Nonprofit Community Council Advocates for More Donor Education in the Charitable Giving Landscape

Sep 23, 2016 7:30 PM ET
Press Release

CALGARY, AB, September 23, 2016 /3BL Media/ – Benevity, Inc., the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and grant management solutions, recently hosted the second official Benevity Nonprofit Community Council meeting to discuss how to create greater outcomes and efficiencies in the donor-to-charity ecosystem.

The Council, made up of a group of 10 experienced non-profit leaders, gathered outside of Washington, D.C. on September 9th to discuss trends related to corporate giving through engagement-focused programs that are utilizing technology to increase participation and reduce the overhead burden for charities. Important topics included the continued rise in open choice giving, the importance of donor impact reporting and storytelling, the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the need for greater transparency and education regarding conventional practices and fees related to charitable giving. 

The Council identified a pressing macro trend in the charitable sector: the growing demand by donors for accountability about charity overhead costs and the use of donation funds, most often manifest in the desire that 100% of the funds go to the charity. As Tom Bognanno of Community Health Charities said, “There is always a cost associated with giving, even if the donation is made directly on a charity’s website. Unfortunately, because of a lack of real information about the true cost of charitable giving across the sector, many companies and donors unintentionally make donations in ways that actually cost charities more, particularly when it comes to lost opportunity related to corporate matching funds.”

Bryan de Lottinville, Founder and CEO of Benevity, added, “Despite advancements in employee giving technology that make it easy for donors and charities to connect donations and matching amounts seamlessly in real time, we still see a large proportion of donations being made outside of company giving programs, which significantly reduces the take-up rate of matching funds, delays payments to charities and requires costly administration for companies and charities that isn’t necessary.” 

Data suggests that up to 10 billion dollars of matching funds go unclaimed every year. This is in large part due to the friction with the traditional approach, whereby a person makes a donation to a charity, submits an application for a match, requests are then placed in a queue for approval, requests for confirmation of the originating donation go to the charity, and, once approved, payment is eventually made to the charity by a paper check in the mail.  “It’s a lot of work and delay for all involved,” says de Lottinville, “and with modern technology and best practices, it needn’t be.”

The Council also discussed the need for greater donor education, dialogue and process improvements in the mechanics, true costs and some of the myths relating to corporate and individual giving programs. Much of the current thinking and practices around workplace giving programs have not changed for many years, and were borne of a time when technology was less advanced or not used. 

As a result of continued investment in the Benevity Causes Portal and charity education about the power of technology to reduce manual administration, the company has increased the amount of funds sent to charities through electronic means to nearly 80%, up from 75% at the previous BNCC meeting in February 2016. This remains the highest amount of e-payments sent to charities of all the software providers in the workplace giving market, resulting in more timely, accurate and cost effective receipt of funds by the more than 100,000 global charities that will receive donations via Benevity this year.

“Benevity should be proud of the progress it is making,” said Kal Stein, Chairman of the BNCC and former CEO of EarthShare. “Removing manual administration and introducing more transparency and process improvement around the actual costs of processing donations and corporate giving and matching programs is important work that impacts charities of all sizes.”

The Nonprofit Community Council will hold its winter meeting in conjunction with the Benevity Goodness Matters Conference in Rancho Mirage, California on February 7, 2017. 

About Benevity
Benevity, Inc., a certified B Corporation, is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and granting programs. Many of the world’s most iconic brands and Fortune 1000 companies rely on Spark, Benevity’s award-winning SaaS solution, to power corporate “Goodness Programs,” that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 15 languages to several million users around the world, Benevity will process donations benefiting more than 100,000 global charities this year.

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