Benefits of a corporate giving program

Implementing a corporate giving program can not only benefit the community and society at large but can also enhance a company’s reputation and employee morale in remarkable ways. Engaging in corporate social responsibility programs allows businesses to give back, make a positive impact, and align with their values while also reaping the rewards of increased employee engagement and customer loyalty

In this guide, we will delve into the essence of corporate giving, how to select the right program, the different types of corporate giving initiatives and best practices. 

Corporate social responsibility programs

Foundation of corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable – to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. 

At its core, CSR involves a business identifying its stake in the broader social and environmental context and acting upon that responsibility. This is about more than just donations; it encompasses ethical business practices, sustainability efforts, and community involvement. 

A strong foundation in CSR means embedding these ideals into the fabric of a company, ensuring that every business decision is filtered through a lens of social impact. It’s not just about doing good – it’s about doing business in a way that consistently respects and contributes to the welfare of society as a whole.

What is corporate giving?

Corporate giving is a way for companies to contribute to societal improvement by supporting various causes and nonprofits. 

Unlike broader CSR initiatives, corporate giving is specifically focused on philanthropy – financial contributions, donations of products or services, or the volunteering of time by employees. It’s a tangible expression of a company’s commitment to social responsibility and can take many forms, from matching employee donations to implementing grant programs. 

Corporate giving is not just about generosity; it’s an investment in the stability and health of the communities where a company operates. It reflects a belief that business success and social welfare are interconnected, and that by supporting others, a company builds a stronger, more sustainable path for its own future.

People, planet, purpose – the triple P is now a non-negotiable. i=Change is such a simple process. We were able to reach and educate our customers on how they can be part of the change.” – Pip Edwards, Co-founder, P.E Nation

How to choose a corporate giving program

Importance of aligning with your business

Selecting a corporate giving program that aligns with your business’s values and objectives is crucial. The alignment ensures authenticity and can amplify the impact of your contributions. When your giving strategy is a reflection of your company’s mission and expertise, it resonates more deeply with employees and customers alike. 

For instance, a tech company might focus on education in STEM fields, while a food-related business might support programs that combat hunger. This alignment not only harnesses your company’s unique strengths and resources for social good but also reinforces your brand’s identity and values. 

Ultimately, choosing a corporate giving program that fits your business model and core values enhances credibility and fosters a genuine connection with your stakeholders, leading to a more meaningful and sustainable impact.

Volunteers packing food items and giving to those in need via their workplace corporate giving program

Choosing a corporate giving program for your company size

The size of your company plays a significant role in determining the most suitable corporate giving program. 

Small businesses might engage with local communities, offering direct support that also builds relationships with nearby customers. This could mean sponsoring local events, offering scholarships to local students, or partnering with area nonprofits. 

Larger corporations have the capacity to tackle more extensive programs that may have a national or global reach. They can leverage their broader resources to initiate large-scale change, such as significant charitable contributions, founding their own non-profits, or creating comprehensive volunteer programs for employees. 

It’s essential to assess your company’s capacity to give and to choose a program that is manageable and sustainable for your specific situation. This helps ensure that your corporate giving program is both impactful and a natural extension of your business operations.

Different types of corporate giving programs

There are a variety of corporate giving programs to choose from, each with its unique approach and benefits:

  • Matching gifts are a popular option where companies match employee donations to eligible nonprofits, thus doubling the impact. 
  • Volunteer grants are another avenue, where companies donate funds to organisations where employees volunteer regularly. 
  • In-kind donations provide goods or services instead of cash, valuable for nonprofits that need specific items or expertise. 
  • Cause-related marketing campaigns can raise awareness and funds for a cause, aligning a product or service with a charitable organisation. 
  • Community grants are direct donations from a company to a local initiative. These programs can be tailored to fit the size and scope of a company, as well as its strategic objectives. 
  • Automated donations via a giving back platform where a company commits a dollar amount or percentage of their revenue to various causes. 

The key is to select the type of program that best suits your company’s capabilities and goals. i=Change enables businesses to meaningfully differentiate by giving back from every sale or when sending an invoice. Businesses part of this growing movement engage their clients and customers by enabling them to choose where their donations go. See how it works.

i=Change, a cause-marketing tech platform that allows businesses to give back from every sale. A platform that allows seamless corporate giving.

Best practices for corporate giving

Incorporating corporate giving for businesses

Incorporating corporate giving into your business requires a strategic approach:

  • Define clear goals and objectives that align with your company’s values and the needs of the community. 
  • Transparency is key; openly communicate your intentions and how you plan to implement your giving program. It’s also important to engage your stakeholders, including employees, customers, and community partners, in the decision-making process. 
  • Track the outcomes and impact of your giving, not only to measure the success but also to report back to your stakeholders. This feedback loop can help refine your program over time. 
  • Leverage your core competencies—use the skills, products, or services your business excels at as a way to contribute uniquely and effectively to your chosen causes.

Leveraging corporate giving for employee engagement

Corporate giving programs are powerful tools for boosting employee engagement. When employees see their company making a positive impact, it can increase pride in their workplace and encourage loyalty. 

To leverage this, involve employees in the selection of causes or partners. This empowers them to contribute to decisions and invest personally in the program’s success. You should also create opportunities for employees to volunteer or participate in giving initiatives during work hours. This not only allows them to give back but also to bond with colleagues and build team spirit. 

Recognise and celebrate the contributions your employees make, whether through company-wide communications or awards. Such recognition validates their efforts and reinforces the value your business places on community involvement. By connecting corporate giving to employee engagement, businesses can foster a more motivated, connected, and productive workforce.

i=Change team engaged in a corporate giving program through Greening Australia's annual tree planting activity

Encouraging change through corporate giving

Corporate giving can be a catalyst for change when strategically executed. To encourage change, focus on long-term partnerships with organisations that have a proven track record of making a difference. This creates sustained impact rather than one-time benefits. 

Remain proactive in addressing social issues that are relevant to your industry and where your company can make a significant difference. When you align your giving efforts with areas of expertise, your contributions can help solve complex problems. 

It’s also important to advocate for the causes you support, using your business’s voice to raise awareness and inspire others to take action. By doing so, you not only contribute resources but also become a leader in social change, setting an example for others in your industry.

Let’s be the change, together.

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