Workplace Givers Want to Know Where Money Goes
27 June 2013 at 11:20 am
Charities involved in workplace giving programs could receive better results if they clearly communicate with businesses on where the money is being spent, according to a report on workplace giving.
The report: Recognising the Value of Workplace Giving was conducted by the Australian Charities Fund and the Centre for Social Impact and looked at the trends in employee and employer contributions.
More than 4000 employees were surveyed across 30 organisations including JB Hi Fi, Telstra, Seek and Woodside which included employees who were already involved in workplace giving and those who weren’t.
Thirty-four per cent of respondents said they were participants in a workplace giving program and 61% of respondents indicated they were ‘interested’ in becoming workplace giving donors. Only 5% were not interested in workplace giving
The primary motivation of those employees interested in joining their employer’s workplace giving program was “knowing where and how my money is spent,” the report revealed.
90% of donors said they wanted to receive communication about their giving through the main methods of internal communications – corporate newsletters and the intranet.
The report said communication is essential if employers and charities alike are to meaningfully address the primary motivation of donors – knowing where and how money is being spent, and understanding the impact it has.
Only 42% of donors felt they knew about the difference their donations made and only 38% felt there was enough information regarding their organisation’s engagement with the community.
In order to drive greater participation, all program managers believed it was important to:
• Articulate the organisation’s workplace giving program and its link to business strategy
• Drive program awareness and employee engagement
• Promote employer support and employee benefits
• Communicate donation impact and celebrate program success
• Maintain program visibility
An emerging issue stated by more than 25% of workplace giving program managers was that
they have too many charity partners, diluting donation impact and making it difficult to track donations and quantify outcomes.
The report results suggested a re-evaluation of the workplace giving program design which supported the employer trend toward charity relationship depth versus breadth.
Program managers suggested that focusing on causes, rather than individual charities, may have the potential to increase program communication relevance and effectiveness, leading to greater buy-in and employee engagement in workplace giving.
Workplace leaders said the opportunity was to operate a workplace giving program that is “large enough that you have breadth of causes but small enough that there’s a greater level of funding for each charity and they can communicate the difference donations make.”
The report said that limiting the number of causes and charities supported allows employers to direct and scale contributions, with the opportunity to focus on collective impact in order to ensure donations make a difference – tapping into the primary motivation for employee participation in workplace giving.
Australian Charities Foundation Deputy Chair Greg Hutchinson said workplace giving was about employees using their heads and their hearts.
“Being tax and cost efficient isn’t enough,” he said.
“The newer generation that is coming through in leadership positions really get that [there is a place for workplace giving in the workplace].
“People who give in the workplace become very generous; they get into the habit of giving.”
In the last financial year, $43m was donated in pre-tax payroll giving contributions, with
133,000 Australians giving through payroll deductions.
A further $13m was donated through employer matching.