2018 has been a hallmark year for corporate giving. New records were set in ROI, donor advised funds (DAFs) and other areas as corporations addressed the rising importance of philanthropy in engaging employees, attracting talent, and building brands. Perhaps most importantly, technology has sped up the dissemination and adoption of emerging types of giving such as crowdfunding.
As the importance of corporate giving continues to increase and drive advancements in philantech, we’ll continue to see the impact and adoption of corporate giving increase into 2019 and beyond.
Many of the changes we’re expecting in 2019 will greatly impact corporations and their philanthropic initiatives. Here are five corporate giving trends to watch in 2019 and how they’ll affect your business, employees, and consumers.
1. We’ll See an Increase in Crowdfunded CSR Campaigns
Crowdfunding has been gaining traction for years. The space now has enough money to give VC funds a run for their money.¹ What’s more, crowdfunding is now crossing over as the fastest-growing form of giving on the Internet. Facebook’s “Donate Your Birthday” has raised over $300 million² and a whopping 62 percent of donors who give to crowdfunding campaigns are new to crowdfunding.³
Next year, more businesses to join the fray with crowdfunding campaigns. These will mostly come in the form of cash drives that invite employees to contribute or run the entire campaign to amplify impact with friends, family, and colleagues. For instance, many companies match donations to a charity of an employees’ choice to celebrate their birthday or will fully or partially match employee crowdfunding campaign contributions.
Next year, we will see an increase in such engagement-boosting efforts as well as additional investment in philantech that makes it easy for employees to hold crowdfunding campaigns to increase donations and amplify impact. Employees will demand more of this type of involvement and corporate responsibility from their companies, making it crucial to employee satisfaction that businesses support this corporate giving trend.
2. More Companies Will Track Giving ROI
In the past, corporate philanthropy was often viewed as a necessary cost center that returned few measurable results. That’s changing as society moves toward a more socially and environmentally responsible model.
Today, 78 percent of employees want to be active in CSR and 81 percent of consumers will make personal sacrifices to buy from responsible companies.⁴ These employees and consumers are actively supporting socially and environmentally responsible companies by choosing to work for and purchase from those organizations. That’s led to measurable corporate responsibility results in talent acquisition and retention, as well as sales and branding ROI.
Now, up to 87 percent of companies are measuring the results of their campaigns – a record figure.⁵ Next year, we expect this trend to continue. As software makes it easier than ever to track campaign analytics and project impact to stakeholders, companies will continue to measure and improve giving ROI.
3. Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) Will Become More Popular
The past year has been one of the biggest in the history of DAFs. They now number 450,000, with total assets measure over $110 billion. DAF grants stand at nearly $20 billion per year. All of these figures are records for the DAF space.⁶
A major reason for this growth is that DAFs offer immediate tax deductions and reduced administration requirements compared to more traditional corporate giving tools, such as private foundations.
As a result, 2019 will see corporations expand their strategies to leverage DAFs, both for large corporate donations and smaller employee contributions. Some workplace giving software is even built on DAFs that allow employees to open their own accounts and choose their own charities to benefit – regardless of whether the company supports the same cause. We’ll likely see these philantech options become more widely adopted as DAFs increase in prevalence and popularity.
4. Recurring Monthly Gifts will Increase
2018 saw monthly giving revenues increase by an incredible 40 percent.⁷ That indicates a substantial increase in recurring monthly gifts from corporations and individuals.
In 2019, we’ll see recurring monthly gifts continue to increase as companies take advantage of automation tools in their corporate philanthropy platform. Top platforms will include tools that let employees automatically donate directly from their paycheck every month to receive tax benefits.
For large corporations who have employee engagement goals, monthly giving can be a major contributor to staff participation. You can jump on board with this corporate giving trend by empowering employees to set up their own automated, monthly contributions. Employee matching gift programs can further incentivize employees to participate.
5. Automation Will Become a Key Corporate Giving Enabler
In the past, corporate giving initiatives were both resource and time intensive. HR spent large amounts of time and energy researching charities, approving employee matching gift requests, and dealing with tax and documentation needs. Those time and resource requirements significantly limited the scope and impact of corporate giving as well as its efficacy in improving employee engagement and brand awareness.
That’s quickly changing. Corporate giving software now comes with automation tools that make recurring giving, engaging employees, creating crowdfunding campaigns, and tracking impact faster and easier. Automation tools enable recurring giving and workflows that decrease administration needs, while tracking and reporting makes measuring impact simple.
Next year, more companies will further reduce the burden on internal staff by investing in corporate giving tools with built-in automation. The most effective options will likely be customized to each company and their current efforts, creating tailored workflows and reporting that let companies amplify their impact with less time and fewer starting resources.
Technology and Society Will Drive 2019’s Corporate Giving Trends
New technology, consumer preferences, and employee demands are major driving forces behind the corporate giving trends we’ll see in 2019. They’ve been in play for years, and are starting to accelerate their impact on businesses.
Corporate responsibility is evolving quickly, and with its importance for employees and consumers, the onus is on businesses to be proactive. Finding ways to work new trends into your corporate giving strategy will ensure that your campaigns continue to be effective at engaging employees, attracting talent, and building brand equity into the future.