within their role.

It can even lead to an adjusted employee mindset. For instance, an employee may think, “If I play my role well, the company will be better off financially. And when the company has additional funding, there will be more that’s able to go toward my (and others’) nonprofit missions of choice.”

Therefore, an employee’s corporate giving interests are often intertwined with their enhanced job performance—leading to substantial increases in both.

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

3. Deepening relationships with colleagues and leadership

It’s too easy to sit next to the same person at work for months, or even years, without developing a relationship that goes beyond the surface level. When employees, managers, and leadership engage outside typical day-to-day interactions, however, those connections can begin to strengthen and grow.

One of the most popular⁠—and effective⁠—ways to facilitate this type of relationship-building is corporate volunteerism or other forms of philanthropy. It’s why volunteer opportunities are often used as a team-building exercise or a form of “get to know you” activity.

Here’s how it goes: Team members are brought together to do good for a charitable cause in a non-working environment. Employees are able to get better acquainted with one another while also becoming more comfortable with company management. A local nonprofit benefits from additional volunteer time.

Then, team members leave the event feeling more closely connected to the company they work for. And as those connections grow, so does their level of engagement with the business⁠—and subsequently, their productivity levels, retention rates, and more.

Corporate philanthropy benefits each party involved⁠—including (but not limited to) the companies, employees, nonprofits, and beneficiaries. As a corporate leader, your team is likely to be most directly impacted by the key advantages outlined above.

If you’re on the fence about whether you should invest your company’s resources into establishing or growing your corporate giving initiatives, keep in mind the positive domino effect seen when businesses like yours participate in philanthropy. Best of luck!

Ready to get started with your corporate philanthropy program? Talk to POINT’s team here. Let’s do more good together!

Photo Stephanie Page
Stephanie Page
Head of Outreach

No guilt trips, no sad stories. Just a chance to do something good.