The rise of workplace giving
7 June 2021 at 4:07 pm
Charity tax stats for FY19 show that while overall giving was down, workplace giving was on the rise
Employers across the country are being called on to launch giving campaigns during June a.k.a Workplace Giving Month. A call to action that comes as newly released tax stats show that while giving fell during FY19, workplace giving bucked the trend.
The latest tax stats for FY 2019 revealed that the number of individuals who claimed a tax-deductible donation to charity decreased between FY 2018 and FY 2019. However, the number of employees using workplace giving has been steadily increasing over the past few years — total donations given using workplace giving reached $43 million in FY 2019.
Australia’s peak body for workplace giving, Workplace Giving Australia (WGA), is keen to see those stats continue to climb and is calling on employers to implement innovative ways to engage their workforce.
Jenny Geddes, CEO of WGA, said that charities across Australia were experiencing unprecedented demand for their services, yet due to the COVID-19 crisis, many have not been in a position to implement traditional fundraising campaigns.
“Yet again, workplace giving is proving to be a stable and recurring form of fundraising,” she said.
“On behalf of those in our community in need, we encourage employers to implement a campaign for their team to get behind… all the 50 cents and $1 dollar donations from working Australians add up to millions when combined with other [donations].”
Geddes told Pro Bono News that not only does workplace giving play an important role in raising money, it also has many benefits for both employers and their employees.
“Studies show that workplace giving attracts talent to the organisation, and helps to retain staff as they feel more engaged with an employer who clearly demonstrates that they have a broader role to play in the community in which they operate,” Geddes said.
“When employees were given a social incentive such as having a charitable donation linked to their job, performance increased by an average of 13 per cent — rising to 30 per cent among those who were initially the least productive.”
With snap lockdowns currently in place in Victoria and a high majority of Australians still working remotely, finding ways for employees to feel connected to their workplace, and their co-workers, has never been more important.
Geddes told Pro Bono News that workplace giving could be used as a way to build rapport between co-workers, as well as helping employees stay connected.
“Research clearly showed that people who are involved in workplace giving programs are much more engaged and motivated towards their employer than those that aren’t. There is a sense of pride and meaningfulness knowing that you and your colleagues are working together to support important causes,” she said.
“It also makes good business sense to encourage employees to give through their workplace as workplace givers are more engaged and that leads to better organisational outcomes.”
Geddes pointed to 2018 research that WGA conducted with JB HiFi looking at its Helping Hands workplace giving program. It found that 76 per cent of JB Hi-Fi staff thought the program made JB Hi-Fi a better company to work for. Helping Hands participants had a 43 per cent longer employment tenure at JB Hi-Fi.
Setting up a program in your workplace
Geddes said that it’s never been easier to set up a workplace giving program. All modern payroll systems can facilitate a workplace giving program and the Australian Tax Office provides a helpful checklist to help your business get your program started.
Geddes and her team at WGA have also prepared a free kit of materials for employers and charities to use, which includes ideas on how to involve employees working remotely as well as those back in the office.
You can access the kit here.