04 Oct. 2017 | Comments (0)

It’s in the interests of companies to encourage and support their employees who volunteer and make financial contributions to nonprofits. Employees who volunteer and contribute help their companies to advance important commitments to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), from addressing hunger, poverty, gender equality, education, healthcare, and social injustice, to climate change, and sustainable cities and communities. Volunteers also develop leadership skills that make them more valuable employees.

The majority of multinational corporations do have matching gift programs for employees who make financial contributions. Far fewer companies offer “Dollars for Doers” programs, whereby companies make contributions to the nonprofits at which their employees volunteer. Furthermore, many companies restrict matched cash or “Dollars for Doers” contributions to a group of predetermined strategic partners or cause areas, rather than allowing employees to select the organizations they want to support.

Companies have learned that they can have the greatest impact in advancing causes that align with the business. This is a highly effective strategy for companies to leverage their resources strategically. Yet it’s also important for companies to keep in mind their very compelling interests in human capital, diversity and inclusion, and the vitality of the localities where the business has a presence.

There are three goals for companies to keep in mind when considering the scope of their Dollars for Doers programs.

  1. Attracting, retaining, and developing human capital Employees appreciate their employers who encourage and support their volunteer activities with contributions.
  2. Addressing issues that are relevant to employees who come from diverse backgrounds Employees who volunteer are voting with their feet. Companies will benefit by recognizing and supporting causes that are personally meaningful to their employees.
  3. Building vibrant and sustainable communities where their employees and customers live and work Companies that are too narrowly focused, particularly in regions outside of the company’s footprint (new markets for example), are missing out on opportunities for economic development and health and well-being right at home.

 By expanding their matching gifts programs to be more inclusive, companies can create positive work environments that encourage and support employee engagement in meaningful issues.

  • About the Author: Alice Korngold

    Alice Korngold

    Alice Korngold advises companies and NGOs on strategy, board governance, sustainability, ESG, and diversity and inclusion. She is the author of  A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solv…

    Full Bio | More from Alice Korngold


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