Benefits for Good

A Focus on Finding Purpose with Modern Giving in the Workplace

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By Cara Brennan Allamano, Co-Founder of People Tech Partner

It’s no secret that today’s workplace is hyper-focused on capturing employee engagement and enabling purpose-driven careers. Employees across all industries are pushing the needle on the importance of work that matters. As a result, employers are facing heightened pressures to deliver against the vision of meaningful jobs.

In support of the business case for purpose-focused initiatives, Forbes recently took a deep-dive into the numbers around the relationship between purpose and profit and found that “companies with purpose better motivate employees and satisfy customers…these companies also have higher business success.” Noting that “not only does having a strong purpose engage employees, it also helps attract customers and make them more loyal.”

For companies in socially-minded businesses, meeting their workforces’ need for purpose can be rather straightforward. But how do companies in industries or lines of business with a less direct connection to a greater good keep employees engaged and feeling as though they are positively impacting the world around them?

New workplace giving platforms, like Pinkaloo’s Modern Giving solution, are not only helping companies reinforce a sense of purpose and impact for their employees, but also helping to reinforce a culture of philanthropy internally. 87% of employees want companies to support the causes that are most important to them and these new workplace giving platforms provide turnkey ways for companies to meet that expectation. This is especially valuable at high-growth tech companies in competitive talent markets, as these platforms allow employers to affordably offer an engaging solution that empowers each employee. With over 81% of millennials expecting companies to be committed to good corporate citizenship, incorporating a workplace giving solution can help with critical employee recruiting and retention while helping to create happier employees with a clearer sense of purpose.

To further explore this Modern Giving approach, Cara Brennan Allamano, Co-Founder of PeopleTech Partners, sat down with Gideon Taub, Founder of Pinkaloo, to learn more about how employers can increase engagement and build loyalty with their employees while contributing to the greater good.

What gave you the idea to start Pinkaloo?

We saw an opportunity to modernize charitable giving both for individual donors and for companies. For individuals, that includes modern experiences building on the latest trends in mobile banking along with budgeting, discovery, and collaborative tools.

For companies, our experience was that far too many workplace giving programs didn’t drive great experiences for employees and didn’t deliver the ROI to the employers, so we created a program that empowers employees and reinforces a culture of giving back.

Lastly, we have a real passion to bring donors greater insights into the work charities are doing, particularly smaller, local charities that may not have the marketing budgets to really share their impact. We wanted to build a way for our users to find and support those organizations. That’s what Modern Giving is really about.

Who benefits from your solution?

Employees, corporations, and charities all benefit from Modern Giving.

Employees are donating more overall, feel better about their company and most importantly are more connected to their companies, their coworkers, and their communities.

Companies benefit through more engaged employees. Across the board, we are seeingmillennials aligning with companies that are making an impact in their communities, and Modern Giving provides a turnkey platform for companies to connect their employees.

And obviously charities benefit as they receive more donations, particularly smaller, local organizations that may not have the budgets to promote their great work.

Why is this so important?

We are seeing a trend towards employees wanting to understand their purpose. Both their purpose in terms of how their role aligns with the company’s mission, but also their company’s purpose in improving society at large. Modern Giving helps reinforce the latter leading to more engaged employees that understand their purpose.

What are some examples of companies leveraging your tool?

I’ve been amazed by the creative ways that we are seeing companies integrate Modern Giving into their culture. Beyond offering their employees Modern Giving accounts, we have seen customers drive deeper engagement by combining our program with their other initiatives, including:

  • Automating donation matching programs
  • Tying Modern Giving into their peer recognition programs
  • Rewarding employees with ‘Charitable Dollars’ when they refer a candidate that is ultimately hired
  • Leveraging the rich data that we provide on the causes that matter to their employees to help inform volunteer days and corporate giving
  • Replacing their holiday swag gifts for customers with funds in a Modern Giving account that customers can donate anywhere they want.

What have you learned from your users and customers so far?

Our version of the ‘Like’ is the ‘Chip In,’ allowing employees to take a few dollars from their Modern Giving balance and add it on to one of their peers’ donations. It’s a great way to show appreciation for a peer and the charity that they’re passionate about. We hear amazing stories about two coworkers realizing that they both have a passion for the same organization or that they both have a family member suffering from the same condition because one of them made a donation that kicked off a conversation that likely wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Even though our product is focused on giving back, we are continually touched by stories like those and how much employees appreciate having a platform where they’re comfortably engaging each other in that way.

What would you like to say to People leaders who are thinking of using your platform?

Whether your company is just getting ready to start its workplace giving journey or have been offering one for decades, Modern Giving provides a platform that drives engagement year-round and empowers your employees to give back in ways that are comfortable for them and their budgets. No longer do employees set up their donations once per year and forget what organization they’re supporting. No longer do awkward all-hands breakfasts need to be set up with paper forms to fill out. Workplace giving is engaging, empowering, and fun, with most of the admin removed.

As a founder, what has been most challenging for you or your company?

The idea of a ‘charitable giving account’ and the concept of building social and collaborative capabilities into workplace giving is new for many people, so we continue to spend a lot of time educating folks that these exist and the benefits! PeopleTech has been a tremendous platform in sharing our story and vision!

What advice do you have for other founders?

We aren’t the best at taking a moment to celebrate the wins, but it’s important. Very few companies are the overnight successes that we read about, so appreciating the journey is valuable. And know that success leads to more success. It really does snowball.

What’s next for you and Pinkaloo?

We have some amazing customer and partnership opportunities launching in the next quarter that will change the trajectory of our business, so making sure those are perfect is a big focus. Included in that is launching on the ADP Marketplace, which will fully automate administration of workplace giving programs for any ADP payroll customer, which will significantly remove the burden of managing programs for HR and CSR leads!

As we look further down the road, we envision a future where companies, donors, and charities come together to communicate, collaborate, and maximize their impact on the Pinkaloo platform. We continue to build capabilities to realize that vision.

Cara Brennan Allamano is SVP, Human Resources at Udemy and Co-Founder of PeopleTech Partners

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