Benevity Data Highlights New Direction for 2018 Year-End Corporate Giving

Amid the Biggest Giving Months of the Year, Companies Adopt New Strategies to Engage People this ‘Giving Season’

Calgary, Alberta, CANADA

CALGARY, Alberta, Sept. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Benevity, Inc., the global leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement software, today announced three emerging trends likely to impact charitable giving during the biggest giving months of the year: September through December, when 50% of all donations are typically made to charities and nonprofits.

Following a year that saw seismic shifts in giving, Benevity’s data suggests that 2018’s ‘giving season’ will see companies taking more innovative, people-driven approaches to their corporate Goodness programs. These approaches are shaping a new direction for how corporations engage their people in giving back and will help them foster compelling, purpose-driven workplace cultures while maximizing their social impact.

“As companies increasingly recognize the employee and customer engagement benefits that flow from corporate Goodness programs, many of our enterprise clients have already shifted their approach from a once-a-year, top-down fundraising campaign to one that pursues year-round integration of giving, volunteering, grantmaking and other prosocial actions,” said Bryan de Lottinville, founder and CEO of Benevity. “But that doesn’t change the fact that people feel more compelled to give toward the end of the year when benevolence becomes more top-of-mind and the holiday spirit inspires even greater generosity. This time of year presents a huge opportunity for companies to harness their people’s passions and desire to do good. And if they get it right, 2018 has the potential to set new standards for participation and impact.”

Data from Benevity’s client community that represents more than 10 million global employees shows that doing good looks different in 2018. The most successful and impactful workplace giving programs have become more:

  • Responsive. 2X the number of companies are running relief appeals for their employees—user-centric technology enables companies to be more responsive to social issues, tragedies and timely events, in addition to natural disasters.
  • Democratized. 67% more companies are enabling their people to create giving and volunteering opportunities for the causes they care about the most—the biggest shift we’ve seen this year.
  • Inclusive. Up to 80% of remote workers and internationally located employees are participating through easy, fun, prosocial activities—a significant increase over average remote worker participation in traditional giving and volunteering campaigns.

Last year, charitable giving in North America crossed the $400 billion mark for the first time. But despite that seemingly huge number, most people aren’t aligning their actions with their ambitions when it comes to giving back. For example, Americans are only giving half of their intended donations—about 3 percent of their annual income. These new giving trends highlight proven ways that companies can help close the gap between actual and intended giving, boost employee engagement and make even more impact toward the causes we all care about. What follows are some real-world examples of how companies are changing their approaches to doing well by doing good.

Workplace Giving Programs are More Responsive – QVC Example

QVC made their workplace giving campaign public so that customers could take advantage of the company’s match when Hurricane Harvey hit an area where many of their shoppers reside. They had set a match cap of $150,000 and reached it within 48 hours! Even after the match ran out, customers continued to give for the duration of the campaign, raising nearly $500,000 in relief funds.

“As a good corporate neighbor, QVC is committed to supporting efforts that bring help and hope to those in need. Our team members, vendors and customers have responded generously in times of need in our communities.  By providing them with a platform to take immediate action, they’ve shown up as a force for good.”—Suzanne Quigley, Director, Corporate Responsibility, Qurate Retail Group (comprised of eight leading retail brands – QVC, HSN, zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road, and Improvements)

Workplace Giving Programs are More Responsive – Levi Example

In response to what they believe is a national crisis involving gun violence in the U.S. and to stand up for what they believe is right, Levi Strauss & Co. stepped up its support for gun violence prevention. They’ve done this by establishing a new grantmaking fund that will direct $1 million to relevant nonprofits, lending their CEO’s voice to the issue and incentivizing participation from employees who share the concern. Employee incentives include a 2:1 match for donations to organizations preventing gun violence and offering volunteer rewards for advocacy efforts.

“While we know not everyone will agree with our position, I believe we have a moral obligation to lend our support to help bring about lasting change. As a company with a long history of standing up for what we believe is right, we can do no less now.”— Chip Bergh, President and CEO at Levi Strauss & Co.

Workplace Giving Programs are More Democratized – Prudential Example

Prudential CARES, Prudential Financial’s workplace giving and volunteering platform for their more than 42,100 employees and retirees in the United States, has dramatically shifted over the past five years from an annual day of service to a more direct connection to the company’s purpose – providing opportunities for all to achieve financial security. Each year, and for all eligible employees and retirees, the company matches up to $5,000 in donations, offers up to $500 in grant funds as volunteer rewards and provides one full paid day off for volunteering. But the key to their program is choice. Prudential’s employees can choose from hundreds of thousands of vetted and eligible charities and non-profits to support. And if a cause they care about isn’t already listed within their program software, an individual can nominate that organization for inclusion. This really puts the power in the hands of their people and has contributed to a 61% increase in overall participation since 2015.

“Prudential employees pride themselves on working for a purpose-driven company. Through Prudential CARES, the company provides a platform that encourages participation and helps make donating and volunteering easy. But it’s the people who show up in their own way to give back and make a difference with our community partners. Employees’ sense of ownership and pride, enabled by this approach, is evidenced by the large increases in overall participation in Prudential CARES in recent years.” —Spring Lacy, Vice President, Corporate and Community Engagement at Prudential Financial.

Workplace Giving Programs are More Inclusive – TripAdvisor Example

As part of their efforts in addressing the global refugee crisis, TripAdvisor made a $5 million dollar commitment from the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation and has galvanized their traveler community by hosting matching consumer campaigns to raise additional funding for the cause. Most recently, TripAdvisor Experiences launched the Welcome Home campaign to distribute free access to tours, activities and experiences, helping recently resettled refugees assimilate in their new communities. TripAdvisor also mobilizes their global employees in welcoming refugees by encouraging various activities throughout the year, like hosting dinners and events with individuals who have recently resettled. During TripAdvisor’s annual Global Volunteer Month - themed Building Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Around the Globe - employees in over 30 locations around the world give, volunteer and support displaced individuals and families by hosting mock-interview days for job seekers, revitalizing refugee resettlement spaces and more. Additionally, TripAdvisor employees provide engineering, product and other skills-based expertise to support the development of technology innovations and solutions that help refugees access essential services.

“This is a protracted crisis that is not going away overnight,” said Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor. “It is reshaping economies and societies for the long-term. We know that no single company or organization can tackle this crisis singlehandedly and our donation and in-kind support is only a small fraction of what is desperately needed.  With the state of the issue, governments around the world need to do more to find and implement lasting solutions; however, it’s incumbent upon the private sector to leverage our unique expertise, resources and capabilities in partnership with nonprofit organizations.”

About Benevity
Benevity, Inc., a certified B Corporation, is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and community investment software. Many of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Benevity’s award-winning cloud solutions to power corporate “Goodness” programs that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 17 languages, to more than four million users around the world, Benevity has processed over 2 billion dollars in donations and 10 million hours of volunteering time this year to almost 150,000 charities worldwide.

Media Contact
Amanda Orr
Kickstart for Benevity

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at 

Doing Good Looks Different in 2018