GIVING FOCUS: Matt Darling
by Matt Darling February 2nd, 2018
Through our work at the Omaha Community Foundation, we have the opportunity to see firsthand how different types of philanthropy continue to transform the charitable landscape.
Businesses—both big and small—have always been a key part of the philanthropic fabric in our community and around the country, but recently there has been an even greater focus on the role that corporate giving is playing in the philanthropic sector. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, charitable giving by corporations increased to more than $18 billion in 2016, up 3.5% from the year prior.
There are many opportunities and programs that companies utilize to engage in giving; from philanthropic donations directly to nonprofit organizations, to corporate sponsorships, matching employee gifts, employee assistance funds, or paid time off for volunteering, the opportunities for corporations to engage in philanthropy are seemingly limitless.
Why do corporations and small businesses choose to give back? Research has shown that more than half—or 55%—of consumers are willing to pay more for products that come from socially responsible companies. And companies are taking note; 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, and today most of the world’s large companies publish Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports. For a business, being philanthropic can not only improve their public image, it can attract and retain investors and significantly boost employee engagement.
Not only do the corporations benefit, employees and the nonprofits on the receiving end of the gifts of time or money, benefit as well. Philanthropically inclined businesses have reported increases in creativity among their staff, as well as more positive work environments. Giving back as a corporation can also promote individual philanthropy amongst employees. For nonprofits, corporate gifts and partnerships can help diversify their sources of revenue, expose them to a new swath of potential donors, and increase volunteer participation.
Here at the Foundation, we’ve witnessed a swell in the number of companies looking for ways to give back to our local community, and we continue to offer our expertise in corporate giving through a number of opportunities:
Corporate Executive Donor Advised Funds: In recognizing employee milestones or honoring service upon retirement, many companies have established charitable funds with corporate dollars at the Omaha Community Foundation. The honored individual can then recommend distributions to their favorite causes over their preferred time horizon, and they can engage in our full scope of donor services while supporting the causes they care about most.
Digitizing Employee Giving Opportunities: Many companies incentivize staff to support employee-driven philanthropic efforts by offering an option to wear jeans one day a month in exchange for a voluntary donation. In partnership with the Omaha Community Foundation, one local business has successfully used the Omaha Gives platform, OmahaGives.org, to streamline their internal process with a custom landing page, convenient online payment for employees, easy receipting for the charitable gifts, and real-time donation tracking for project organizers.
Employee Assistance Funds Some local corporations have established separate 501(C)3 organizations to provide monetary assistance to their associates during times of crisis or financial need. We have been proud to assist such partners in utilization of the year-round Omaha Gives website as a convenient mechanism for promoting support of co-workers in times of need, with the Foundation assuming management of the receipting and processing of online donations.
Our team of professionals possesses a deep knowledge of today’s social, economic, and environmental challenges. With a fully customizable list of services, including those listed above, the Omaha Community Foundation can help local companies create a corporate giving structure that best matches their charitable goals.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 342-3458 to learn more about how we can help simplify your corporate giving.
Vice President of Donor Services
Omaha Community Foundation
Matt leads the Foundation’s work with donors, developing and overseeing the team that delivers services for family foundations, corporate partners and supporting organizations.