These new approaches to giving are reshaping corporate philanthropy.
GIVING BACK is a staple for most direct selling cultures, but technology and societal changes are reshaping what philanthropy efforts look like for companies wanting to make a positive impact. According to communications consulting company Porter Novelli, more than 70 percent of employees demand social responsibility from companies, and more than 93 percent believe that organizations must lead with purpose. Here are five popular philanthropy ideas direct selling companies can implement for both their corporate teams and distributor field.
1/ Matching Donations
Matching donations, especially during special promotions or mini-campaigns, can greatly encourage engagement. According to a corporate giving report by Double the Donation, 84 percent of employees are more likely to donate if a match is offered. One third of employees say they are likely to give more if their donations are matched by the employer. It also found that of the companies who incorporate donation matching, 94 percent do so at a 1:1 ratio. Matching illustrates a commitment to social improvement and helps increase morale and employee retention.
2/ Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Allow employees or distributors to create their own philanthropy or fundraising campaigns for causes they care about. These can change over time and allow people to mobilize based on evolving needs and opportunities. “They’ll become more passionate about the campaign and encourage individuals outside of the workplace to get involved. At the same time, they’ll feel like they are part of something bigger,” says Goodworld. A peer-to-peer approach is synergistic with the direct selling model and can help companies expand their reach and engage larger communities.
3/ Up for Auction
Auctions can be a great way to get more people involved in philanthropy campaigns, especially for people who aren’t moved by simply giving money. Auctions can be much more engaging and are a great way to grow your brand. In-person or online auctions can include product packages, vacation experiences, concert or sports tickets or any items that match your company culture. Host a sneak peek of the best items in the auction and be sure to communicate what the proceeds will be used for.
GiveCards, offered by Goodworld, are a democratized approach and work like gift cards with a pre-set budget. Recipients can redeem the cards by donating the pre-loaded monetary value to a charity or non-profit. These cards can be awarded to corporate employees or field distributors on anniversaries, when they reach a promotion or milestone or when they accomplish monthly goals. Goodworld says these GiveCards produce engagement rates that are three times higher than normal company giving campaigns.
5/ Customer Loyalty Programs
Involve customers in your philanthropy efforts. Customer loyalty programs are becoming more popular among direct selling companies helping to increase customer engagement. Social impact loyalty programs take that to another level by incorporating social causes. Customers can round up the amount of their purchase or cash in their rewards points to donate to a cause. According to Goodworld, 57 percent of customers say they are willing to donate to a social cause when prompted by a brand. More than 87 percent of consumers support companies that advocate for issues they care about.
Where Giving is Going
FIVE philanthropy trends to watch.
1 / Strong Demand for Campaigns
Organizations that postponed campaigns in 2020 and 2021 are ramping them back up. New facilities, new programs and larger donations will be encouraged.
2 / Shorter Strategic Plans
Partly due to the COVID pandemic, organizations are adopting strategic plans with shorter timelines. Shorter timelines mean more opportunities for engagement through urgency.
3 / Corporate Engagement
Younger Americans are more cause-focused and are more likely to do business with companies that align with their values.
4 / Fundraising Ratios
Giving USA suggests an expense ratio of 85 percent and fundraising costs that equate to between 5 to 10 cents of every dollar raised.
5 / More Options to Participate
While most direct selling company philanthropy efforts focus on participation and events, smaller events spread throughout the year allow more people to be involved.
Source: Giving USA
From the January/February 2023 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.