The Evolution of Corporate Giving Trends

In 2020, Americans donated $471 billion, with a steady 4.93% yearly increase on average in donations since 2018. Empowered by greater access to financial technology capabilities and increased urgency in giving, the giving space has been able to stay resilient and continue to break donation records. These digital capabilities have become more innovative and adaptive in response to world-shifting paradigms. We forecasted four trends that would influence corporate giving in 2021, focusing on how charitable giving would become top-of-mind in workplace and consumer experiences, with more people donating frequently and on a recurring basis. In this blog, we’ll reflect on how these long-term trends continue to evolve and expand:
  • Plan to Give
  • Giving and Technology Embrace
  • What You See Is What You Give
  • Power Profits by Empowering the Employee
As more brands adopt long-term and regular charitable giving plans, Givinga’s Philantech® platform makes connecting digital users to global charities easier, more transparent, and a more proactive venture. We believe that purpose is profitable. With comprehensive tools that facilitate easy online giving experiences, we give workplaces, nonprofits, and foundations the capability to make an impact and easily create cost-effective giving programs. Contact us today to transform your workplace culture, build brand affinity, and cultivate everyday philanthropy. We’ll review your unique giving goals and explain how our Philantech® platform can help you achieve them.

Plan to Give


Proactive giving was forecasted to become the norm in 2021, with corporations establishing giving funds to better support causes through campaigns and stakeholder engagement.

That prediction stayed strong through 2021 and into 2022, during large-scale global issues tied to COVID-19, social justice, and climate change. Donors and companies sought to ease economic inequality and turbulence affecting marginalized communities. There was and continues to be considerable focus on improving corporate and individual social responsibility and committing to thoughtful long-term cause areas to help improve large-scale systemic issues and events.

Donors and workplaces have started to create strategic philanthropy plans by focusing on solving long-term systemic issues. A long-term cause area eliminates the stress of trying to choose a charity to support. Technology can help curate a shortlist using a robust database so that donors and workplaces can focus on taking a stand and directing funds to the causes they care about most. Many have used the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals as their cause areas:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. And more

A long-term charitable focus has helped reduce harm, such as helping those economically impacted by global warming, while making philanthropy easier and part of mission statement values. Therefore, more individuals can contribute to and collectively impact critical causes over time.

Giving and Technology Embrace


A major trend predicted for 2021 was philanthropy embracing technology as people stayed online longer. The usage of technology would enable more seamless giving and innovative ideas, allowing for more meaningful donations.

Workplace, consumer, and nonprofit organization giving have all certainly delivered on that front. Those that thought outside the box and embraced unique and personalized charitable experiences stood out and had more opportunities to hit campaign goals. Harnessing the power of social media, email marketing campaigns, and text messaging gave more opportunities for people to give—and at lightning speed.

Over the last year, tech-based experiences that excite the next generation have improved the giving process, including:

  • Virtual galas
  • Online or mobile auctions
  • Birthday crowdfunding
  • Gift-matching programs
  • Live-streaming concerts and gaming events with push notifications for giving
  • Recorded events that allow organizations to capture ticket sales after the event
Events by Softgiving
Givinga’s technology empowers Softgiving, a leading online fundraising platform, to mobilize viewers of live-streaming events to raise money for organizations they care about. With Givinga providing all the back-end charitable infrastructure, Softgiving can focus on honing the user experience in this exciting new arena for activism. Amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Softgiving has facilitated several livestreams that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Ukraine Crisis Funds. Beyond experiences, the giving space has started leaning more heavily on the following for building loyal donor relationships:
  • Subscription form and survey responses
  • Text messages for updates, polls, chats, and direct donations
  • Heavier social media presence
A way that technology has helped philanthropy in the past year is by making giving initiatives easier to set up and manage. More workplaces and brands have embraced using technology to better respond to disasters and proactively plan to give. For example, technology helps teams to:
  • Automate and vet charities
  • Handle documentation and taxes
  • Set up automated recurring payments
The last bullet point is especially important as the future of recurring donations is bright. It already accounts for 26% of online revenue for organizations with over $50 million in total donation volume.

What You See Is What You Get


Demands for transparency and accountability have continued to increase as workplaces want to know that they are donating to verified charities and the clear results of their campaigns. They’re willing to adopt technology to get full transparency and accountability of fees, costs, delivery of funds, and charities. Software programs take the guesswork out of finding trustworthy charities and provide workplaces with a vast and vetted network of millions of charities, from global to local ones. For example, Givinga’s Philantech® program is brand safe and transparent by vetting charities to ensure that they are IRS eligible as charitable organizations and managing compliance and reporting to the IRS for workplaces. All donation payment statuses are shared with donors to provide more transparency, clarity, and confidence in delivery.

With technology, companies can track campaign analytics, report project impact to stakeholders, and improve corporate giving ROI with greater insight and control of donations.

Power Profits by Empowering the Employee


Businesses continued to have a prominent role in charitable giving. Contributing to good corporate social citizenship has become increasingly important to retaining employees and attracting talent. Workplaces have raised approximately $5 billion a year through rolling out employee giving and volunteer programs, many doing so with matching campaigns. While we accurately predicted increased corporate social responsibility and giving, there is room for more ways to empower employees with innovative matching programs.

The traditional matching model is 75 years old. While organizations matching the amount their employees give to charity sounds excellent, these matching programs historically have low employee participation with 10% engagement. Unfortunately, corporate match funds end up with $7 billion unused every year.

Workplaces that have piloted prefunded giving programs by putting money into employee accounts experienced better results and engagement. Employees feel workplaces that provide prefunded accounts are more dedicated to supporting philanthropic initiatives and are more satisfied with this model. For instance, one organization that created prefunded accounts for employees had 62% of the funds donated in just three months.

Workplace giving programs are here to stay. Just like planning initiatives, embracing technology, and improving accountability, they will evolve to better empower their donors.

Modern Giving Is Here To Stay. Givinga Is Here To Help.

At Givinga, our mission is to unlock the full potential of charitable giving and help organizations improve long-term cause areas. Harnessing our Philantech® technology platform, we help companies, nonprofits, and brands create customized, innovative giving programs that make a significant difference in a cost-effective manner. Contact us today to speak with a Givinga expert or schedule a demo of our Philantech platform.

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