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Motivating Employees to Give Back Is Easier Than You Think

By Leo Ramirez Posted on January 10, 2017

Not getting the response you expected from your employee giving campaign?

Don’t just assume your employees aren’t motivated to give. Over $4 billion is raised every year from workplace giving. Employees, for the most part, are ready and willing to give. And while there are probably a few employees who need some motivation, most will give on their own if you have the right strategy.

So what does that look like? Here are a couple of tips.

Make it Easy

Even the best intention to make a donation can get forgotten in the hustle and bustle of daily life. A successful employee giving campaign is one that can be done easily, without hassle.

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in text giving campaigns, where people send a text from their phone to make a charitable donation, often $5 or $10. Why does this work?

Because it takes hardly any effort at all and the amount is small.

The easiest, most convenient way for employees to give back in the workplace is by making donations directly from their paycheck. In fact, this type of workplace giving is the most common piece of a successful employee giving campaign.

Other than the initial sign up, employees don't ever have to think about it. And they know their small $5 or $10 donations every paycheck will add up by the end of the year, so they know they are making an impact.

Let Them Choose


There’s often this in-house pressure to give to the company’s charity of choice. But everyone has their own special causes that are near and dear to their hearts. When you limit charitable giving choices, you're missing out on potential employee donations, like these:

Nearly 80% of companies saw higher employee participation levels when they increased their charitable giving options. And over 70% raised more money overall as a result.

Your employees may or may not have specific charities that they give to each year, but they are more likely to donate to causes that resonate with them personally.

When you use a tool like WorkHero, employee profiles can list what causes are meaningful to them, such as charities that benefit animals, children, specific medical concerns, and more. With this information, the tool can suggest causes and charities, often in your local community, that are doing work in these areas.

Okay, But What About Those Who Actually Do Need Motivation?


We never want to pressure anyone to give. After all, the last thing you want to do is to have an employee giving campaign decrease satisfaction with your company or partner charities. But when we show people the impact they can have, even with the smallest donations, they can feel inspired to participate.

For example:

Did a local animal shelter receive donations from your business? Show off pictures of facility improvements, successful adoption events, or a new park or playground.

Give people a clear picture of how their donations made a difference.

When people see—really see—what can be done with their gifts, they can feel an emotional connection to the cause. If an employee gives a big check to United Way or the Red Cross, they might get a thank you note – but they’ll never really know what their donation was able to accomplish. Partnering with smaller, local charities makes it easier to show this impact.

You can also motivate people by making charitable giving a key part of the company culture. When giving back to the community is a piece of your identity as a business, anyone who works there understands it’s part of the core values and is encouraged to participate.


Motivating your employees to give back is truly easier than you think. Largely because most of your employees don’t actually need motivation. They need employee giving to be easy and to allow them to choose which causes they support.

For those outliers who really do need a bit of motivation, show the difference being made by other employees and create a company culture that fosters charitable giving. If you’re not sure how to implement these suggestions, why not contact us at Encast? We’d be happy to talk to you about how WorkHero can support and bolster employee giving at your company.


Workplace Culture, CSR

Author: Leo Ramirez

Leo is the co-founder and CEO of Encast, an organization dedicated to improving the way CSR professions create, manage, and measure CSR programs. Leo is passionate about the role that culture plays in business success. Leo has launched and managed social ventures, lead multi-disciplinary teams, and built solid relationships with civic and corporate leaders. His 25-year career has spanned executive management, business development, consulting, nonprofit management, technical support and engineering positions with Southwest Key Programs, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Coremetrics, Trilogy and Apple.

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