How Workplace Giving Can Drive your School Fundraiser
If you’re planning a school fundraiser, you’ll likely do whatever you can to ensure it raises the most funding possible. But have you tapped into workplace giving? If the answer is “no,” you’re undoubtedly leaving a ton of potential revenue on the table.
In this brief guide, we’ll explore the basics of workplace giving, its impact on school fundraising, how to get started, and a few powerful tips to make the most of it.
Read on to learn more and begin raising more for your school:
- What is workplace giving?
- The relationship between school fundraising and workplace giving
- Top workplace giving strategies for school fundraising
Many institutions continue to miss out on potential corporate and individual donor support. Are you ready to dive in, learn more about workplace giving, and secure every dollar available to your school? Let’s get started!
What is workplace giving?
Workplace giving is a particular form of corporate social responsibility (or CSR) in which businesses partner with mission-driven nonprofit organizations by putting their philanthropy in the hands of their employees. For example, instead of a corporation deciding that they will give $X million dollars to a cause of their choosing, workplace giving enables individuals to directly impact the organizations that their companies decide to support.
As a result, workplace giving is what we like to call a win-win-win situation. The nonprofit receiving the funding (your school, in this scenario) collects more dollars to put towards its mission. The business making the donation is able to boost its CSR levels while improving employee engagement and reputation among consumers. And finally, the donors—who act as a sort of “middleman” in a typical workplace giving transaction—get to make a significant impact on a cause they care about without having to reach back into their own pockets to give.
The relationship between school fundraising and workplace giving
School fundraising and workplace giving go hand in hand. But how does this work, exactly?
With an effective strategy, workplace giving can be one of many funding sources for your school. While it shouldn’t be your sole form of revenue (or even your most significant), it functions as a significant booster to your existing fundraising efforts.
When workplace giving efforts soar, more school fundraising dollars end up in your pockets. And when your school fundraising is successful, you open up more opportunities for both employees and employers to get involved.
Top workplace giving strategies for school fundraising
Not all workplace giving looks the same—there are a ton of different ways for donors to support your school through their employers’ charitable efforts. Here are a few of the most common types:
Matching gifts are a favorable way to fundraise as they often lead to increases in personal contributions in addition to company matches. Since you’re already collecting donations through other school fundraising efforts, this workplace giving option is a surefire way to boost revenue and increase engagement.
The process typically works like this: An individual donates to a 501(c)(3) organization. They determine whether their donation is eligible for a company match and, if so, submit a request to their employer. The company then verifies the original donation made with the nonprofit or school and submits their matching gift. Voilà—two donations in one!
However, 78% of donors do not know whether their company offers a matching gift program or any program specifics. To prevent matching gift opportunities from slipping through the cracks, consider these tips:
- Spread the word about matching gifts. Make students’ families aware of matching gifts by including basic information in handouts, flyers, and open house presentations. Additionally, promote matching gifts online in your website content, social media posts, and email newsletter. This way, you’ll reach as many supporters as possible, regardless of their communication preferences.
- Invest in matching gift software. School fundraising has so many moving parts that it can be challenging to juggle everything effectively. By leveraging matching gift automation tools, you can free up time and energy to focus on other essential tasks. Double the Donation’s innovative auto-submission feature makes the process easier than ever by submitting matching gift requests on donors’ behalf. All they need to do is enter their corporate email address, and the software takes it from there.
- Recognize matching gift donors. People participate in your school’s fundraising efforts because they’re invested in your students’ success. Thank your matching gift donors by sending sincere follow-ups and sharing how their contributions made a difference. By publicly recognizing these supporters, you can also make more potential donors aware of matching gift opportunities and inspire them to get involved.
Whether your school is raising funds to cover extracurricular program expenses or new school equipment, matching gifts can be an impactful addition to your strategy.
Volunteer grants are ideal for schools since many already receive a ton of volunteer support from family members and friends. When you leverage volunteer grants, your school can secure additional funds for every hour a person volunteers.
Similar to matching gifts, volunteer grants allow businesses to financially contribute to organizations that their employees support. Instead of matching dollars donated, however, volunteer grants provide nonprofits with donations corresponding to volunteer hours completed by employees.
To engage more volunteers for your school, follow these best practices:
- Create clear, defined roles and responsibilities.
- Provide opportunities that appeal to a variety of skills and interests.
- Share the impact of volunteer efforts.
- Offer incentives, such as free snacks and drinks.
- Practice frequent volunteer appreciation.
After volunteering with your school, volunteers can submit a volunteer grant request. Many companies choose a particular monetary rate (i.e., a $20 grant for every hour volunteered) or a lump sum after a threshold has been met (such as a $1,000 grant once an individual volunteers 40 hours). Regardless, the employee simply verifies their volunteer hours with the company and requests a volunteer grant directed toward your institution.
Some companies choose to provide each employee with a dollar amount to spend each year to give towards a charitable cause—such as a school! For these types of giving programs, the individual supporter (likely a family member, friend, or alumni of your institution) doesn’t have to reach into their own wallets for this type of fundraiser at all because their donation is paid for with the stipend (essentially free money!). However, opening up this line of support can be a fantastic way to retain their support, and personal donations, in the future.
Payroll deductions function a bit differently than the typical workplace giving programs highlighted above—the most significant distinction being that the employee is the one supplying the funding. In this type of initiative, employees decide to have a certain amount deducted from each paycheck going forward, which will automatically be transferred to a (likely pre-vetted) nonprofit organization of their choosing. If supporters set up payroll deductions to your school, these essentially function as recurring donations without any hassle on the part of the donor.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, either! While workplace giving can vary in many ways, the bottom line is that each example incorporates both an employee and an employer giving component.
To find more of these powerful giving opportunities, reach out to businesses in your local community and see what they offer in terms of workplace and other corporate giving programs. Or, look into companies that employ your students’ and faculties’ family members, alumni, and other key supporters of your school.
Now that you understand the importance of workplace giving and the benefits it can bring to your school fundraiser, get started by seeking the best fundraising platforms and campaign ideas to make the most of this funding source. Begin building relationships with local businesses, leverage your donors’ employers, and more in your next school fundraiser. Good luck!
The right software can improve any fundraising effort. Explore this list of top school platforms (that help drive workplace giving) at https://www.schoolmoney.org/school-fundraising-platforms/.