Latest Trends in Workplace Giving

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America’s Charities recently released Snapshot 2015 – The New Corporate DNA: Where Employee Engagement and Social Impact Converge. The third in a series, this year’s report includes insights, trends and best practices for workplace philanthropy and employee engagement.

Findings were collected from an online survey of executives from 120 companies in the third quarter of 2015. Their responses represent more than 600,000 employees and 17 unique industry groups, geographically dispersed, and equally distributed between large companies (more than 5,000 employees) and small to midsize companies (5,000 and fewer employees).

Snapshot 2015 makes the case:  It’s not enough to say giving of time, money and skills is important. Leaders must be involved in employee engagement, authentically, and it must be embedded in a company’s DNA—part of its culture, values and actions.

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One of the most prominent trends, according to Steve Delfin, President and CEO of America’s Charities, is the changing expectations around social impact:

  • Companies want more evidence their charity resources help with strategic social responsibility goals.
  • Employees want more transparency, accountability and proof their donations are helping make a social impact.

Millennials care about social impact—and companies are expected to do more to engage their employees and support causes they care about. Their CSR efforts create a valuable competitive business edge for recruiting and retaining talent.  And 92% of Snapshot 2015 respondents (from small to large companies) believe customers expect them to be good corporate citizens too. So companies need to step up with more sophisticated and responsive engagement programs.

What a difference two years makes

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When it comes to workplace giving, for many years, a payroll deduction program was the most common way to engage employees. Those programs have grown steadily. But now they’re only part of the picture.

According to Snapshot 2015, giving programs have changed quite a bit in the past two years. Today, almost two thirds of small, medium and large companies offer employees year-round giving opportunities; this is becoming the standard. Compare that with 2013, when just over one third of companies were moving beyond fall campaigns to year-round giving. Differences by size of company:

  • 85% of large companies offer year-round giving, and 70% have matching campaigns.
  • 44% of small to midsize companies offer year-round giving, and 28% have matching campaigns.

Survey respondent and Director of Corporate Responsibility for PwC US, Heather Lofkin Wright commented, “Giving at the office is about the change we can affect when we work together. . . meaningful ways to be a part of that collective impact.”

platformsYear-round volunteering has emerged as a core part of employee engagement programs. Something that was just coming into the picture in Snapshot 2013, volunteer opportunities are now offered by 92% of large companies and 60% of small to midsize ones.

For all the best practices in workplace giving and to read the latest findings, download the complete Snapshot 2015. And take a look at other reports in the Snapshot series.

Contact us if you’re ready to improve your company giving program or looking for ways to better engage your employees.

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

P.S. To keep up on the latest philanthropy insights, subscribe to our Blog and follow JustGive on LinkedIn.

 

Year in Review: A Look Back at 2015

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Thanks to your giving and support, JustGive sent more than $30 million to charity in 2015!

Our charity gift cards continued to be popular in 2015, showing a 300%+ increase thanks in part to a much-improved process for companies and individuals to order gift cards in bulk through the JustGive website.

This year, we redesigned our Fundraisers product, making it easier to raise funds for charity through a nonprofit campaign or for a special occasion or cause, an upcoming wedding, or in memory of a loved one.

We also improved the Nonprofit Services section of our website to make it simpler for our member charities to use JustGive’s online donation tools to collect and track their donations.

And we’re proud to have helped our many partners by developing and supporting corporate giving programs as part of their social responsibility efforts.

Here’s a glimpse of our impact—and what we accomplished together— in 2015.

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We’re working hard in 2016 to do more good, and continue fulfilling our mission to make charitable giving a part of everyday life.

Thank you for giving!

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

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The 411 on UTC: Understanding donation timestamps

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FEATURED NONPROFIT FAQ:
Understanding UTC

When your donors make a donation through JustGive, the date and time of their transaction is recorded in the UTC/GMT time zone (Coordinated Universal Time). This is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time, and is the usual time zone internet companies use when storing transaction data.

Question
What does UTC mean for donations?

Answer
Donations in your organization’s online donation report are recorded in the UTC/GMT time zone. When compared to Eastern Standard Time (EST) or Pacific Standard Time (PST):

  • UTC is 8 hours ahead of PST. So if it’s 10 p.m. UTC, it’s 2 p.m. PST (i.e. 8 hours earlier)
  • UTC is 5 hours ahead of EST. So if it’s 10 p.m. UTC, it’s 5 p.m. EST (i.e. 5 hours earlier)

Here’s a handy time converter you can use to convert JustGive UTC donations to any donor’s time zone.

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Payments made to your nonprofit for donations received through JustGive are also based on UTC transaction times. For example, if an East Coast donor makes a donation at 9 p.m. local time on January 31, which is 2 a.m. UTC on February 1, the donation is considered part of the payment for February’s donations. This will be reflected in your online donation report for February, and paid out in a JustGive check mailed in March.

For tax purposes, the transaction time can be converted back to your donor’s time zone when claiming a tax deduction.

For example, if the donation date and time on JustGive is 2 a.m. on January 1, 2016, the EST time would be 9 p.m. and the PST time would be 6 p.m. on December 31, 2015.

When this donation is converted to the donor’s U.S. time zone, it falls within the 2015 calendar year, and is acceptable to the IRS for claiming a tax deduction.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

P.S. Don’t miss out: To automatically receive an email when we post more nonprofit tips, tools and resources, subscribe to our Blog.

Does JustGive support donation matching campaigns? Cost?

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FEATURED CORPORATE FAQ:

Does JustGive support donation matching campaigns? Cost?

Today’s workforce is paying a lot more attention to a company’s CSR efforts and its campaigns to support social causes. And studies show corporate citizenship makes a difference in business success.

corp_citizenIn a survey of millennials, Deloitte found they choose to work for organizations that make a positive contribution to society. So your future leaders are looking for all the ways your company shows you’re serious about it.

Your giving campaigns are key to demonstrating your commitment. How do you set them up to be most effective, with company-matching donations and rewards for the volunteer hours of your employees? That’s where JustGive—and our experience—can help.

Question
Does JustGive support donation matching campaigns? What are the costs?

Answer
Yes, we can process matching donations or volunteer hours for your giving program. The costs vary, depending on the scope and duration of your giving program.

We support all types of donation campaigns—for your cause marketing or social responsibility efforts, a disaster, and more. Processing matching donations for them may be as simple as sending a monthly file to JustGive with details, and having us disburse checks to your charities.

We can also set up a branded, customized site for a year-round charitable campaign that includes your company match.

For one of our partners, Cisco, we have provided employee giving program support for years. Check out what they have to say about their experience.

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Cost
For matching donation campaign support, there is an annual fee for licensing our Donor Advised Fund (DAF), and there may be fees for program setup and customization. We would also apply a per-check or flat processing fee.

For a giving program that lets employees or customers donate to any charity or choose from a list of specific charities, there may be a cost associated with licensing the charity data. And to cover processing for credit card donations, we take a small percentage from each donation.

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Contact us to talk about what you’d like to do with your giving program, and we’ll provide you with specific information about cost.

To keep up on the latest philanthropy insights, subscribe to our Blog and follow JustGive on LinkedIn

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Optical Underground: Glasses & Charity

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It’s estimated that 3 out of 4 people in the United States wear corrective lens of some kind. Of those, 71% wear glasses.

That’s why JustGive was excited to work with Optical Underground, an eyewear retailer located just down the street from us here in San Francisco. The company was readying a re-launch of their website, and they contacted us for ideas on how to incorporate charitable giving into their customer experience.

Optical Underground has a long history of giving back to San Francisco. Founder Ira Silverstein opened the shop just after the 1906 earthquake. He took his optician’s kit to the earthquake refugee camps and gave new glasses to anyone who had lost theirs in the quake.

Since then, Optical Underground has continued to support community-wide issues like homelessness, health care and education. JustGive Charity Gift Cards turned out to be the perfect solution to help the retailer include giving as part of their online shopping experience.

 

With every purchase at opticalunderground.com, customers have the option to add a $10 JustGive charity gift card to their order, which discounts the price of their glasses by the same amount. They can then redeem their gift card towards a donation to any charity of their choice (nearly 2 million on our site).

“JustGive’s worldwide reach solved the dilemma of how we can do good outside our community, and do it in a way that allows our customers to decide what’s important to them,” said Cynthia Silverstein, Brand Strategist for Optical Underground.

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We also built a custom, branded website for Optical Underground’s charity gift card redemptions. So even after customers receive their charity gift card, they continue to experience the company’s brand throughout the gift card redemption process. Customers simply search for the charity they want to support and enter their claim code at checkout to complete their donation.

If you’re ready for some new glasses and want to “see” yourself into some charitable giving, head over to opticalunderground.com!

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Real Help for the Homeless

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Living in California for the last 20+ years, I see people who are homeless more than I ever have in my life.  As the weather gets bitter, I shudder when I think about men and women sleeping on cardboard in San Francisco. I’m also haunted by the growing number of homeless teens I see hanging out at a local gas station. And I know there are so many more….

It is not my imagination that there are more homeless people in the Golden State. Latest statistics show five states—California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts—accounted for more than half of the homeless population in the United States. This past year, according to US Department of Housing and Urban Development, California experienced the second-largest increase in the number of homeless people among 50 states.

The Face(s) of Homelessness

 

On any given night, the National Alliance to End Homelessness says nearly 579,000 Americans are homeless. Of that number, more than 362,000 are individuals, and over 216,000 are people in families.

While homeless young people are more transient and challenging to count, it’s currently estimated that about 50,000 youth in the United States sleep on the street for six months or more.

homeless-man-552571_pixabayIt’s hard not to look away from the homeless—in person, and in my heart. Whenever I’m asked for money or read a sign someone is holding at a light or freeway ramp, I get skeptical and wonder how they’d use any money I give.  So I pause.

The most recent data shows, in general, that the number of people sleeping in shelters and transitional housing is increasing.  This suggests communities and nonprofits are doing a better job getting people off the streets and under a roof. To me, that seems like a good place to start helping.

Three Ways to Make a Difference for Homeless People

Donate food and items.
The next time you’re in an area where you expect to see a homeless person, bring along an extra cup of coffee, sandwich, or a meal package with protein-rich foods like trail mix and beef jerky (the most sought-after food). If you have the time, take the homeless person to a nearby fast food restaurant to order the meal they want.

Contact your local shelters and ask what they need. (You can find one in your city here.) Are there specific food items they’re short on? Or are blankets, clothing, socks, band aids, lip balm, lotion, children’s toys or something else more in demand? Share the season’s spirit of giving; get your family involved in buying and dropping off a holiday care package.

Volunteer.
It’s easy to help prepare or serve a holiday meal at a local shelter or church this time of year. But volunteers are needed year round. What skills can you contribute? Consider volunteering on a regular basis, and offer to clean or help rehab buildings, design a website, provide accounting support, play with or tutor children, write resumes or help prepare a homeless person to interview for a job—depending on your talents. Access this directory to find an agency near you.

Give money.
One of the most direct ways to help the homeless is to give money. Donations to nonprofit organizations can go a long way:

  • At Front Steps, $25 takes care of basic hygiene needs. Donate now
  • With $60, the Covenant House gives a homeless child clean clothes and cozy bedding. Donate now
  • For $100, Big Sunday supplies 25 bags of everyday essentials for homeless people. Donate Now

For more charities helping the homeless, check out the JustGive Guide.

More Ways

These are a few ways to help the homeless—here’s a list of many more.

wanderer-814222_pixabayIf you’re not in a position to do any of these things, remember that a smile, kind word and respect go a long way. People who are homeless deserve our empathy.

As for me, I’m re-training myself not to ignore homelessness, and in any way I can, to help. Just as there are many reasons why people become homeless, I know there are just as many ways to start making things better.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Nonprofits: “Holiday-ize” Your Donation Page

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‘Tis the season for giving, and there’s no better time to add some holiday cheer to your JustGive Donation Page to get your donors in a generous mood.

Here are 3 ways to “holiday-ize” your JustGive Donation Page. To make these or any updates, just login to your nonprofit account and click the ‘Edit Donation Page’ link.

1. Add a Holiday-themed Image

Add some holiday flair to your organization logo and upload that new image to your Donation Page. The recommended size for your header image is 950px wide by 100px high, and it can be a jpg, gif or png file (max size 512k).

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2. Customize Your Donation Amounts

Connecting a tangible value with donation amounts helps your donors better understand how you will use their donation to provide services, and often motivates them to give more. Pathways PA, a nonprofit that supports low-income women, children and families, includes specific descriptions with its donation amounts to show the difference they make, like: $50.00 – provides a case of diapers & wipes for a homeless baby.

If you’re channeling donations toward any specific holiday initiatives, let donors know about that. For example: $50.00 – provides a Christmas meal for a family of four.

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3. Update Your Program Designations

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If you’re running any special campaigns or initiatives for the holidays that are mentioned in your fundraising materials, make sure the programs listed on your Donation Page match. For example, if you’re conducting a “Holiday 2015 Campaign,” be sure that it’s on your Donation Page as a program donors can select.

BONUS TIP: Want to encourage recurring, monthly donations from your donors? Just add “&isRecurring=true” at the end of your Donation Page link (To see an example: https://npo.justgive.org/basket?acton=donate&ein=94-3331010&isRecurring=true). When you add it, the monthly recurring checkbox is automatically selected. (Donors always have the option to uncheck the box.)

Happy holidays . . . and best wishes from all of us here at JustGive for a fruitful giving season!

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Campbell’s – A CSR Leader

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When I say Campbell’s, the first thing that comes to mind is tomato soup—especially since it’s one of the top 10 foods sold off shelves in U.S. grocery stores today. But you may not know what stands behind the familiar products you enjoy: a business that has integrated social responsibility and sustainability into everything it does.

A Bit of History

campbellsThe company was started 146 years ago, in 1869, when Joseph Campbell, a fruit merchant, and Abraham Anderson, an icebox manufacturer, opened their first plant in Camden, New Jersey. Twenty eight years later, Campbell’s created five varieties of condensed soup, including the now-favorite tomato. National distribution of soups followed in 1911.

Campbell’s founders pioneered values the company practices today. It is driven and inspired by its purpose: “real food that matters for life’s moments.” The company believes it has a duty to the people who use its products, the communities that support them, and the earth that provides its ingredients. Those values extend to the Campbell’s family of brands, including Pepperidge Farms, V8, Swanson, Pace, Prego, Plum Organics.

Corporate Social Responsibility Approach

CSR and sustainability for the Campbell Soup Company means:

  • Advancing global wellness and nutrition
  • Helping build a more sustainable environment
  • Honoring its role in society from the farm to the family

v8_products_image03Embracing social responsibility, the company considers its impact across the life cycle of products—the ingredients used, how they’re made and more—and annually reports on CSR performance. (Here’s the latest complete CSR report.)

The company’s formal CSR strategy, started six years ago, is based on four pillars:

Nourishing the planet: Environmental Stewardship

Campbell’s goal is to cut the environmental footprint of its products in half by 2020. Among other actions, this includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use, and eliminating packaging materials. Since 2008, the company has reduced gas emissions by 17.1% and water consumption by 27.4%. And Campbell’s has eliminated more than 89 million pounds of packaging materials since 2009.

Nourishing consumers: Interactions with customers and consumers

For Campbell’s, nourishing consumers means continuing to offer products that promote wellness—with a variety of affordable, convenient and great-tasting foods. In 2014, $2.5 billion of Campbell’s retail sales (about 32%) were foods that satisfied the FDA definition of healthy.

Nourishing employees: Building a high-performance workplace

safetyPhotoCampbell’s is creating a diverse, inclusive and engaging work environment. Its employees, currently 45% women, include the first female CEO and president, Denise Morrison. CSR and sustainability goals are baked into its culture, with company Greatness Awards recognizing employees and teams for results that directly support business strategies and values.

Nourishing neighbors: Community Service

Improving the health of young people in hometown communities is the focus of Campbell’s Healthy Communities program, a $10 million, 10-year initiative. Last year:

  • Employees around the globe contributed more than 15,000 hours of volunteer service to their local communities.
  • During the company’s annual Make a Difference Week, more than 1,100 employees across the United States tackled 90 community projects.

Serving communities is also about philanthropy—giving money, grants and in-kind donations to help them. In 2014, Campbell’s charitable giving totaled more than $70 million, with about $60 million in kind, and another $10 million from corporate donations, cause marketing, nonprofit grants and employee giving.

Campbell’s most recent CSR efforts earned the company the #8 spot on the 2015 list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens compiled by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. That’s a move up from #11 in 2014.

campbellsCampbell’s understands that what they do, every day, matters—and their actions make it clear they take being a good corporate citizen to heart. Borrowing from a popular company marketing campaign, you could say their CSR is M’m, M’m, Good!

Inspired to consider improving your CSR efforts and looking for ways to incorporate philanthropy to make a bigger difference?  Contact us today—we can help.

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

 

 

Company Holiday Giving: 4 Great Ideas

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This time of year, JustGive gets a lot of inquiries from companies that want to do something for charity during the holidays. They don’t always know what they want to do, but most importantly, they have a desire to give back on behalf of their company, employees or customers.

If you or your company is wondering how to include charity in your holiday activities this year, here are four ideas that make giving easy, fun, motivating and rewarding.

Set up a fundraiser & match donations

A fundraiser for one or several charities is a great way to inspire the giving spirit this season. Choose to support charities that connect with your company’s products or services (e.g. if you create educational software, consider supporting children’s or educational charities), or ones that your employees nominate.

Tip: If you need help selecting charities, the JustGive Guide contains 150 recommended charities organized by cause.

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You can quickly create your online fundraising page, customize it with your description, image or video, a fundraising goal and deadline, and you’re ready to go. Then just share the link with your team and watch the donations roll in!

If you want to go the extra mile, add your company branding to the fundraiser and match donations made by employees, contact us to find out more.

Donations as gifts

If your office has an annual Secret Santa tradition, remind participants that making a gift donation in a co-worker’s name is a great gift.

A gift donation is also the perfect way to thank your partners, vendors and customers during the holidays. Find out what cause they care most about and donate to a charity that supports it. We guarantee it’ll be one of the most thoughtful business gifts they receive this year.

Tip: If you don’t know what charity your recipient would like to donate to, get them a JustGive Charity Gift Card instead. Then they can visit justgive.org and redeem it for a donation to the charity of their choice.

Gift cards—for charity!

Finding a holiday gift that works for everyone in your office is nearly impossible. But rather than default to the expected Starbucks or Amazon card this year, surprise them with a JustGive Charity Gift Card.

JustGive charity gift cards work like typical gift cards except recipients visit justgive.org to redeem the card for a donation to their favorite charities.

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Choose any denomination, customize with your logo / branding, add your holiday message, and deliver them to your recipients via email, as printed cards, or through downloadable claim codes you merge into your own holiday communication. Read about New England BioLabs’ experience using charity gift cards to reward employees.

JustGive Charity Gift Cards are great, memorable gifts for partners, vendors and customers too! The card itself can be your gift or you can include it as that “something extra” with a physical gift. Check out how Deep River Snacks is including gift cards in their consumer holiday gift pack this year.

Make a donation in your company’s name

If your company and employees regularly support a cause or charity throughout the year, consider making a large donation during the holidays to support it.

You can even get employees to nominate charities and have them vote for which one receives the donation. Not only will you gain a nice tax deduction, but you’ll also benefit from engaging your team, who’ll feel like the company is making a real difference this holiday season.

Those are just a few of the ways you can include charity in your company’s holiday activities. Have another idea or need JustGive’s help with a program? Contact us and we’ll get it rolling.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Fundraisers: Put Charity on Your Holiday Wish List

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I’m very lucky. Every holiday season my mother asks me, “What’s on your Christmas list this year?” To her frustration, I never have a good answer, so she just grumbles that I’m really hard to shop for. Love you, Mom! :)

6319712130_7c3283a6b5_mBut this year, I do. I’ll let her know that donations to my favorite charities are on my wish list.

Then I’ll tell her about a new product we launched here at JustGive: fundraisers. Now, I can create an online fundraising page to raise money for charities I care about during the holidays (or any time of year). So in lieu of other gifts from friends and family, they can come to my fundraising page and make a donation instead. That’s what I really want.

Here’s the inside scoop

Creating a fundraising page just takes a few minutes, and you can create one for any cause or occasion, including a memorial fundraiser for a departed loved one, or one for your upcoming wedding.

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My favorite part about JustGive fundraisers is how you can customize them. You describe your fundraiser, select a color scheme, add a photo or video to it, choose the charity or charities you want to fundraise for (built-in search tools help too), and you’re done. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have a link to share with friends, inviting them to contribute.

You can even write a custom thank you message that gets sent to your donors, set a fundraising goal, and add an end date to drive immediate action. As the date draws closer and your donations tally increases, it may surprise you to see which friends and family members rally to get you to the finish. And you can log in anytime to see your online donations report and know who has given to your fundraiser.

New JustGive Guide offers recommended charities

As part of the Fundraisers launch, we also revamped our JustGive Charity Guide.

CharityGuideThe new JustGive Guide contains around 150 recommended charities organized by cause. These charities are nationally-based and meet IRS standards, address today’s key issues, and receive the most support from our donors. With about a dozen charities for each cause, the guide makes it easier and faster to find the organizations you want to help.

When it comes to selecting charities for your fundraiser, you‘ll find the new JustGive Guide under the “Browse by Cause” tab. It includes cause categories for Animals, Children, Education, Global Aid, Hunger and more.

Create a fundraiser today

mapI hope you’ll join me and set up a fundraiser this holiday season to support your favorite charities. You can raise money for organizations that fight hunger and homelessness, or help a neighborhood charity that’s making a difference for your community.

Whatever cause you want to support, our fundraisers make it simple for you, and fun for your donors.

You’ll also make your Mom and friends happy, since they’ll know how to give you a gift this holiday that’s just what you want! And you’ll be spreading the spirit of the season around, making wishes come true for your favorite charities too.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product