3 Companies on Corporate Giving's Cutting Edge
Matching gifts, foundation grants, volunteer programs—there are plenty of ways for corporations to give. But a handful of companies are pushing the bounds of corporate giving, experimenting with new initiatives and pushing philanthropy as an organizational philosophy. Here, Adam Weinger, president of Double the Donation, discussed a few of these organizations and how they’re shaking up their corporate giving efforts.
"We love to see companies who engage their employees regularly with their corporate philanthropy initiatives. For example, Microsoft has a whole range of employee-giving programs—everything from matching donations made by employees up to $15,000 annually to providing grants of $25 per volunteer hour to nonprofits where employees volunteer. But one unique component of Microsoft’s corporate philanthropy program is that the company provides each new employee with a $50 grant, which the employee can give to a nonprofit of his or her choice. This not only creates a culture of philanthropy, but also gets employees thinking about the systems and wide range of programs offered by Microsoft."
"Have you heard of companies that award pens or pins when employees reach an anniversary with the company? Well, RealNetworks has taken a different approach. In addition to offering year-round matching gift and volunteer grant programs, RealNetworks enables employees to allocate a $500 grant to a nonprofit of their choosing at their five-year anniversaries."
"CarMax offers a variety of employee-giving programs, often with a unique twist. For example, the company matches donations up to $10,000 annually per employee and provides volunteer grants of $10 per employee per hour. But CarMax takes it one step further by doing the same for family members. That means employees’ spouses or children under the age of 26 are also eligible to have their donations matched. Another unique program is the company’s Volunteer Team-Builder Program. In it, the company provides grants of $1,000 when five or more associates participate in a run or walk benefiting an eligible nonprofit, or $1,000 when 25 or more associates volunteer at an organization. Through programs like these, the company not only supports the organizations that are important to employees, but also fosters a strong community and culture of philanthropy."