Do you remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare? The hare was confident, boastful and attracted attention as the likely winner of the race. But it was the humble tortoise, quietly toiling away, who crossed the line.
In the current environment charities have been busy chasing the larger donations of cash from corporate partners. There have been some significant new partnerships, such as Nestle and RUOK, Beyond Blue and Australia Post in recent weeks. Congrats to all their hardworking partnership teams! But let’s not forget the quiet achiever in corporate partnerships, which is workplace giving. It’s the tortoise to the more glamorous partnerships hare.
According to Good2Give research, over 4,300 companies have a formal workplace (payroll) giving program in place and 181,400 Australians made donations from their pay last year. The income from workplace giving is especially valuable for charities because it’s regular and predictable. In addition, many corporates match their employees’ giving, thus doubling their impact. As COVID restrictions disrupt business operations and threaten employment, there is an immediate threat to valuable workplace giving income. Whilst governments are doing their best to keep people employed, you can take some simple steps to preserve and protect your valuable workplace giving income.
Leverage your content and engagement opportunities
It’s a tough working environment right now. Corporates are keen to keep employees motivated and engaged and your content could be the ideal solution. Whether it’s tips on parenting or guide dogs popping into a Zoom meeting, a charity has a treasure trove of inspiring stories and content to share. Not only will it help solve your corporate partner’s pain point, but it will enable you to remain front of mind with your valuable workplace giving donor. Retention is your main aim, so spend a little time on thanking your donors and giving them inspiration to stay with you.
Create a continuity plan
The workforce is highly volatile and it’s likely that many people will be seeking new jobs in the near future. This is always a break point for workplace giving as many loyal donors simply forget to reinstate their workplace giving arrangements at a new place. It may be that some people will be out of the workforce for a period of time but would like to continue supporting you. You need to work with your colleagues to create a continuity plan to preserve relationships and ongoing support when employment situations change. For some it might be a pause in donations, but for others it’s a prompt to renew and re-establish their giving. You need to work closely with your corporate partner to make sure employees don’t fall through the cracks.
Support giving circles and employee fundraising initiatives
Good2Give have been encouraging Giving Circles at Work, where employees fundraise together for a favourite cause. It gives your charity increased income, but also results in more satisfied, highly engaged employees. People are actively looking for ways to participate in team activities, especially with remote working causing physical isolation. Fundraising challenges like Dry(ish) July, the MS May 50K and headspace’s Push-Up Challenge have been enormously successful. These team initiatives provide renewed income from workplace giving and the employer matched funds. They also help the employer to make an ongoing contribution to the community and your cause.
There are some great corporate partnership opportunities waiting to be grabbed- and not just for organisations with a more obvious COVID impact. But in the chase for big dollars, don’t forget the regular, loyal donors through workplace giving who can slip under the radar. Sometimes the humble tortoise can be a more reliable friend whilst you’re waiting for the hare to fall over the finish line.
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