What You Need to Know about Employee Giving Fees and Selecting the Right Workplace Giving Technology and Service Provider
By Jim Starr on February 9, 2021
In my 25+ year career, I’ve had the opportunity to help individuals and organizations connected to the causes they care about. As President and CEO of America’s Charities, I also have the vantage point of seeing how employee giving and volunteering has rapidly transformed over the past few years. America’s Charities is a nonprofit that provides employers nationwide with employee giving technology and services to support employee engagement and workplace fundraising efforts.
Along the way, I’ve experienced firsthand the maze of choices employers face when they search for a partner to help them manage their employee giving programs, along with the confusion over the true cost of technology and services for those programs.
The number of vendors offering software and services to support workplace giving programs has exploded in recent years, the result of a growing interest among employees to give back as well as improvements in technology.
This trend offers companies more choices than ever before. But with choice comes confusion. Nearly every one of these vendors offers a different suite of services — and a different fee structure.
Some charge a flat fee up front. Others charge employers a percentage of the amount donated to charities. Still others pass along the cost to the charities that receive the funding. And many serve up a combination of these and other fees.
Whether you’re a large corporation or a small company, a few simple questions can help you understand the technology, services, and fees associated with them. Then you can make informed choices about the value of your purchase and get the most bang for your company’s buck.
Here are six common pitfalls that cause companies to rethink their purchasing decisions:
- Redundant Vendors: Some employers pay extra for separate service providers to get all the functionality they need, when an all-in-one solution would be less expensive, simpler for employees, and easier to measure overall impact. For example, you may not need a separate tool for volunteering, employee donations, and matching gift management when one tool can support them all.
- Hidden or “No” Fees: Some employers do not evaluate the full cost of a workplace giving solution or are told there are no fees (for the first year), only to learn later that they are on the hook for more fees than what they originally expected.
- Diminished Value: Some employers base their decisions on their bottom line — and unknowingly pass along the cost of services to their employees or the charities they support. This can lead to resentment among their employees or diminish the value of their donations.
- Improper Infrastructure: Some employers attempt to save money by managing some services in-house — only to learn that the investment in staff time and software is significantly more than what they would pay if they outsourced.
- Unnecessary Services: Some employers pay for services that they don’t need or don’t use, so they aren’t able to effectively reap the full value of their investment. For example, there are service providers that will charge extra for each market in which a campaign is run, though that’s not clear in the contract, while others have one fee to support a national market.
- Underinvestment: Some employers underestimate their needs, only to learn that their investment doesn’t go far enough. As a result, they discover that they need to spend more than they’ve budgeted for.
The Dollars are in the Details
Ultimately, your program’s success depends on the technology, services, and partner you pick. The challenge is knowing what questions to ask, which pitfalls to avoid, and doing the necessary research to identify which technology, services, and partner are the best fit for you.
To make this part of your job easier, use our guide, Fees in Workplace Giving: Selecting the Right Technology and Service Provider.
Want to make your job even easier? Contact my team to learn from our experiences, and let us share a quick demo of America’s Charities’ employee giving technologies and services with you so we can help your team make the best decision to accomplish your team’s goals. Email us at email@example.com to get started.