Smart Corporate Giving

Dustin O'Neal, PE

Dustin O'Neal, PE

In 2013, corporate giving in the US topped $16 BILLION. That’s over $100 given per worker in the US. Imagine if that money was put to use in a way that not only benefited those receiving that money, but also in a way that would engage employees.

Why put the two together? Well, if that charitable giving can be applied in creative ways, it can have numerous benefits for the recipients, the givers, the employees, and the communities in which those employees live!

Stick with me. If a corporate executive strokes a check for $1,500 to the 501(c)(3) of their choice, that individual can walk away with a tax deduction and a warm, fuzzy heart. Additionally, that money can be used by the recipient to do a world of good. Is there anything wrong with that approach? Of course not, someone in need was helped by that contribution.

But imagine if that executive used their position to engage corporate leadership and employees to participate in the giving? What if they challenged the employees to raise money for that charity, and offered to match all donations up to $1,500? What if she invited the employees to help deliver the contribution to the charity in person, or to engage further with that charity?

Did that engagement cost the corporation any more money? No. It did take a bit of effort on the part of the individual, and perhaps on staff members to coordinate the efforts, but what additional benefits came from that small bit of effort? Let’s think about it.

First, that $1,500 could have very easily turned into as much as $3,000 or more by having employees participate. Would they have contributed if not engaged in that way? Maybe, but probably not. Second, the employees experienced significant team bonding while working and giving alongside their coworkers. Third, the transparency of the management team likely instilled some level of fondness from the employees that would not have been gained otherwise. And last but not least, I’d bet some of those employees that contributed would be more likely to participate in other charitable activities in their own communities after realizing the benefits of selfless giving.

We’ve seen the benefits of this type of giving at Costello for years – not only by management, but also by our wonderful family of employees! How about you? Tell us what you think. How have you seen corporate giving magnified to reach farther than the dollars spent? Please leave us a comment below so that we can all learn from your experiences!

Dustin O'Neal, PE

Topics: General Interest

Written by Dustin O'Neal, PE