Cor­po­rate clues: four ways your char­i­ty can help you engage with fundrais­ing technology

Maria Car­oli­na Simon, in an arti­cle orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished on npEngage’s web­site and repro­duced here, gives four solu­tions to get­ting employ­ees engaged with new fundrais­ing techniques.

Written by
Maria Carolina Simon
July 31, 2018

Corporate clues: as part of the world-changers at work series, we look at what charities can learn from the corporate sector about how these companies maximise the potential of their employees by tapping into their desire to do good.

Corporate clues: four ways your charity can help you engage with fundraising technology

by Maria Carolina Simon, relationship manager for corporations & foundations at Blackbaud Consumer Solutions and the co-founder of ‘CFW: Changing the Conversation’


According to the 2017 Giving Report by Blackbaud Institute, the landscape of philanthropy in the USA and Canada has changed dramatically in the past year due to political divides and natural disasters. While there is still uncertainty regarding the impact tax reform might have in 2018 giving behaviours, one thing is clear: individuals are still deciding how and where they contribute to charity. Companies (and charities) must start thinking of their employees as individuals who want to make their own choices and they need to offer those individuals the necessary tools to engage with the causes they care about.

The good news for companies and charities is that modern technology can help your employer to launch multiple individual employee engagement initiatives, which are highly visible and have a high ROI without putting additional stress on resources. Still, many CSR (corporate social responsibility) executives find that they don’t quite know where to start. Here are four simple ideas corporations and charities can enact to help deploy individual engagement strategies in 2018:

1. Reinvent casual Fridays

It's been a tradition in some sectors of the corporate sector for years that people have been wearing casual clothes to work on Fridays. However, with the fast growth of more informal work environments, casual Fridays have lost some of their appeal. Reignite the tradition and give it new meaning by adding a fundraising component to casual Fridays. Employees can make a small donation to a selected charity on these days and enjoy happy hour in their best casual clothes.

Note: does your organisation have a dress code or policy? How does that impact on the work you do, if at all? Please let us know by commenting below and whether a reinvented casual Fridays scheme would make a difference.

2. Support affinity groups

Do your employees participate in some form of affinity group (a group formed around a shared interest or common goal, to which individuals formally or informally belong)? These groups often support a cause that is aligned with the members’ common interests and they might already be fundraising by using tools outside the cormpanies’ systems. Why not provide them with a co-branded fundraising portal that allows them to support their favourite cause? The company benefits from increased visibility on the causes employees care most about and the ‘halo’ effect gained from the ability to co-brand the portal.

3. The ‘new’ food drive

Traditional food drives have logistical complications (such as food must be purchased, carried, sorted and delivered to the local food bank). Modern technology allows corporations to deploy virtual food drives and help employees support their local food bank in a streamlined way. Virtual food drives reduce soft costs by minimising complex logistics and they also help companies expand the impact of the initiatives. This is accomplished by sending money directly to local or national organisations, which benefit from purchasing in bulk.

4. Encourage fitness and well-being with giving

Thanks to the increased awareness of the positive effects of fitness in the workplace, many companies have launched employee wellness programmes in recent years. Wearable technology helps individuals track progress and stay accountable towards their goals. So why not make wellness programmes more meaningful by adding a giving component to them?  By integrating fitness trackers with modern fundraising platforms it is possible for employees to tie their fitness efforts to the ability to fundraise for an organisation of their choice. Motivation increases through knowing that their efforts have a tangible impact in other people’s lives.

Launching an employee engagement initiative that increases giving doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Accessible giving technology combined with an increased desire from employees to make an impact can be your formula for success. All that’s necessary is to give your employees the tools they need to actively participate.

Share your experience

If you work for a charity or are a fundraiser, do you think these recommendations are workable, especially in the corporate sectors outside the USA? How does corporate philanthropy work in your market? Is there more charities and/or companies could do to build these sorts of partnerships? Please share your experiences in the comments section below or if you’d like to respond by contributing to the world-changers at work series, please e-mail

About the author: Maria Carolina Simon

Maria Carolina Simon is the Relationship Manager for Corporations & Foundations at Blackbaud Consumer Solutions and the co-founder of “CFW: Changing the Conversation”, an organization that works to empower women in business via networking and training.

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