By Rachel Adrian
One of our favourite resources for the latest research and statistics about corporate giving is the Committee for Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s (CECP) website. It is a wealth of information that while focused on the United States, holds great statistics that we can apply to Canada as well.Every year we await the release of their annual Giving in Numbers report. They recently released the full version of their 2015 report. This 10th Anniversary edition of the report is a great tool for year-over-year analysis of trends in the community investment sector. Check out this infographic from CECP that summarizes their key corporate giving statistics from 2014! In this blog, I will be outlining the three major community investment trends I drew from this years report.1. Declining donations for many companies.Total corporate donations are increasing. However, this is not true for all companies. Many companies have decreased donations, causing the median donation totals to decline. The report found that 56% of companies increased total giving, while 36% decreased. Often, the companies that have chosen to decrease monetary giving, are choosing to offer either pro bono support or in kind donations to their partners instead. Companies that were donating a lot before, continue to do so, but many companies have decreased their overall donations, in accordance with the other two trends I will highlight below.2. More Focus in DonationsThis is a trend that we have predicted for a long time. Many companies are choosing to make a few, really high impact donations rather than many with negligible impact. By concentrating money in a single focus area, companies can make a more powerful impact in their communities and have a better brand story to tell!Choosing a focus area that is relevant to both business and community stakeholders, engages everyone in the program and unites them with a common story. A strong focus area makes a community investment program much simpler and easier for employees, senior leadership and community members to rally around and get excited about.3. Employer Supported GivingEmployee engagement through community investment initiatives is highlighted as one of the most important trends throughout this report. Employee engagement soars when employees feel like the employer cares about their causes. In Canada, we have seen huge increases in employer supported giving programs that encourage everyone to participate and support the causes they feel passionate about. Employer supported giving allows employers to support each employee’s personal causes while also maintaining focus in the overall community investment program.Implementing both ‘Dollars for Donors’ and ‘Dollars for Doers’ programs as this makes employer supported giving accessible for everyone. Some people have money to give and others prefer to give their time, this combination of programs allows for flexibility to accommodate each employee’s needs.Double the Donation has some awesome stats and tips for companies looking to improve their employer supported giving programs.The rise in employer supported giving is a great trend and one we hope to see continue to grow in the future! After all, employees are the best brand ambassadors out there; why not give them the opportunity to tell everyone about how great your company really is!CECP’s annual Giving in Numbers reports are an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn about trends in the community investment sector. This years report highlights key trends in the community investment sector and the idea thatCSR is no longer about simple one-off investments, but rather strategic, focused and longer-term partnerships that create powerful impact in their communities. We have definitely seen many of our clients eager to make this transition, and look forward to seeing how they adapt to the trends highlighted in this year’s report!