— December 8, 2017
There are processes you can’t wait to outsource in business, whether it’s janitorial services for the clutterbug or accounting help for those who are helpless with numbers. You might easily outsource your marketing automation or even your entire recruiting and talent acquisition function. But one idea that seems to get a great deal of skepticism is the idea that a company, especially a midmarket company, would outsource their philanthropic efforts.
While a valid question, it’s certainly not an unanswerable one. In fact, there are a ton of great resources that can help the CEO, head of benefits, the CHRO, or anyone else make the right decision for his or her organization. Here are a few key reasons to put a philanthropic program in place at your organization and to outsource the management of it to a trusted provider.
Reason to Outsource #1: R.O.I.
Return on investment usually tops a software or services purchasing list and with good reason. That reason is even more crucial here. When you ask your employees to join you in making the world a better place, you have to make sure every contingency is provided for. Even a hint of deviation can create an environment of distrust, negating the very benefits that are so attractive about corporate philanthropy and these types of employee giving programs. Those benefits, by the way, are increased employee engagement, better employer brand, improved teamwork and even skills and learning upticks! In fact, according to the America’s Charities 2015 Snapshot report, 25% of companies already tie skills-based volunteering to an employee’s professional development plan and 21% plan to do this in the future. With so much at stake, outsourcing the management of your corporate philanthropy program ensures nothing goes amiss.
Reason to Outsource #2: Employee Expectations
HR Professionals know how much the corporate workplace abhors change. Getting your people on board with a new initiative or group of initiatives isn’t easy (and it’s not something software can do for you). The modern workforce has very distinct notions about what software can and should do. Excel spreadsheets and home-built solutions are quickly becoming passe because employees, especially Millennials (which will be 50% of the workforce in 4 years), are looking for a seamless experience between personal and professional systems. Think eBay, Amazon, Dropbox, Evernote. You can’t get your employees on board and expect them to use clunky, outdated software can you?
Reason to Outsource #3: Administration Nation
Admin is a journey, not a destination. It’s a lot easier when you have a buddy on that road trip with you. Benefits administration is a job in and of itself, one you’re likely already doing. Compensation administration is also a job in and of itself, one you may also be doing. Philanthropy administration has all the same potential for frustration and policy run-ins as do compensation and benefits, but with little, if any, margin for error. If you support a financial giving programs such as Matching Gifts, and after an employee hits the submit button, the ‘monies’ have to get to the end recipient i.e. non-profit correct? Do you have the internal bandwidth to check if the organizations meet your rules and guidelines and that they also are compliant to the in-country and global laws before the monies are disbursed to the end recipient?
Oh and by the way, there are major legal, reputational and financial risks that a company can incur if the money ends up going in the wrong hands. Learn more about the importance of compliant giving programs here. How about contact center support? If the employees have a question about the status of their gift, or anything similar should they contact your already overworked and small team? Best in class systems like CyberGrants already have some of the back-end functionality built into the system, so you, the administrator don’t have to worry about these things.
From defining the rules around which organizations are to be included or excluded in your program, to automated scanning of non-profits status and standing, to running reports, CyberGrants is better than a trusted secretary. And you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing that in our nearly 20 year history, CyberGrants has never had a security breach. No in-house process, excel spreadsheet or overworked HR Admin can handle all that in addition to the tasks they already have. Don’t set yourself up for failure by failing to plan for your corporate philanthropy administration needs!
Reason to Outsource #4: Back to the Future
Corporate philanthropy outsourcing can be an easier sell in the Fortune1000 because large companies know all about how difficult it is to turn the Titanic. In mid-market, or even smaller, the same growth and scalability issues DO exist. As needs evolve, from the number of employees you have and programs you want to implement, how can you make sure you’re still in compliance with the ever-changing in-country or global laws, that no program goes ignored, that employees retain their interest in the causes you all worked so hard to support? You can be compliant, supported and growth-minded at any size if you engage with the right partner… An in-house process depends on one person or team to handle all these needs, and then you have a succession planning issue.
Reason to Outsource #5: Instant Experience
This is probably one of the biggest reasons why companies new to the philanthropic world, outsource the administration of their corporate philanthropy programs. Do you have a deep bench internally of those who understand how philanthropic programs are designed? Do you know what the best practices are around implementing different types of programs from Matching Gifts to Giving Campaigns to Volunteering? Do you have experience running these type of charitable giving, volunteerism and corporate philanthropy programs from start to success? If the answer is no, then you can’t afford to keep this in-house, as you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.