Embrace the power of employee giving

For many charities, the most important day of the year isn’t Thanksgiving, but the fifth day after it – a day that since 2012 has become known as ‘GivingTuesday’.

Co-founded by the United Nations Foundation, GivingTuesday (or as it’s often referred to, #GivingTuesday), is the global generosity movement that has become a trusted group employers can align themselves with, to channel their own fundraising and ESG agendas through.

Last week it was announced that GivingTuesday raised a record $3.1 billion in 24 hours for charitable causes in the U.S.

This is up a massive 15% compared to last year.

Considering the pressure wages are under at the moment, this is nothing short of stunning.

Corporate-facilitated giving

But what’s possibly not realized is just how much of this money comes is via employee/corporate giving.

At the same time as statistics about the total money raised were revealed, corporate purpose software provider, Benevity, also revealed that a record $122.2 million was donated via its platform – an amount that was also up on last year (up 9%).

In fact, all told, 558 companies took part in Giving Tuesday campaigns through the platform this year – an increase of 15% compared to 2021.

Drilling down, more than 194,000 volunteer hours were logged (up 18% over 2021), with more than 428,000 Acts of Goodness tracked – these being activities including donations, volunteer hours, positive social and environmental actions and grants.

Below is its heat map of exactly how GivingTuesday happened globally.

Giving galvanizes amidst ‘recessionary talk’

According to Sona Khosla, chief impact officer, Benevity, record rises in GivingTuesday participation rates dramatically show that it’s employers who are really playing their part in turning ‘giving’ into a way of engaging staff in these difficult times.

Speaking exclusively to TLNT she said: “There’s been a lot of recession talk this year, and so it wasn’t at all clear what we’d see in terms of participation. What the data shows is that individual donations per worker fell by 10% – which suggests people have been feeling the pinch, but the number of companies participating in giving exercises rose by 22%.”

Article Continues Below

She added: “What this shows to me is that companies have stepped up to the plate, to push their ESG agenda – even in these tougher times.”

Giving creates engagement

According to Khosla, it is precisely because staff engagement needs a boost that giving has risen up the agenda again – with HRDs seeing it as something they can galvanize their staff around.

She said: “I do think that when you take a step back, employees do want their employers to be a source of hope. Employers themselves are listening to staff, who are telling them they just can’t sit back and watch, and that they want them to take action. Giving is a good way of rallying their people, but also about being a good socially conscious brand. Giving is a more authentic approach; people like to have a sense of impact.”

According to Benevity’s own research, 86% of staff want to have a say about how money they raise is distributed, and Khosla applauds companies who are starting to let employees determine how dollars raised are distributed.

Khosla says: “This year has been a difficult year for lots of people, and we’ve also been coming off the back of Covid, but the fact companies are beginning to lean into corporate giving is a real positive.”

She added: “Companies are putting in their own matching dollars; sometimes to 3:1, and they’re also offering staff gift cards – cards that staff can use to support charities that align with their own personal interests.”

She concluded: “Whether 2023 continues this upward trend remains to be seen, but it’s great news that even in a touch year, charitable giving through companies is rising. Long may it continue.” 

What Benevity found:

  • In addition to the rise in money donated, more than 194,000 volunteer hours were logged in 2022 – an increase of 18% compare to 2021.
  • Since launching, Benevity has processed more than $10 billion in donations and 46 million hours of volunteering time to support 326,000 nonprofits worldwide.
  • In total, Benevity has facilitated 770,000 positive actions and awarded 1.2 million grants worth $12 billion

Peter Crush is the interim editor of TLNT. He’s an award-winning journalist based in London, and he writes exclusively about the ever-changing world of work.

Topics