Experts Weigh in on the Future of Business Giving

By Joe Waters, Selfish Giving


Business giving is changing and nothing reflects this more than how they interact with charity. So how exactly is it changing and how can you ensure you're prepared for the road ahead? To answer that question, Joe Waters from Selfish Giving asked 26 experts to share their insights into this rapidly changing landscape. Here's what they had to say:"We're focusing a lot of time and attention on the power of digital engagement and fundraising and see it as a major growth opportunity in the years ahead. Meeting donors where they are is essential for charities that want to capitalize on new avenues of fundraising. As one example, I think it’s important to look to the sharing economy - lots of mobile transactions going on here with a social good deficit and much growth potential ahead."

- Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director, Call of Duty Endowment


"The next iteration of cause marketing is integrating new technologies like virtual reality, gaming and streaming media to bring the cause to life and put consumers in the shoes of those they are helping. It will be critical that corporate partners and nonprofits find them and engage them in creative ways on multiple platforms with compelling content and a clear call-to action."  

- Amy Shapiro, Director, Corporate & Cause Marketing Partnerships, Boys & Girls Clubs of America


"All signs point to online corporate giving and digital partnerships as ways to activate customers.  Among our retail partners, we’re starting to see more inquiries about online giving. has responded by creating a next generation online POS integration that keys off of a customer’s zip code and displays the customer’s impact at a hyperlocal level."

- Janelle Lin, Senior Vice President, Partnerships & Business Development


"In a world of ever increasing transparency, people seek out and embrace the authentic. Consumers increasingly distrust marketing. They also distrust the executives at big companies. But they continue to trust the employees of those companies to tell them if the brand promise is authentic, or simply marketing hype. Employee volunteering and giving programs are the gold standard for authenticity. Brands that embrace employee volunteering and giving reap a bounty of rewards, and see a fantastic ROI - not least of all because their employees demand them - but in terms of more authentic marketing, improved employee engagement, better retention, and even higher profitability. That's where we'll continue to see the most significant growth of corporate cause engagement."

- Ryan Scott, Founder & CEO, Causecast

"The push towards more employee engagement will offer greater encouragement of employees to give and a better process for companies to match employee gifts to the causes they care about. This process is ripe for disruption. Most employees don’t take advantage of their company programs. Non-profits haven’t figured out how to capture the potential, and companies haven’t figured out how to best leverage it. That will change."

- Chris Mann, National Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, City Year

Business Giving Will Become More Purposeful, Holistic

"The real opportunity is when business identify and address social problems that intersect with their business. By using their strengths and assets, including employees, they can leverage the power of market-based competition to address social problems at scale. Companies like Unilever, Nestle, Trico Homes and many more are reimagining their business models around social good. This sets them apart from the competition and is augmenting profitability, opening new markets and saving them money. With the help of NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders, business has the power of scale to create real change that sustains our economy and society over time."

- Jocelyne Daw, Founder & CEO, JS Daw & Associates


"Social impact will be built right into the product or service, the channel strategy and the promotion. It will no longer be about asking a consumer to give a few dollars to a worthwhile charity. Companies will be social actors, living their values through the issue they are working to change, making money doing so and building a network of consumers, ambassadors, and partners that all align around the desired social impact."

- Phil Haid, Co-Founder & CEO, PUBLIC Inc.

"Business giving will need to shift to becoming a part of a brand's overall product strategy and thought of as a brand identifier. Instead of touting one-off donations for unique products, corporate and nonprofit partnerships should create a cause halo across a product line that can incentivize brand loyalty, make it easier for consumers to give by asking them to do nothing except buy the products they already love, and allow for more impactful giving to organizations benefiting from those purchases."

- Courtney Hadden, Partnership Manager, Sustainability at Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.

“Today and moving forward, leading companies across retail, CPG and all sectors will focus social investment and philanthropy strategies around their core competencies. While benevolence has become an important part of corporate culture and customer engagement, when companies align giving with where their products, services or business offering offer value to customers and employees, everybody wins. Only with this approach can companies use all of its strategic resources to improve society.”

- Jeff Terry, Global Corporate Social Responsibility, Amway Corporation

"Corporate giving, employee engagement, cause marketing and sponsorship are converging into larger flagship programs that tick more than just one box for the corporation. Traditional corporate giving will continue to shrink and will continue to be influenced by other departments - like marketing and HR - while higher ROI investments that can mascaraed as philanthropy will continue to grow. The language of philanthropy is changing to the language of marketing and sales quicker than most charities can accommodate." 

- Chris Baylis, President & CEO, The Sponsorship Collective

This blog was adapted from a recent blog from great friend Joe Waters of Selfish Giving.

See the original post on his blog.