How to Maximize Social Impact through Employee Engagement

As the American workplace evolves, it is becoming increasingly clear that employees are expecting employers not only to offer financial benefits that help them achieve their personal goals, but also to demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility. 

Corporate citizenship is being prioritized by more companies that have come to understand its role in attracting and retaining good talent as well as positively impacting their businesses overall. Numerous studies have shown that companies demonstrating a strong commitment to corporate citizenship experience lower rates of employee turnover, higher rates of productivity, and increased rates of employee satisfaction. The more engaged employees are, the stronger these effects.

Aligning Corporate Citizenship with Employee Giving

It makes good business sense to tie employee giving to corporate citizenship goals—not only does this increase a company’s social impact on the world, but it shows employees the company shares their values and is worthy of their loyalty and service. So what can be done to engage employees more effectively? 

At Global Impact, we have been implementing employee giving campaigns for more than 60 years. We have seen firsthand how transformative these campaigns can be for employees when companies offer the opportunity to support a cause that is linked with their own corporate citizenship strategy and the tools to create real impact. Getting employees to align their giving with a company’s strategy forges a much stronger connection between employees and employer and ultimately contributes to stronger business results.

Building the Infrastructure for Giving Strategically

Research on employee giving has also shown that the more ways employees can participate with their employer, the more engaged they tend to be. The most effective corporate citizenship programs offer a continuum of employee engagement methods to maximize social impact, such as education on issues, support for employee volunteerism, giving through payroll deductions, and matching gift pledges.

New Tools for Giving  

Another thing companies can do is empower employees to be more strategic in their giving and to tie their donations to their investments. This will help employees achieve greater impact over the long-term. At Global Impact, our mission is to grow global philanthropy, and we’ve created a giving tool called Growfund that does just that. It is the first platform that allows everybody to create their own Donor Advised Fund—essentially a personal foundation—with as little as $1. Operating like a 401(k), contributions can be invested and grown over time or saved; when ready to give, donors can then make grants to the causes they care about through their Growfund.

We have also made a turnkey solution for corporations to integrate Growfund into their existing giving platforms which includes payroll giving and matching gift functionality at a fraction of the cost of other platforms. Growfund is customizable to match your brand and offers employees an easy-to-use and automated tool to thoughtfully plan their charitable giving strategy and make the most impact possible.

Growfund is an example of the types of tools and resources companies can provide their employees to maximize social impact.  It is our hope that like the sea change caused by 401(k)s, that companies will migrate toward encouraging employees to plan their giving more strategically and inspire them to engage more in creating social impact under their brand.