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Workplace Giving Needs 'More Choice'

3 June 2010 at 2:31 pm
Lina Caneva
Employees want more choice in the charities they can support through Workplace Giving programs, according to a new US survey.

Lina Caneva | 3 June 2010 at 2:31 pm


Workplace Giving Needs 'More Choice'
3 June 2010 at 2:31 pm


Employees want more choice in the charities they support through Workplace Giving programs, according to a new US survey by the LBG Research Institute.

The Institute carried out a series of surveys in late 2009 and 2010 on workplace giving programs which revealed that 92% of companies believe that an expanded giving program is an added benefit for their employees and ‘choice’ lead to increased participation.

The survey found that just over 79% of companies say donor rates increased once they added more choice and the dollars collected also went up for 73% of companies.

When companies were asked why they changed their workplace giving program to an expanded approach, 88% say it’s because their ’employees want more choice’. The survey found that only 14% of companies run a United-Way-only campaign.

As for how the companies select the charities included in the workplace giving program, 46% say the charities were already supported by employees through volunteerism or other company-sponsored activities; 46% also say the organizations were considered “strategic partners.” Forty-three percentsay they were recommended by employees.

How companies vet the charities is varied, with 42% of those responding saying someone on staff does it; 37% saying it is done by an outside vendor; and 21% saying it is performed via a combination of staff and vendors.

Workplace Giving is also important to Not for Profits with eight of 10 major organisations surveyed saying that workplace giving is an important or very important part of their fundraising strategy.

Almost all (nine out of 10) of the Not for Profits say they will supply generic marketing and educational materials for a campaign. Nine out of 10 will also send personnel for fairs, lunches, or other events.

The survey found that the downturn in the economy has had an impact on workplace giving.

It found that the economy has had a beneficial effect on participation rates for 44% of the respondents. But 30% say it has caused a decline in participation rates. Similarly, while one-third have seen donor rates increase as a result of the economic climate, 46% say the economy has caused a decrease in donor rates.

Overall, about half say the total amount pledged has decreased.

The LBG survey found that 40% of companies say they plan to make changes to their workplace giving in 2010. Twenty-on percent don’t plan to make changes but the remaining 39% aren’t sure yet.

In February this year, the Rudd Government released a report called the Impact of the Economic Downturn on Corporate Community Investment which found that despite the economic downturn, large Australian companies are continuing their trend towards strategic long-term community investment. ( )

Sixty-eight per cent of respondents expected an increase in corporate volunteer support in 2009-10, while 52 per cent expected an increase in workplace giving and payroll deductions.
The US full report by the LBG Research Institute called Workplace Giving Works:Make it Work for You can be purchased online at 


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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