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Corporate philanthropy technology trends to follow in 2024

Emma Clary
Content marketing manager
February 29, 2024
A group of employees gathered in a conference room to discuss a recent report.

The philanthropic landscape is ever-changing, and staying up to date with shifting dynamics and emerging trends can be challenging for social good leaders who are often strapped for time. Although it takes a lot of leg work to keep your finger on the pulse, doing so can have bottom-line benefits for your business. By understanding the current trends, you will find innovative ways to motivate employee participation which can result in increased performance and a reduction in turnover. Similarly, shifting your grantmaking strategy to meet evolving nonprofit needs and employee and consumer expectations can result in a positive brand reputation which leads to a loyal, recurring consumer base. 

While staying up to date on the latest corporate philanthropy trends has clear benefits, finding the right ones for your business can be more difficult than it should be. At Bonterra, we’re here to lead the way. With over 20 years of experience partnering with Fortune 500 companies, our team of experts is well-versed in the latest industry innovations. In this blog, we’ve tapped into their expertise to outline the top five trends in corporate philanthropy and how corporate social responsibility (CSR) software can help you adopt them today.  

Offer additional donation methods 

When it comes to workplace giving, meeting employees where they are is critical for motivating participation. If your employees don’t see a donation option that works for them, they won’t be inclined to get involved. Although payroll deductions are tried and true and credit card giving has recently gained traction, digital wallets are the latest and greatest.  

In 2023, over half (53%) of Americans favored digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay over traditional payment methods, which are gaining popularity for donations as well. This data shows that speed and ease of giving are influential factors as to whether someone will donate. If you’re struggling to drive employee participation in giving programs, consider expanding your donation options to encompass saved cards in their browser and phone.  

By embracing digital wallets as a donation method, you’ll drive engagement by lowering the barrier to participation. And when employees get involved with your giving programs, they’ll feel a stronger connection to your company's purpose, which results in increased retention.  

Pro tip: Reduce giving friction with Bonterra Strategic Philanthropy 
For our corporate customers, we want to limit the number of clicks it takes for their employees to donate or volunteer their time to support meaningful causes. That’s why we incorporated easy-to-use digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay into the giving process on our Strategic Philanthropy platform to reduce friction, provide more flexibility, and fuel growth. 

Make it easier to request an employer match  

While matching gift programs aren’t a new phenomenon, innovations in CSR technology have made requesting a matching gift easier than ever for your employees. And when it comes to matching gifts, ease of use is a critical factor for motivating donors to request a match from their employer. 

According to Double the Donation, an estimated $2-3 billion is donated through matching gift programs annually, and 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered. While it’s clear that matching gift programs can help boost employee participation and maximize support for nonprofits, many donors fail to take advantage of this benefit.  

It’s estimated that $4-7 billion in available matches is left on the table each year. In many cases, this occurs because donors aren’t aware of their donation’s match eligibility, or they fail to provide the right documentation. To increase the likelihood that your employees will take advantage of these programs, use an integration that captures employees’ interest in matching their donations directly on nonprofits’ online donation forms.   

The result? Employees can more easily identify when their company is offering a match, making it easier than ever for them to submit a request and double their impact.  

Pro tip: Make matching seamless with Bonterra’s Employer Matching Integration  
At Bonterra, our Employer Matching Integration helps employees verify whether their donation is eligible for a company match. By making it easier to verify eligibility and submit a request, you’ll increase employee participation and maximize support for nonprofits raising funds for their missions. 

Expand impact reporting for deeper insights 

Historically, reporting impact meant tracking dollars contributed, hours logged, or goods donated. Today, leading corporations and foundations don’t just want to know how much was donated; they want to pinpoint exactly how those funds made a difference. Similarly, it's not just about how many dollars your employees donated, or the number of hours logged; it's about the types of causes they supported, and the way different cohorts participated. 

Companies are increasingly using impact reporting technology to dig deeper into the data. By understanding your employees’ behaviors and where their efforts are making the biggest impact, you can better tailor future programs. In doing so, you’ll be able to motivate participation and maximize giving.   

See it in action: CVS Health 
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, CVS Health quickly spun up a colleague giving campaign to provide critical relief to those affected by the crisis. With help from Bonterra Insights, the company was able to get a closer look into campaign specifics and better understand colleague participation.  

After launching the campaign, CVS Health saw an influx of new donors participating in the relief effort with nearly 40% (39.5%) of colleagues doing so for the first time. This showed the team that timely campaigns can help engage first-time donors. These findings will be key when planning new giving campaigns that are built to expand their pool of participating colleagues.  

Add eligibility guardrails for streamlined grantmaking 

For grantmakers, the application review and approval process can be lengthy, tedious, and time-consuming. With the help of grants management software, you can free up time for your grants administrators by adding pre-screening steps like eligibility quizzes to disqualify nonprofits who don’t meet your requirements. As a result, your teams won’t spend valuable time reviewing ineligible applicants and you can save time for nonprofits who are already working with limited time, money, and resources.  

Similarly, when you partner with a grants management software vendor, your teams can put nonprofit vetting into their hands. Through automated grantee watchlist and tax-status database scans, alerting you when potential issues are detected, you’ll reduce your team’s administrative burden and ensure compliance.  

Pro tip: Confidently disburse funds with Bonterra’s FrontDoor solution 
Bonterra’s FrontDoor solution vets nonprofits by working with the IRS Business Master File and other global databases to ensure that grant applicants meet the charitable standards of our corporate customers. This allows grantmakers to verify nonprofit eligibility upfront so you can confidently deliver funds while meeting compliance requirements. 

Embrace employee-driven grantmaking 

Over the past few years, corporations have increasingly leaned on their employees to inform giving and volunteering programs. More and more, employee feedback is considered when building a CSR strategy and planning upcoming initiatives. Similarly, companies are giving their workforce more freedom and flexibility with how they participate, and which causes they support — their passions and interests are now a priority.   

In contrast, the grant-decision making process has been confined to a set group of causes or nonprofits that are defined by leadership teams or the foundation’s board. Today, the tides are changing, and more companies are embracing employee-driven grantmaking.   

In 2024, consider pivoting to employee-driven grantmaking. Use CSR technology to find a complete list of eligible, vetted nonprofits and let your employees vote on the ones they want to support through grants. If you want to split the grant dollars amongst multiple nonprofits, give your employees the budget and let them choose the amount of funds that each cause will receive. 

Make 2024 a year to remember 

Start the year off right by defining your CSR strategy, innovating your employee giving and grantmaking programs with help from technology, and learning more about how Bonterra Strategic Philanthropy can help you efficiently manage your programs.  

Whether you plan to implement additional donation methods or embrace employee-driven grantmaking, CSR technology can open new doors for impact in 2024 and beyond.  

Ready to embrace innovation and transformative technology this year? See how Bonterra can help and request a demo today!  

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Written by

Emma Clary
Content marketing manager
    Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Corporations
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Employee giving
  • Employee volunteering
  • Grant management & grant making