There are currently 156, 276 Australians who donate through workplace giving programs, a number that the Australian Charities Fund (ACF) would like to become – as the name of their national campaign suggests – One Million Donors by 2020.
A big impact
Jenny Geddes, CEO of the ACF, concedes that while one million is an ambitious goal, she hopes it’s one that can be achieved by 2020. The impact? It would produce – based on ATO data from 2014 and companies matching employee donations – an astounding $250m a year for charities.
“It would change the way that charities would have to fundraise,” says Geddes. “One of the most meaningful things about workplace giving is that it is primarily money that goes directly from employers to charities. Aside from small amounts taken out for transactional processes, the majority of that money makes it directly through to the charity.
"Charities talk about workplace giving as being the most efficient form of fundraising they can do. And the other big benefit of workplace giving contributions is that it’s often untied money – it’s not earmarked for particular campaigns – and the charity can really determine where it needs to go most. These are great benefits for charities.”
However it’s not just charities that benefit, with research by the ACF revealing that employees who are workplace givers are more engaged. Subsequently, employee engagement was also found to have a positive effect on both customer loyalty and revenue growth. “We are also seeing that there are great benefits on the employee side. When you think about staff morale, retention, motivation and purpose – they are all factors that are important for business leaders to consider.”
Geddes notes the importance of “a meaningful relationship” between a business and the charities they support for workplace giving to be successful. When the two organisations are “very closely aligned”, the relationship often grows from workplace giving into the business also supporting them in other above the line campaigns. Employees also often continue their relationship with charities, even after they have left the workplace where they first connected with the charity.
Easy does it
The ACF is committed to making workplace giving easy and effective. They offer a range of resources, such as their employer toolkit, to help businesses implement or upgrade their workplace giving.
In June this year, they also introduced the use of innovative online reporting tools (including Benojo, who is an ACF industry partner) to help employers to capture the successes of their giving programs, alongside a leaderboard, where businesses can track and benchmark how their workplace giving compares to similar organisations.
“One of the things that businesses have always said [to the ACF] is ‘we need to understand how we are tracking against other organisations’,” says Geddes on the leaderboard and cites SEEK as an example of its benefits. “When SEEK came into the network they felt they had quite a healthy workplace giving program – they had seven per cent of staff participating. After three months of coming in and saying, ‘Oh wow, we have got to match these other organisations’, they have taken their workplace giving participation up to 54 per cent.”
“It’s been great so far,” says Geddes on One Million Donor’s success, which is reflected in a growing list of businesses, such as JB Hi-Fi, Commonwealth Bank, SEEK, Foxtel, PwC, The Hoyts Group and Flight Centre, signing on. “But we do have a long way to go. The message that we are trying to get out to business leaders is that the site is available, it’s free, you can log your participation and you can get a personalised report."
"All it requires that you just spend five to 10 minutes going in and logging your details. Equally as important, if you don’t have a workplace program, this is a great place to actually start to understand what workplace giving is all about. So two-fold, if you’ve got a program: go in, log it and start getting competitive about it; and if you haven’t got a program, this is a great place to learn more about it.”
Benojo enables charities, companies and individuals to connect with each other. Contact us to learn more.