Published On: May 21, 2020Categories: CSR Trends

Author: Andrew Troup

Highlights from the Industry Review Report

Right now as you read this blog post, whether it’s from your newly created athome office, or from your mobile device as you step outside to take in some fresh air while safely social distancing, I hope you are able to enjoy some of the beautiful Spring weather and take a moment to appreciate this extraordinary Season. A time full of growth, rebirth, reset, and hope.  

These past few months have been some of the most unexpectedly difficult as we have all found ourselves navigating a new world and reality due to COVID-19. Yet out of the challenges have also come tremendous opportunities, to slow down and connect with the ones that we love, to gain new perspectives, and to evaluate what is most important to us. In addition, we have seen the rise of new front-line heroes, rapid innovations, inspired creativity, and a renewed sense of humanity and focus on giving back.  

To that end, I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the key trends around social good and giving back that we have gleaned from our annual Industry Review. This year marks our eighth issue of the Industry Review which was created more than six years ago by the YourCause team and continues under the banner of Blackbaud as we evolve our social impact work together. The following are just a few of the key insights that are covered in the full report: 

  • Knowledge matters: getting your employees trained on your engagement and social good programs is an essential part of success 
  • Donation methods matter: from 2018 to 2019 there was an increase in average gift per donor when analyzing certain donation methods (more on this in a moment)  
  • Connection matters: Companies that launch Groups in CSRconnect see an increased rate of engagement compared to those that do not offer the feature 
  • Culture matters: global engagement in giving and volunteering is heavily influenced by a region’s economy, culture, and technological capabilities 

Digging into the first point, now more than ever, it is important to make sure your employees understand the various options available to them through your engagement programs. As employees continue to look for ways they can respond during these uncertain times, it is important that they understand the ways they can volunteer, (e.g. through virtual volunteerism or events that meet the current health and governmental guidelines) as well as ways they can give through your programs and potentially make their donation go even farther via a matching gifts program, if applicable.  

As highlighted in the Industry Review, data shows that incentives like company matches and dollars-for-doers do influence giving. In fact, from 2018 to 2019 there was an increase by at least 5% when the donation method was credit card, credit card match, offline match, and dollars-for-doers. These same four donation methods are also the most frequently offered by companies as part of their programs, with as much as 78% of Companies offering some level of Offline Match and 71% offering a Credit Card Match. It is also worth noting that in 2019, 33% of Companies evaluated in the report covered the credit card fees related to credit card donations made through the CSRconnect platform, increasing the total number of dollars going directly to nonprofits.  

The full Industry Review also highlights other key insights around giving and volunteering including: 

  • Increased levels of engagement in global new hires for programs that include incentives 
  • Differences in engagement for Companies that offer only giving or only volunteering programs vs. a combination of both  
  • Engagement levels unique to and broken down by industry and geography 

However, this year’s report also highlights that engagement is about more than just volunteering and giving. Companies that offer the Groups feature through CSRconnect as a way to connect likeminded individuals and provide them with a commonplace to share documents, send communications, and feature events saw an approximate 12:1 employee engagement rate ratio compared to Companies that did not offer this option.  

Finally, as mentioned above, another key set of factors in global engagement is regional economies, culture, and technological capabilities. More companies than ever before are striving to roll their engagement programs out globallywith over 50% of Companies in this year’s report evaluating the potential addition of global giving and/or volunteering elements to their program. Yet tradition and culture play a large role in how employees choose to engage across the global. For example, Asia is currently leading the charge in volunteer engagement while North America remains the leader in giving engagement globally 

At a time when the barrage of news about our current state can be overwhelming, it is nice to simultaneously see a tremendous number of positive, bright spots, and everyday heroes begin to appear. Whether it be our healthcare workers on the front lines, or those individuals in our local communities who have taken it upon themselves to shop for food and essentials for neighbors who are unable or even the collective engagement we have seen across the globe similar to each night here in NYC at 7:00 pm when we all throw open our windows to clap, cheer, and show our gratitude for all of our essential workers. Regardless of the form it takes, it is nice to know that we can still ground ourselves in our sense of humanity and our spirit of giving back.  

So, as you continue to navigate these uncertain times and perhaps get a bit overloaded by the 24-hour news cycle, I encourage you to take a moment to step back. Perhaps find a quiet space, take a few cleansing breathes, and dive into our latest Industry Review, which will remind you of the powerful role corporate social responsibility plays in our world today and that our collective employees across the globe are part of the heroes making a positive difference each and every day.  

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