America’s Charities ‘Snapshot 2014: A Rising Tide of Expectations’ Explores How Future Engagements Could Be Maximized
New Report Cites Alignments, Challenges for Charities and Corporations in Workplace Giving Partnerships
By on April 24, 2014
WASHNGTON, D.C. — April 24, 2014 — Charities face a rising tide of expectations from corporate and employee donors, while at the same time maintaining these corporate partnerships is a challenge. Also the digital era and democratization of information is driving the demand for more accountability, transparency and engagement that is proving difficult for some charities to respond to.
These are some of the key findings of the Snapshot 2014 report from America’s Charities of nearly 240 charitable organizations across the country responding to questions and that paralleled those posed to employers in America’s Charities’ Snapshot 2013. The report focuses on issues and trends at the intersection of corporate giving, employee engagement and nonprofit impact. This is the fourth report produced by America’s Charities in the last 14 years about the $4 billion dollars employees donate on the job each year to deserving nonprofits.
An Advisory Group with representatives from these leading organizations provided insights and guidance: BoardEffect, Catalogue for Philanthropy, Global Impact, GrantStation.com, GreatNonprofits, GuideStar, Independent Sector and Nonprofit Financial Specialists.
According to America’s Charities President and CEO, Steve Delfin, the findings suggest there are alignments as well as gaps between employer and employee expectations and charities’ ability to deliver based on those expectations, many of which are being driven by the proliferation of data and information about charities.
America’s Charities’ Snapshot 2014 report suggests there are areas where there is alignment of employer and charity expectations. Here are a few examples:
- Nonprofit survey respondents indicate there is a growing expectation held by companies and employees that they must demonstrate greater accountability, transparency, and impact with measureable results.
- Sixty-one percent of survey respondents believe their corporate partners and individual donors expect greater accountability around impact and measureable results.
- Sixty-eight percent of respondents say operating in a digital culture requires them to be more transparent with donors and stakeholders.
- Sixty-eight percent of charities that responded said operating in a digital culture requires them to be more transparent with donors and stakeholders.
- The digital culture and networked world are transforming the way both companies and charitable organizations operate. Both are using digital means including social media to engage and communicate with key constituencies.
- More than 90% of the nonprofit respondents said their use of technology has changed in the last three years allowing them to deliver information quicker and feature more data and better communicate with donors.
- Ninety percent are responding to these demands by expanding their communication strategies and placing more emphasis on story-telling focused on outcomes and results.
- Engagement is the new standard and workplace giving is changing to embrace the broader aspects of engagement and provide greater opportunities for employees to learn about, interact and engage with charities.
- Companies indicate employees are asking for more opportunities to engage with charities through volunteer service, and charities report they are seeing a significant increase in volunteer requests, especially from younger professionals.
- Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents believe that payroll contributions from corporate workplace giving campaigns add value to their organization. Payroll giving is an anchor to many employers’ employee engagement initiatives and results in higher contributions.
- Charities highly value receiving a corporate match of employee contributions a growing trend among corporations today.
The report also outlines where employers and charities seem to be disconnected on some key expectations of mutual importance. Some of those issues include:
- Half of all nonprofit respondents say they have a strong relationship with their corporate and institutional partners, yet nearly 90% of respondents face significant challenges in sustaining these relationships.
- Nearly 50% of respondents have seen an increase in requests to engage with corporate employees. However, many meet these requests but are challenged to do so.
“The democratization of information regarding charitable organizations resulting from the emergence, and now permanence, of organizations like GuideStar, GreatNonprofits, Charity Navigator and others, has created both problems and opportunities for charities,” Delfin said. “The problems arise around how to meet the new donor and stakeholder expectations that result from easy access to more and varied information about charities from a wide range of sources. The opportunities for charities are how to differentiate their organization as an effective and high performing charity by leveraging these new information outlets”.
Delfin noted the positive impact of the explosion of charity information has been a deeper discussion about charity effectiveness. “No longer is the primary metric of charity effectiveness the amount it spends on overhead. The discussion about ‘overhead’ as a proxy for a charity’s effectiveness and authenticity has only happened as a result of easy access to information and points of view”.
However, Delfin emphasized, this then puts new burdens on charities to demonstrate how they are meeting new expectations around the impact, sustainability and scalability of their programs and services particularly in a time of reduced government spending and increased competition for scarcer resources.
To obtain a copy of Snapshot 2014, visit www.charities.org/news/trends
About America’s Charities
America’s Charities (www.charities.org) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization and is at the forefront of the workplace giving and employee engagement transformation. The organization connects public and private sector employers with charities to engage employees in greater giving and provides a wide range of programs and services for both employers and charities.
Lynne D. Filderman
Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
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