Consumers and Employees Call For A New Approach to Corporate Philanthropy: Stakeholder Philanthropy
Four in five consumers (84%) and employees (86%) believe that stakeholders should have a say in how a business allocates charitable funds
CALGARY, Alberta – May 17, 2022 – Benevity, Inc., a leading provider of global corporate purpose software, today released results of a new survey measuring public sentiment on corporate philanthropy. The findings highlight a growing interest in and expectation of employees and consumers to be involved in corporate philanthropy and call on businesses to consider a new approach that is more stakeholder driven. Businesses that evolve toward this new model of stakeholder philanthropy will benefit financially, with respondents saying they are more likely to buy from, work for and stay with companies who engage them.
Benevity’s Engagement in Corporate Giving study found that four of five consumers (84%) and employees (86%) believe they should be able to have a say in how a business allocates its charitable funds. Additionally, 73% of consumers would purchase from a business and 78% of employees would work for a business if it sought their input into the charitable causes it supports. Furthermore, 84% of consumers and 85% of employees say the more a business engages its consumers and employees in charitable giving decisions, the more trust they have in that business.
Corporate philanthropy is the longest-standing way that businesses have given back, but there is a re-imagining happening in the wake of stakeholder capitalism.
— Sona Khosla, Benevity’s Chief Impact Officer
“Corporate philanthropy is the longest-standing way that businesses have given back, but there is a re-imagining happening in the wake of stakeholder capitalism,” said Sona Khosla, Benevity’s Chief Impact Officer. “Brands who choose to engage stakeholders — notably employees and customers — in their corporate philanthropy strategies have a clear opportunity to create a more trusted relationship, helping to attract and engage today’s purpose-driven talent and customers.”
Over the past two years, stakeholders have become more invested in where and how corporate philanthropy is distributed and are calling for a more empowered, inclusive grassroots approach in which diverse groups — including employees, customers, local community members, partners and investors — are engaged in the decision-making regarding the allocation of corporate charitable funds to communities and nonprofits.
Key Survey Findings
Stakeholders want a voice
- 82% of consumers and 85% of employees say they frequently have no say or involvement in the organizations supported by the companies from whom they purchase from or work for.
- 84% of consumers and 86% of employees believe that stakeholders, including customers and employees, should be able to have a say in how a business allocates its charitable funds. Of the 84% of consumers, almost 50% feel very strongly about this.
- 78% of consumers and 80% of employees are likely to provide input into the organizations a business supports if given the opportunity.
Transparency and trust
- 32% of consumers and 39% of employees are interested in where companies are allocating charitable funds.
- Interest is even stronger (44%) among those who live near the headquarters of major brands and companies.
- 84% of consumers agree that the more a business engages its consumers and employees in its decisions on charitable giving, the more trust consumers have in that business.
Employee engagement and retention
- 78% of employees are likely to work for an organization who provides transparency into how it allocates its charitable donations.
Impact on bottom line
- 73% of consumers say they would be likely to use or shop with a business who seeks their input on the charitable causes it supports.
“As stakeholder capitalism takes root, stakeholder philanthropy is clearly emerging as a new trend in corporate giving. Corporations are being asked to engage a variety of stakeholders to make corporate giving more democratized and authentic than ever before,” added Khosla.
About the survey
Wakefield conducted the survey, Engagement in Corporate Giving: How Companies Can Involve Consumers and Employees in Financial Donations, on behalf of Benevity between February 25 and March 6, 2022. The survey asked 1,000 North American adults their thoughts on corporate philanthropy, including community investment and granting, and how a greater impact can be made.
Benevity, a certified B Corporation, is a leader in global corporate purpose software, providing the only integrated suite of community investment and employee, customer and nonprofit engagement solutions. Recognized as one of Fortune’s Impact 20, Benevity offers cloud solutions that power purpose for many iconic brands in ways that better attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce, embed social action into their customer experiences and positively impact their communities. With software that is available in 22 languages, Benevity has processed more than $8 billion in donations and 43 million hours of volunteering time to support 326,000 nonprofits worldwide. The company’s solutions have also facilitated 530,000 positive actions and awarded 1.2 million grants worth $12 billion. For more information, visit benevity.com.
Lauren Stewart │ Senior Manager Public Relations │ 1.403.560.6968 │ email@example.com