What is Corporate Giving?

March 19, 2021

What is Corporate Giving?

March 19, 2021
Arron Staradub

Corporate Giving Definition

Corporate Giving refers to the actions, initiatives, and investments made by companies towards social good.

These investments involve supporting nonprofits (NPs) and non-government organizations (NGOs) to reach their goals and further impact the community.

Corporate Giving programs often take the form of charitable monetary donations, but can also take the form of sponsorships, grants, and even donations of employee talents and time.

Also known as corporate philanthropy, or corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate giving is a way companies can support social good while gaining brownie points with their customers, investors, and other stakeholders.

Why is Corporate Giving Important?

Corporate giving programs are an excellent way for companies to signal to stakeholders that they care about social responsibility, and are taking concrete actions to support social good.

Happier Customers

Increasingly, customers want to buy from companies that care, even if it comes at a premium.

Companies that are taking the initiative to invest in social responsibility are being noticed by the market. And are reaping the rewards.

Customers are more loyal to the brands and companies that make them happy, and share similar values and ideals as themselves.

Not every company can say that they have corporate giving programs, or donate to good causes, so the ones that do stand out from the competition.

More Productive Employees

Gone are the days where a job was just about the money.

Millennials now make up the largest population of the workforce, and they’re bringing their values and ideals with them.

In today’s society, employees value job satisfaction and fulfillment just as much as monetary compensation and benefits, if not more. Also, more fulfilled and satisfied employees are more productive at their jobs.

Happy workers make productive workers, and companies that want to attract and retain today’s top talent should keep that in mind.

Improved Reputation & Brand Exposure

Corporate giving programs earn brownie points with customers, but it doesn’t stop there.

Corporate giving initiatives help companies show their values and ideals to a wider audience. It’s an amazing tool for public relations, and improves brand loyalty and boosts company exposure in ways not possible with traditional marketing.

These days, people want to buy good products from good companies. And corporate giving is a way to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Happier Investors

Happy customers means loyal customers, and loyal customers mean happy investors.

Corporate giving can be seen as a type of investment, and investors wish to see returns on their investments.  Fortunately the benefits from corporate giving are many, and the dividends are immense.

A single look at the boost in business and even the most frugal investor can see the payoff of corporate giving.

Societal Good

Last but certainly not least, corporate giving is inherently good for society.

It helps NPs and NGOs reach their goals faster, and allows them to aim their sights on larger, grander, goals.

The relationships that blossom between NPs and companies raise awareness for causes, groups, peoples, and organizations, and the after-effects can be felt across communities and industries.

Corporate giving programs allow companies to become pillars in their community. It allows them to become beacons of good, and to help bring deserving issues to the forefront of public discourse.

Types of Corporate Giving Programs

Matching Gifts

Matching gifts are when companies match donations made by their employees. An employee can feel good by knowing that any monetary donations they make will be matched by their employer. This type of corporate giving program is usually for a specific charity or cause, so only eligible donations would qualify for matching.

Volunteer Grants

In this corporate giving program, the company makes monetary donations to a charity based on the amount of volunteer hours contributed by their employees, on the employees’ own time.

They can be individual grants, or as a team to bolster team bonding and encourage more people to volunteer their time.

Volunteer grants are great ways to support socially conscious employees that volunteer consistently.

Annual Donations

Probably the first type of corporate giving program that comes to mind, annual donations are monetary donations made every year by a company.

Annual donations may be for the same cause, or may choose a different charity or cause to support each year.

Highly-Skilled Donations

An amazing and unique type of corporate giving program, this type of philanthropic giving allows employees to donate their skills and expertise to nonprofits that specifically need them.

Companies allow their staff to allocate a portion of their work hours to give to charity. Employees could then collaborate with the NP of their choice and use their expertise to help that organization reach their specific own goals.

A marketing manager using their skills to help propel a nonprofit’s marketing efforts, or an accountant setting a couple hours aside during work to consult a nonprofit treasurer on organization finances, are excellent examples of highly-skilled employees participating in corporate giving.

Highly-skilled donations allow employees to contribute more to the causes that matter to them.

Key Factors to Corporate Giving


Before a corporate giving program (or program of any kind) can be successful, people have to know it exists.

Without awareness, it’s impossible to get excited about something.

Think of ways to make your corporate giving program common knowledge throughout the company to have the best chances of a high sign up rate.

The type of corporate giving program also affects how excited people get. Monetary donations are one thing, but being able to roll up their sleeves and help first-hand usually excites people more.


As with any relationship, communication is key; this is especially true in corporate giving programs. Communication will be essential in every step of the way.

Raising awareness, delivering instructions, communicating with NGOs, nonprofits and volunteers, the list goes on and on.

Impact Measurement

Putting in the time, money, and effort are one thing, but how do you know that you’re actually making a difference? This is why impact measurement is so important.

If done correctly, corporate giving impact measurement allows us to see if programs are successful.

This allows the program to be refined and improved, to be more efficient and increase the amount of societal good that’s contributed by the company.


The infrastructure of the corporate giving program will determine all of the factors.

Corporate giving infrastructure facilitates the effectiveness of the awareness, communication, and impact measuring efforts.

A corporate giving program with excellent infrastructure streamlines the efforts of the HR or CSR departments. This means less applications and paperwork, and more time planning CSR goals and brand strategy.

Excellent infrastructure also allows employees to easily connect and communicate with nonprofits, so they spend more time volunteering and building satisfying relationships in their community.

Often, implementing effective infrastructure is one of the most challenging parts about designing corporate giving programs.

Corporate Giving Matters

The beauty of corporate giving is that there are so many ways to do it. All it takes is the desire and determination to set the goals and see them through.

Corporate giving increases brand image and loyalty, and is a terrific tool for team bonding.

Your staff will be more satisfied and fulfilled that they’re really contributing to society, and their job performance, and retention, will show it.

Lots of companies talk about doing social good, but few companies walk the walk,and live up to their promises and responsibilities. And the ones that do stand out.

It lets stakeholders learn about important causes in your community, and increases reputation and exposure in ways that aren’t possible with traditional marketing efforts.

Not bad for some charity work.

Due to the hurdles that companies face, some choose to use full-service platforms for their corporate giving programs.

MeaningfulWork is a great example of a corporate giving solution.

It's an intelligent platform that connects employees with nonprofits that align with their values. It streamlines CSR efforts, and reduces paperwork.

MeaningfulWork measures impact in a completely different, and unique way; and presents it clearly and neatly with their Impact Summary Report. So the key decision makers can focus on making key decisions.

MeaningfulWork removes the challenges of awareness, communication, and impact measurement with its all-inclusive, intelligent platform and online community.

With so many reasons and ways to start corporate giving, it just makes sense.

Interested in starting a corporate giving program? We’d love to hear from you!

What kind of corporate giving programs does your workplace have? Let us know!