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Corporate philanthropy: A strategy for employee retention

May 12, 2021
Businesspeople shaking hands in the office after discussing corporate philanthropy as a strategy for employee retention.

Corporate philanthropy is continuing to grow as an effective component of many employers’ engagement strategies, which is likely why 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs. What some companies don’t know is that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can lay the foundation for something critical to corporations: employee retention.

Corporate philanthropy is a documented, effective, and unique employee retention strategy that appeals to countless components of job satisfaction. It serves those in need and helps employers fulfill their responsibility to give back to society. Here are a few reasons why corporate philanthropy is the ultimate employee retention strategy.

Increased engagement

Employees with giving and volunteer opportunities are more engaged. In fact, research shows that 96% of companies who measure their corporate philanthropy efforts found a positive correlation between volunteer participation and employee engagement in 2021. Furthermore, according to Double the Donation, about 63 million Americans volunteer each year and the average corporate volunteer participation rate is 33%.

This information indicates that a great number of today’s professionals are taking it upon themselves to use philanthropy to enhance their work experience. By offering a volunteer program or matching gift program, employees will feel more fulfilled and will be more likely to stay with your corporation.

Skill building through social good

Employers offering a variety of employee volunteer programs are already reaping the benefits of this corporate philanthropy trend. For instance, 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grant programs, and the participation rate at top-quartile corporate volunteer programs is 66%. 

What’s so attractive about these programs, as well as company-wide days of service, is the opportunity for employees to make use of and build on their existing skill set. It also gives managers the chance to scout employees for leadership roles or other talents. This makes offering employee volunteer programs an effective employee development strategy.

Enhanced reputation

Many industries have become more and more competitive for businesses and corporations. Now more than ever, offering some form of corporate social responsibility program is a way for companies to set themselves apart from their competitors and to show consumers that they care about the greater community. Companies that offer volunteering or matching gift programs will have an enhanced reputation, encouraging consumers to patronize their business over their competitors’. 

Similar to customers deciding what business to purchase from, employees also look for companies that offer corporate philanthropy programs when deciding where to work. Having these programs will give your company an enhanced reputation among potential new hires and will lead to a higher employee retention rate.

Offers intrinsic motivators

When an individual searches for a job, they’re not just looking for monetary compensation or benefits—they’re also looking for a purpose. Many job seekers want a job that makes an impact and allows them to feel fulfilled. Employers may not be able to satisfy every employee's needs, but by offering corporate social responsibility programs, they can tap into the deeper desire employees have for finding purpose. This strategy is sustainable and resourceful for businesses and results in a higher employee retention rate.

Encourages collaboration

When people volunteer with nonprofit organizations, they are generally working as part of a team to further the nonprofit’s purpose. This builds teamwork skills that they will take back to your company, resulting in employees that are more comfortable collaborating with one another.

Often, employees don’t just want to give back. They want to impact the world alongside their colleagues, peers, and management teams. Offering corporate philanthropy initiatives like volunteer programs for your employees will allow them to work more closely together and bond with one another. It will foster a greater sense of teamwork and collaboration, resulting in happier employees, stronger teams, and a higher retention rate.

Corporate giving programs

The benefits of corporate philanthropy are endless, but when it comes to successful employee retention strategies, few are as comprehensive, resourceful, and finely attuned to today’s workforce trends as corporate giving programs. If you’re ready to learn more about corporate philanthropy, consider checking out Bonterra Corporate Social Responsibility (formerly CyberGrants).

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    Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Volunteerism
  • Corporations
  • Corporate social responsibility