Many companies designate corporate dollars to match employee contributions to charitable and not-for-profit organizations as a way to leverage and encourage employee donations. Matching gifts demonstrate a company's commitment to employees' interests and are often considered a significant benefit of employment.
It is important for companies to have guidelines in place to frame corporate grant making and employee volunteer programs. This allows for transparency of programs to important audiences such as non profit organizations desiring funding and employees who wish to volunteer.
Donating paid time off (PTO) is a great way to encourage employees to donate because it enables them to contribute without having to provide cash out of pocket. It is also a good way for a company to reduce its liability for having too much unused PTO on the books.
Volunteer Time Off Policies formally support the volunteer interests of a corporation's employees while allowing for accurate tracking and measurement of outcomes of the company's employee volunteer program.
Dollars for Doers supports employee volunteerism by matching employee volunteer hours with corporate cash contributions. A Dollars For Doers (DFD) policy can be put in place in addition to or instead of a matching gift policy. Dollars for Doers match volunteer hours instead of cash that an employee provides for a community benefit organization.
Particularly for private companies, donating equity to seed fund a corporate foundation is a highly leveraged way to insure that a company has assets at IPO for philanthropic purposes. For public companies, equity often serves as a simple way to establish or build philanthropy initiatives. Additionally, employees may contribute their stock to a company foundation or other not for profit organizations.
In-kind donations include corporate assets other than cash, equity and employee talent/time. In-kind contributions include products, services, and material goods that the company owns. However, even if a company doesn't have products or services to donate, they can also donate excess office supplies, old computers, or office furniture. You might be surprised at what can be donated, so before you throw anything away, consider whether or not it can be donated.
Companies with extra office space or unused office buildings can assist a not-for-profit organization in need of office space or warehouse/storage. It can save an organization tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars per year. This is a significant contribution to the organization and the community it serves. In addition, filling up the empty space will make the office feel fuller and create more energy. Employees feel an added sense of pride for the company, enjoy interacting with the nonprofit, and may even get engaged in the nonprofit's cause themselves.
Holding a fundraiser for a community-benefit organization is a great way to engage employees in that community organization's mission. Fundraisers can be creative and fun. Some examples include live or silent auctions, bake sales, car washes, raffles, and more.
A Signature Program is a community involvement or philanthropic effort that provides the corporation with branding opportunities and alignment to business goals. Typically Signature Programs are projects that are either events that provide marketing exposure for the company or ongoing programs that leverage corporate expertise, talent and resources.