Posted by: danielrashke | November 30, 2017

Workplace Giving

I invite you to read my last blog post, if you haven’t already. In it, I discussed the Greater Give, a new way to make it easier and less expensive for Americans to support charities. This innovation creates Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs) using existing architecture (i.e. pre-tax payroll deductions for accounts such as dependent-care, transit/parking, etc.). With the FGA, employees will fund their giving with pre-tax payroll deductions, and then direct grants from their accounts to the charities of their choice.

Giving through the workplace is well-proven as a secure and convenient vehicle for charitable giving, and in 2016 accounted for around $4 billion. Besides helping the greater good, companies use workplace giving to communicate the company’s values, promote employee involvement, and attract the best and brightest individuals.

While often perceived as solely the work of large multinational corporations, it’s a mistake to overlook the small and mid-size company’s crucial role in community-oriented giving. When we look at percentage of profits donated, it’s absolutely clear that small businesses are far ahead of their larger counterparts, often making tangible social impact in the community. Also true is that most mid-size companies engage in corporate citizenship for the purpose of impacting their communities, not their bottom lines. Regardless of size, corporate mega-donors and “everyday philanthropists” alike can make meaningful, community-scale impacts.

A charitable FGA system would be great for employees and great for employers. Participating businesses will be building a culture that’s sought after by potential employees, with positive benefits appreciated in many communities. The charitable FGA program will make it possible for even the smallest businesses to promote philanthropy and charitable giving. And of course, participating employers will save funds because they’ll offer this simplified program on a pre-tax basis, thereby also enjoying the payroll tax benefit that accompanies cafeteria plan benefits.

Recently, a Los Angeles Times article about workplace giving caught my attention. The authors discuss current trends in workplace giving. (Click here to read the article by Genevieve Shaker of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Robert Christensen of Brigham Young University.) Authors Shaker and Christensen list several ways to ensure the success of a workplace giving program. One item on their list falls right in line with the Greater Give: “Let employees choose from a range of charities.” In fact, that breadth is absolutely core to the Greater Give, via which employees choose from a wide range of pre-vetted and pre-approved charities.

Recent studies* looked at companies that switched to models with more charitable choices for their employees.  These studies revealed that more than 79% of companies increased donor participation rates and 73% raised more money!  TASC has been paying attention… And we’re pleased to be recently on board as service provider for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the U.S. Federal Government’s workplace giving program. Now with a streamlined approach and wider options for giving, we realistically forecast a similar boost in giving for CFC.

I’ll say it again. Workplace giving is good for your employees, your company, and your community.

*(Source: LBG Research Institute, 2010; “Workplace Giving Works! Make it Work for You.”)


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