The 3 Big Trends in Employee Giving & Volunteering

Feb 6, 2018 5:00 PM ET

At Realized Worth, we spend a lot of time researching, evaluating and developing employee giving and volunteering programs. Understandably, most of our clients want to know about current trends, best practices and new developments in technology that may produce an award winning corporate community investment program.

Here’s how we answer that question: “There is a big difference between trends and mechanisms.”

When we talk about ‘trends’ we typically mean the general movement over time of an observable change. A trend indicates behavior change among human beings. It’s about what a large group of people think, and then do as a result, typically entailing the adoption of new tools; i.e. physical instruments, technology, language, process and systems.

On the other hand, mechanisms refer to the actual tools – these are processes, techniques, or systems used to achieve a desired result. Mechanisms may evolve in their form and effectiveness, and the switch between old methods and new methods (or tools) may constitute a trend. But, the mechanism itself remains a tool to effect change – it’s not the change itself. 

Why does this matter?

I’ll give you an example. While the mechanisms used to recognize employee volunteering may vary and evolve (such as dollars for doers programs) this does not represent a trend when it comes to the practice of recognition. Recognition of employee giving and volunteering has been an established element of most programs for decades.

At Realized Worth we examine and compare these mechanisms or programmatic elements; we also advocate for the adoption of new trends that we believe are effective. I’ll give you an example of some programmatic elements and how they are evolving, followed by the three most important trends we see shaping the future of employee volunteering and giving. Read more on the Realized Worth blog.