Category: Featured

The Big Donation Distribution Problem You Don’t Know About

At Groundswell, we are passionate about challenging the status quo, and one industry standard that we’ve set our sights on is the unconscionable donation distribution delays normalized by legacy platforms like Benevity, Cybergrants, and YourCause. These companies, which currently service the majority of Fortune 500 companies, routinely take 30-60 days to send a donor’s donation to charity, and 90-180 days to send a company’s matching gift.

We believe that this is wrong. So we’ve fixed it.

Groundswell is the fastest employee giving platform, sending both the employee’s donation and the company’s match together within 5 days.

Why do distribution timelines matter?

In this blog post I’m going to share with you why this is so powerful. But first, let me tell you why this is personal.

From 2010 through 2020 I served as the founder and CEO of the global humanitarian relief organization Team Rubicon (TR). TR responds to hundreds of disasters and crises each year, each mission carefully planned. One critical planning factor is fundraising – how much will the organization be able to successfully raise in the immediate onset of this event? The first 96 hours of an event are the most telling, as individual donations begin pouring in and corporations begin calling to make pledges. Using these early signals, a budget is prepared and a mission is launched.

Now fast-forward four months. A literal mountain of paper checks begin arriving, representing the matching donations that have finally been invoiced, collected, aggregated, and distributed to us by Benevity, Cybergrants, and YourCause. However, more often than not the mission was already over – and the money now unable to be spent effectively.

Don’t get me wrong – a nonprofit is never going to complain about donations coming in. But having not known that these checks were coming, they were not included in the original budgeting. This created massive headaches for our staff, but more importantly, represented a missed opportunity to have delivered more impact during the response phase.

When I started Groundswell, this was one very real problem that I set out to solve.

Why does it take so long for legacy platforms to distribute donations?

There are several things that lead to these distribution delays, the primary of which is these platform’s process of distributing donations in aggregated batches. That process looks like this:

  1. Employee 1 makes a $10 donation to a Charity X on September 1st, Employee 2 makes a $15 donation to Charity X on September 10th, and Employee 3 makes a $25 donation to Charity X on September 30th.
  2. In October, the legacy platform combines all donations designated for Charity X in September into a single amount – in this instance $50 ($10 + $15 + $25)
  3. On or around October 15th, $50 is sent to Charity X – often via a paper check

In this process, Employee 1’s donation does not reach the charity for at least 45 days. Worse yet, many platforms have a minimum donation threshold, which means that the platform will not process the distribution until a minimum amount has been designated for the charity. This often means that a donor’s money can sit as a pending payment for months or even years, until additional donors make enough donations to reach the threshold.

The process gets even more convoluted when there’s a corporate donation match involved. That process looks like this:

  1. Let’s assume Employees 1 and 2 in the above scenario work for Acme Corporate, while Employee 3 works for XYZ Corp. Acme Corp and XYZ Corp both offer employee donation matches.
  2. Following their respective September donations, the legacy platform will send both Acme Corp and XYZ Corp an invoice for the match amount owed by each company, $25 and $25 respectively in this example. This invoice is sent in late October for September’s donations.
  3. Both companies receive and review the invoice. Reconciling the invoice takes 1-2 weeks.
  4. Upon approval, administrators at both companies forward the invoice to accounts payable for payment. Acme Corp has net-30 payment terms and sends the legacy platform $25 in late November. XYZ Corp has net-60 payment terms, so does not send its $25 until late December.
  5. The platform receives all funds in late December and processes payment of the matching donations to Charity X in January.

This example clearly lays out how an employee that made a donation on September 1st may not have her matching donation reach the charity for five months! This process erodes the employee experience, creates unnecessary administrative tasks for company administrators, and delays critical cash flow for nonprofits.

How has Groundswell upended this process to make distributions in 5 days?

Groundswell’s commitment to social impact drives everything we do. Thus, we set out to set a new standard in donation distribution timelines. The result is that we:

  • Instantly match an employee’s donation
  • Send both the employee’s donation and the company match together within 5 days
  • No longer aggregate these payments together, but instead send them individually

Now we have improved the employee experience, eliminated the administrative burden on companies, and improved the nonprofit’s cash flow.

But we’re not done. The only reason we’re waiting five days to distribute instead of sending the funds within 24 hours is because donors occasionally initiate credit card or ACH reversals, and it’s challenging to resolve these if we’ve already sent the funds to charity. However, we’re committed to examining the data over the coming months to determine what our reversal rate is, and whether we’re able to further reduce this timeline accordingly.

The Guide to Being a Modern Philanthropist: Elevate Your Impact With Groundswell

This guide is intended to provide resources and inspiration for Groundswell users on how to donate to causes they care about. It provides tips to best identify and donate to charities that have a proven track record of impact. It also discusses how to think about geography and size when deciding where to donate, and explains the ways in which even small, recurring donations can have be powerful for charities working on the frontlines every day.

Groundswell can be your partner in your journey as a modern philanthropist. Your donations are a critical part of addressing society’s myriad issues, such as poverty, education, healthcare, and environmental concerns. And giving to others is also good for you. It has been shown that people who donate to charity experience increased happiness and well-being compared to those who do not give. This sense of satisfaction comes from the knowledge that your actions are making a positive impact on the world and helping those in need.

Through Groundswell, you can easily add funds to your account, browse or search for charities, and donate in a matter of minutes. In this guide, we help demystify some of the questions you might have as you consider where, when and how to donate.

Six Tips to Becoming a Modern Philanthropist


  1. Pick causes and charities that align with your values: When deciding what you want to support, start by taking into consideration the people, places, or problems that you care about most.
  2. Understand impact through the lens of size & geography: The geographic reach of different charities’ programs, and how large or small they are, can help as you determine what to support.
  3. Evaluate best in class charities: Learn how to assess not only the financial health of an organization, but also what questions to ask when looking at other impact metrics.
  4. Set a giving goal: Decide how much you want to give annually through Groundswell, and follow the simple steps to set up contributions to achieve that goal.
  5. Maximize impact through recurring donations: Simplify your giving and provide nonprofits with a steady stream of revenue through monthly, recurring donations.
  6. Optimize your giving through tax-efficient strategies: Leverage the versatility of Groundswell to reduce your tax burden through payroll giving, stocks contributions, and bunching.

1. Pick Causes & Charities that Align with Your Values

Your giving journey often is deeply personal, rooted in your own values and lived experiences. When deciding what causes you want to support, it’s important to start by taking into consideration the people, places, or problems that you care about most. Who or what do you want to impact? What cause is most aligned with that? Use that as a starting point to then find the charities best positioned to have an impact on what you care most about. Focusing on specific cause areas allows you to be more intentional about how you donate.

There are thousands of causes and more than a million nonprofits on the Groundswell platform that tackle challenges from all angles, from improving K-12 education or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s to reducing plastics in the ocean or protecting women’s rights. 

After determining what causes matter most to you, it’s also helpful to identify the type of impact you are seeking to make. Are you interested in supporting organizations that are “on the ground” providing direct services or those doing longer-term, important policy and research work? That can help guide you in picking the charities that you want to donate to.

2. Understand Impact: Size & Geography

Where to donate

When deciding where to donate, it’s also important to determine where you want that impact to happen. For many people, where they give is closely linked to where they live – their local food pantry, homeless shelter, house of worship, or neighborhood school.

Others may want to focus their giving beyond where they live and donate to organizations that operate in certain regions or even other countries. There’s no ‘right’ answer – and many people choose to donate both locally and globally to a cause they care about. For example, you may want to support an organization that is both on the frontlines supporting refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, as well as helping resettle refugee families near your town in the U.S.

Does size matter?

Similarly, there is no right answer for what size organization is best to donate to. Whether they are large or small, if they have a strong track record of impact and do not have a pattern of mismanagement of funds, they are worthy recipients of donations.

Many people want to donate to organizations that have a proven track record of implementing large-scale programs, or are on a strong growth trajectory, year over year. Larger organizations generally have shown their ability to receive larger amounts of funding, and in turn design and implement programs at a scale that have a greater impact towards the causes you care about most. But small organizations can also be extremely impactful – even if the radius or scope of impact is smaller. Although many of today’s social and environmental problems are massive in scale, the vast majority of nonprofits are tiny; indeed, most nonprofits in the United States are small, grassroots organizations – and 20% have annual budgets of less than $50,000. For smaller nonprofits, even the smallest donation on an annual or monthly, recurring basis can have a huge impact on their ability to sustain programs or even expand.

3. Evaluate “Best in Class” Charities

There are multiple ways to assess the quality of a charity; many ratings sites focus primarily on financial metrics, but it is equally important to assess not only how an organization is managing its funds, but also the quality of its work. And while a rating system like Charity Navigator can be helpful, it is important to know that no rating system is comprehensive. Groundswell offers an important starting point – we only feature organizations that are in good standing with the IRS and eligible to receive tax-deductible donations.

  • Programmatic Impact: Understanding a nonprofit’s impact – through its programs and the populations that it serves – is an important way to evaluate its effectiveness in tackling the causes you care about. Many nonprofits provide details about programming approaches on their websites, including testimonials, photos, and reports detailing specific results. Keep in mind that understanding and assessing impact is highly qualitative – there is no clear ‘score’ – especially because what or who is being impacted varies across the thousands of nonprofits.
  • Financial Management: Nonprofits, especially larger ones, are required to disclose details related to their financial performance annually – to include assets, revenue and breakdown of expenses in forms submitted to the IRS. Many nonprofits are proactively transparent about their finances and post audited financial statements and other reports on their websites. But financial data does not always tell a complete story. There may be important investments in fundraising staff, which two years later yield a windfall in donations that can be put towards programs.
  • Advisories: Sometimes there are advisories based on pending or ongoing legal action. Groundswell works to monitor these advisories and remove any charities that it believes are acting improperly or mismanaging donor funds. We also remove any charities that have had their nonprofit status revoked by the IRS.
  • Groundswell-curated Featured Causes: While many donors might want to do their own research, sometimes it’s far easier (and efficient) to put your trust in others. Groundswell’s impact team provides donors with additional inspiration, and has done the vetting work to determine cause-specific organizations that are well run and most importantly having a strong impact.

4. Aim High with a Giving Goal

You can use Groundswell’s calculator found under your Profile to set or edit your annual giving goal. This can be a flat amount, or a percentage of your annual salary. While estimates vary, a common range for giving as a percentage of annual salary is between 2-6%.

The good news is that with your Groundswell Personal Giving Account, you can easily set up recurring contributions to stay on track to meet your goals. It’s also important to maximize the matching offered by your company’s giving program, where applicable.

Your giving goal can help fund recurring donations, as well as account for unexpected events that you may want to donate to.

5. Level Up with Recurring Donations

Recurring donations can be a great component of your philanthropic strategy. As a bonus, there are benefits for both donors as well as nonprofits.

For donors, setting recurring donations to autopilot every month or quarter means you don’t have to think about it or go through the steps to do it on a regular basis.

Put simply, it’s a smart use of your time. It is also a symbol of a donor’s commitment to a cause, and a belief in the nonprofit’s ability to have a positive impact – not just in a moment of crisis, but on a continuous basis. Groundswell’s recurring contributions and donations features help facilitate recurring giving.

For charities, recurring donations provide a steady, predictable stream of revenue that helps with budget planning. For many organizations, large or small, recurring donations can have a huge impact. Similar to the trends in grassroots political fundraising, having many small-dollar donors is good for nonprofits.

It helps them build awareness and shows to the larger-dollar donors that there is a community that believes in the nonprofit’s mission. It also helps de-risk; nonprofits with one or two large donors and very few small-dollar donors can run into major problems if any of those large donors stop supporting their work.

6. Optimize Your Tax-Efficient Giving

You can leverage the versatility of your Groundswell Personal Giving Account, which is underpinned by a Donor-Advised Fund, to be strategic and reduce your tax burden. 

Donate appreciated stock

If you have appreciated stocks that you’ve held for more than a year and you donate them through your Groundswell account, you won’t have to pay capital gains tax on the appreciation when those shares are exchanged for their market value.

Plus, you’ll be eligible for a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the stock at the time of contribution into your Groundswell account.

Give with payroll

You can leverage Groundswell’s Payroll feature to make giving more tax efficient. Contributions to Groundswell through payroll deductions are eligible for an immediate tax deduction for the amount contributed. This means that your taxable income for the year is reduced by the amount of your contribution. Contributing on a recurring basis via payroll also makes it easier to “set and forget” and achieve your giving goals more efficiently.

Bundle contributions

You can also take advantage of the Donor-Advised Fund structure of Groundswell to make a larger contribution in a single tax year and maximize tax benefits by itemizing deductions in the year that the larger contribution is being made – commonly known as “bunching.” 

For example, if you typically give $5,000 to charity each year but decide to give $25,000 to your Groundswell account in one year, you can itemize your deductions that year and take the standard deduction in the following years. By doing so, you may be able to minimize your tax burden over time while still supporting the charities you care about.

Want access to other toolkits like this?

Corporate giving programs aim to empower employees and help companies facilitate and support philanthropic efforts. As global access grows and corporations become more diverse, employee representation becomes an increasingly important subject.

Groundswell enables companies to lay the foundation for their employees to adopt a generous giving attitude towards charities and world-shaping efforts.

Corporate Giving Program: The Complete Business Guide to Running Gifting and Matching Employee Benefits

Corporate giving programs are growing in popularity among thriving businesses and for many good reasons. 

For companies, corporate giving programs can improve their reputation and brand image, attract and retain employees, increase customer loyalty, boost sales, and reduce taxable income.

For communities, corporate giving programs address social and economic needs, improve the quality of life for those in the community, promote civic engagement, and build stronger bonds between community members.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about launching and running a corporate giving program, information from what a corporate giving program is to learning the different types of corporate giving programs and choosing the right one for your organization.

What is Corporate Giving?

Corporate giving is the act of a corporation or business promoting the welfare of others, generally through charitable donations of funds or time. It is a form of corporate social responsibility (CSR) that can benefit both the company and the community.

Corporate giving is a win-win for both companies and communities. It is a way for companies to positively impact the world while benefiting their own bottom line.

How do corporations commonly make charitable donations?

There are many different ways that corporations can give back. Some common forms of corporate giving include:

  • Cash donations: This is the most common form of corporate giving. Companies can donate money to nonprofit organizations that support causes they care about.
  • In-kind donations: Companies can donate products or services to nonprofits. For example, a company that makes food could donate food to a local food bank.
  • Employee volunteerism: Companies can encourage employees to volunteer their time to nonprofits. This is a great way to get employees involved in their communities and to give back to the causes they care about.
  • Cause-related marketing: This is a marketing partnership between a company and a nonprofit. The company donates a portion of its profits to the nonprofit when customers purchase its products or services.
  • Matching gifts: Companies can match the charitable donations of their employees. This is a great way to encourage employees to give back and to double the impact of their donations.

What is a corporate giving account?

A corporate giving account is a donor-advised fund (DAF) specifically designed for businesses. DAFs are charitable giving accounts that allow donors to make tax-deductible contributions and then recommend grants to charitable organizations over time. Corporate giving accounts offer many of the same benefits as traditional DAFs, but they can also provide additional benefits for businesses, such as:

  • Tax benefits: Contributions to a corporate giving account are tax-deductible for the business, just like contributions to a traditional DAF.
  • Flexibility: Businesses can use their corporate giving account to support a wide range of large and small charitable causes.
  • Simplicity: Corporate giving accounts are relatively easy to set up and manage.
  • Professional management: Many corporate giving accounts are offered by third-party providers who can help businesses with the administrative details of giving.

A corporate giving account may be a good option if your business is looking for a way to make a charitable impact.

Most common types of corporate giving programs

Gifting and Matching

Corporate gifting and matching programs are a way for companies to encourage their employees to give back to their communities. These programs can take many different forms, but they all have the same goal: to make it easier for employees to donate their time and money to causes they care about.

One type of corporate gifting program is a matching gift program. In a matching gift program, the company will match employee donations to certain charities, up to a certain amount. For example, a company might match employee donations to the United Way up to $500 annually. This is a great way for companies to double the impact of their employees’ donations.

Another type of corporate gifting program is a volunteer grant program. In a volunteer grant program, the company will give employees paid time off to volunteer for certain charities. This is a great way for employees to give back to their communities without sacrificing work hours.

Corporate gifting and matching programs are great for companies to show their employees that they care about giving back. These programs can also help to attract and retain top talent, as employees are more likely to want to work for a company that shares their values.

Here are some of the benefits of corporate gifting and matching programs:

  • Employee engagement: Corporate gifting and matching programs can help to increase employee engagement by giving employees a way to give back to their communities.
  • Employee morale: Corporate gifting and matching programs can help to improve employee morale by showing employees that their company cares about giving back.
  • Company reputation: Corporate gifting and matching programs can help to improve a company’s reputation by showing that the company is committed to social responsibility.
  • Tax benefits: In some cases, corporate gifting and matching programs can provide tax benefits for the company.

If you want to give back to your community and show your employees that you care, consider starting a corporate gifting or matching program.

Volunteer Grants

A volunteer grant is a monetary award given to a nonprofit organization by a corporation to recognize volunteer work being done by a company’s employees. This practice is widespread in the United States. Corporate giving programs created to encourage volunteerism by a corporation’s employees by providing volunteer grants are called volunteer grant programs or Dollars for Doers programs.

Philanthropic organizations offer grants for individuals to volunteer with nonprofit organizations for an extended period of time. These are sometimes called volunteer grants but are normally referred to as fellowships. In these cases, a volunteer receives a stipend from a nonprofit to live and work within a community in need. Companies typically state that any 501(c)(3) nonprofit or school is eligible for their corporate volunteer grant scheme; most however require a minimum number of hours served.

Volunteer grants can be a great way for companies to encourage their employees to give back to their communities and to support the causes they care about. They can also be a great way for companies to build relationships with local nonprofits and to show their commitment to social responsibility.

If you are a nonprofit organization interested in applying for a volunteer grant, be sure to check with your local corporations to see if they offer such a program. You can also find a list of companies that offer volunteer grants online.

Other Types of Corporate Giving Programs

Fundraising Match

A fundraising match is a type of corporate giving program in which a company matches employee donations to a nonprofit organization. For example, if an employee donates $100 to a nonprofit, the company might match that donation with another $100, bringing the total donation to $200.

Fundraising matches are a great way for companies to encourage their employees to give back to their communities. They can also help to raise more money for nonprofits.

Community Grants

Community grants are financial awards given to nonprofit organizations or other community groups to support their work in the community. They can be used to fund a variety of projects, such as:

  • Programs that provide direct services to community members, such as food banks, homeless shelters, and after-school programs.
  • Projects that improve the community’s infrastructure, such as parks, libraries, and community centers.
  • Initiatives that promote social change, such as those that address poverty, hunger, or education inequality.

Dollars for Doers

Dollars for Doers is a type of corporate giving program in which a company provides monetary grants to nonprofits where its employees regularly volunteer.

Here are some of the benefits of Dollars for Doers programs for both companies and nonprofits:

  • Companies:
    • Increased employee engagement and morale
    • Improved company reputation
    • Tax benefits
  • Nonprofits:
    • Increased funding
    • Increased visibility
    • Increased volunteerism

Team Volunteer Grants

A team volunteer grant is a type of corporate giving program in which a company provides a monetary donation to a nonprofit organization when a group of employees volunteer together. These programs are designed to encourage team building, community service, and employee engagement.

There are many different types of team volunteer grants available, each with its own set of eligibility requirements and benefits. Some companies offer grants for any team of employees who volunteer together, while others require that teams meet certain criteria, such as a minimum number of volunteer hours or a specific type of service.

Volunteer Support Programs

Volunteer support programs are designed to help volunteers find, prepare for, and succeed in their volunteer roles. These programs can provide volunteers with a variety of resources, such as training, orientation, and support networks.

There are many different types of volunteer support programs available, each with its own focus and target audience. Some programs are designed for specific groups of volunteers, such as new volunteers, young volunteers, or volunteers with disabilities. Other programs are designed to provide support for specific types of volunteer work, such as disaster relief, environmental conservation, or social justice.

Annual Giving

Annual giving is a type of fundraising that focuses on raising money from individuals on an ongoing basis throughout the year. It is a critical component of a nonprofit’s fundraising strategy, as it can provide a steady stream of income to support the organization’s ongoing programs and services.

Annual Grant Stipends

An annual grant stipend is a type of grant that is awarded to individuals or organizations on an annual basis. These grants are typically used to support ongoing programs or activities, rather than one-time projects.

There are many different types of annual grant stipends available, each with its own eligibility requirements and benefits. Some grants are open to all applicants, while others are only available to specific groups of people, such as students, artists, or nonprofit organizations.

Internal Employee Fundraising

Internal employee fundraising is a type of fundraising that takes place within a company. It is a way for employees to come together and raise money for a cause that they care about.

There are many different ways to raise money through internal employee fundraising. Some common methods include:

  • Donation campaigns: Employees can donate money directly to the cause.
  • Matching gifts: Companies can match employee donations, which can double or triple the amount of money raised.
  • Volunteerism: Employees can volunteer their time to the cause.
  • Product sales: Employees can sell products or services to raise money for the cause.
  • Special events: Companies can host special events, such as bake sales or walk-a-thons, to raise money for the cause.

Employee Product Donation Programs (EPDP)

An Employee Product Donation Program (EPDP) is a corporate giving program that allows employees to donate company products to nonprofit organizations. EPDPs are a great way for companies to give back to their communities and to engage their employees in philanthropy.

There are many different ways that EPDPs can be structured. Some companies allow employees to donate any company product, while others only allow employees to donate specific products. Some companies also require employees to get approval from their manager before donating, while others do not.

How to start a corporate giving program for your company

Here are the steps on how to start a corporate giving program for your company:

  1. Set your goals. What do you want to achieve with your corporate giving program? Do you want to raise money for a specific cause, or do you want to encourage employee volunteerism? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a plan.
  2. Choose a cause. What cause is important to your company and its employees? Once you’ve chosen a cause, you can start researching nonprofits working to address that issue.
  3. Develop a plan. How will you raise money or encourage employee volunteerism? What are your timeline and budget? Once you have a plan, you can start to put it into action.
  4. Promote your program. Let your employees know about your corporate giving program and how to get involved. You can promote your program through company newsletters, social media, and other channels.
  5. Measure your results. How much money did you raise? How many employees volunteered? How did your program impact the cause you were supporting? By measuring your results, you can see how effective your program is and make adjustments as needed.

Here are some additional tips for starting a corporate giving program:

  • Get buy-in from senior leadership. It’s important to have the support of senior leadership in order to make your corporate giving program a success.
  • Involve employees. Employees are more likely to be engaged in a corporate giving program if they feel they have a say in its run.
  • Make it easy for employees to give. The easier it is for employees to give, the more likely they are to do so.
  • Track your results. It’s important to track your results to see how effective your corporate giving program is.

How does corporate giving affect employees?

Corporate giving can have a number of positive effects on employees, including:

  • Increased employee engagement: Employees who feel like their company is giving back to the community are more likely to be engaged in their work and to feel a sense of pride in their employer.
  • Improved morale: Employees who feel their company is making a difference in the world are likelier to be happy and motivated at work.
  • Reduced turnover: Employees who feel like their company is committed to social responsibility are more likely to stay with their employer for the long term.
  • Increased productivity: Employees who feel their work is meaningful are more likely to be productive and go the extra mile.
  • Improved reputation: Companies known for their corporate giving programs are often seen as more reputable and trustworthy by customers, investors, and the general public.

In addition to these direct benefits, corporate giving can also have a number of indirect benefits for employees. For example, employees who are engaged in their work and who feel like they are making a difference in the world are more likely to be healthy and happy. They are also more likely to be involved in their communities and to be positive role models for their children.

Overall, corporate giving can be a win-win for both companies and employees. It can help companies to improve their bottom line, their reputation, and their employee morale. It can also help employees to feel good about their work and to make a difference in the world.

How companies can benefit more from their corporate giving?

Companies can benefit more from their corporate giving in a number of ways. Here are a few tips:

  1. Choose a cause that is aligned with your company’s values. When employees see that their company is giving back to causes that they care about, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated.
  2. Get employees involved. Employees are more likely to be supportive of a corporate giving program if they feel like they have a say in how it’s run. Consider allowing employees to vote on which causes the company supports, or to volunteer their time to local charities.
  3. Measure your results. It’s important to track the impact of your corporate giving program so you can see how it’s benefiting your company and the community. This will help you to justify your investment and to make improvements as needed.
  4. Get the word out. Let your customers, investors, and the general public know about your corporate giving program. This will help to improve your company’s reputation and attract new business.

By following these tips, you can make sure that your corporate giving program is both effective and beneficial for your company.

Unleash the Power of Your Employee Giving Program: Best Practices Guide

Your Best Practices Guide for Maximizing Your Employee Giving Participation

This guide provides you with tools and tips to maximize employee participation in your giving program, not just when the program launches but throughout the entire year.

Leveraging our expertise in the social impact and nonprofit sectors, Groundswell is here to support you and your employees on your impact journey.


Employee giving programs can be a great way for companies to demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility, engage employees, and make a positive impact on the community. But too often, employees don’t take full advantage of the opportunities provided through their giving programs, leaving billions of funds unmatched every year. For some, this is due to either a lack of awareness about their company’s giving program, or for others because an unwieldy donation portal and match process that leaves employees frustrated. Groundswell’s technology brings corporate giving into the 21st century and unleashes the modern philanthropist in all of your employees.

Whether your goal is to grow the percentage of employees participating in your giving program, increase the amount of funds going to nonprofits, or to better understand the causes that matter most to your employees, these best practices can help you achieve those goals.

By reducing the administrative burden required to launch and implement a Giving Program, Groundswell frees you up to focus on what matters most: inspiring your employees and having a positive impact on the world through your company’s support for charitable causes.

6 Tips for Maximizing Participation in Your Employee Giving Program

1. Communicate Early and with Intention

Communication is a critical component of any successful giving program. We want you to have the tools to effectively share program details and encourage participation – whether launching a new employee giving program or transitioning from an existing one.

The key is to help employees understand why and how Groundswell fits into your company’s broader vision around corporate citizenship and employee engagement – and build enthusiasm around the potential to collectively have a positive impact on the world through donations to charities.

Program Launch Communications:

Here are some ways to think about the program launch. Depending on whether this is a new program or transitioning from an existing one, your adoption plan may change. You don’t want to inundate employees with too much information, while also providing them with the resources they need to successfully enroll in the program and easily engage on the platform.

  • Keep it short, and emphasize that the intent is to center employees in corporate philanthropy and make it as easy as possible for employees to give.
  • If the Giving Program is new: Why now? How does it align with your company’s values? Why is Groundswell a good fit for the company?
  • If the program is replacing an existing program: Why now? What’s different (and better) from the previous program? New matching or gifting features? It may also be helpful to highlight the tax effectiveness of the donor-advised fund model.

Monthly Program Communications

In order to encourage ongoing participation in your program, and for employees to take advantage of the gifts and matches offered by your company, we encourage monthly nudges to remind employees about the program.

Monthly Cause Spotlights

  • Start off the month by highlighting some timely causes – make sure to link to Groundswell-curated “Featured Cause” Portfolios that Groundswell uploads to the dashboard every month for a hand-off approach to spotlighting.
  • Share “Cause of the Month” information with employees, leveraging the toolkits found in Groundswell’s Resource Center.

Engagement & Impact Reporting

  • Utilize the data that you can find on your company Dashboard or download via CSV to highlight some of your company’s collective impact – including a percentage of employees enrolled, the total dollar amount that has been donated, as well as top nonprofit donation recipients and/or cause areas.
  • This helps employees see how their individual donations are having a larger impact as part of your company’s collective giving program.

2. Drive Early Adoption through Gifts

Gifts can be a terrific way to get employees to sign up and start using the Groundswell platform immediately. Here are a few tips on how to drive early adoption using the Gifting feature:

  • Launch with a one-time gift into employees’ Giving Accounts that will show up as soon as employees enroll. This can be a great way to create buzz about the program and empower employees to donate and make an impact immediately – even before they contribute their own funds to their Groundswell account.
  • Throughout the year, provide unexpected, ad hoc gifts into employees’ accounts – for work anniversaries, milestones, great performance, etc.
  • A way to make it fun is to do a lottery at All Hands meetings by randomly selecting an employee to receive $25 in their Groundswell account. Follow this link or reach out to the Groundswell Customer Success team to learn more.

3. Inspire Engagement through Matching

  • Set up a matching program that immediately doubles the impact when an employee puts funds into their Groundswell Giving Account. This creates a feeling of “we’re in this together” – and drives home the message about an equitable approach to corporate philanthropy.
  • A match program can run for an entire year, or be tailored to specific months.
  • With the Groundswell match happening at the point of contributing funds to the Groundswell account, employees can tangibly see and feel what it means to double the impact for the charities and causes that matter most to them.

4. Leverage Cause Campaigns & Respond to the Emergent Events

Planned Campaigns:

  • Utilize a Social Impact Cause Calendar to plan monthly or bi-monthly communications to employees highlighting specific causes – with resources to educate employees about the cause, and a curated list of nonprofits most relevant to the cause. You can refer to Groundswell’s monthly cause portfolios that are updated to reflect timely causes and issues.
  • Tip: Plan your annual budget to launch match campaigns focused on specific charities or cause areas throughout the year.

Unforeseen Events:

  • Utilize Groundswell’s curated list of best-in-class nonprofits responding to disasters in the United States or globally. Being able to quickly and confidently point your employees to vetted nonprofits to donate to shows that you are responsive as a company and empowering employees to take action in moments of crisis.
  • Tip: Keep a portion of your annual budget in reserve so that you can match employee donations and/or provide gifts to employees to expand the impact in response to the unforeseen emergency.

5. Engage Employee Resource Groups

Another mechanism to center employees in corporate philanthropy and recognize their own lived experiences: provide Employee Resource Groups (ERG) a platform to speak to key cause areas (e.g. AAPI Awareness, Black History Month, etc).

  • ERGs can take the opportunity to recommend nonprofits that they think are most effective and related to the cause, and share their commitment to specific causes with the tag-line “My cause is ____ “
  • Tip: Solicit recommendations from the Employee Resource Group for books to read, films, and documentaries to watch, and podcasts to listen to. This can generate a deeper understanding of causes and lead to engagement via donations to support the causes.

6. Lean Into End-of-Year Giving Spirit

30% of annual giving happens in December, with about 10% of all annual donations coming in the last three days of the year. For nonprofits, this can be a critical time to raise funds and prepare programming budgets for the next year.

You can leverage Groundswell’s Giving Tuesday resources to launch an end-of-year donation campaign, featuring specific cause areas and nonprofits.

Tip: Set a budget aside for a surprise end-of-year gift – leveraging the fact that a large percentage of people prefer to donate at the end of the year.

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Groundswell is your ally in corporate philanthropy.

Corporate giving programs aim to empower employees and help companies facilitate and support philanthropic efforts. As global access grows and corporations become more diverse, employee representation becomes an increasingly important subject.

Groundswell enables companies to lay the foundation for their employees to adopt a generous giving attitude towards charities and world-shaping efforts.

Complete Guide to Setting Up a Matching Gift Program for your Company

Are you a corporate leader interested in supporting your employees’ philanthropic efforts and making a positive impact in the community?

You may want to set up a corporate matching gift program for your company. A matching gift program is a charitable giving program where a company matches donations made by its employees to eligible nonprofit organizations.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up a matching gift program for your company:

What is a corporate matching gift program?

A corporate matching gift program is designed to encourage employees to give to charity and support causes they care about, as well as to demonstrate the company’s commitment to philanthropy and social responsibility.

Gift matching programs are an effective way for companies to support and strengthen their employees’ charitable giving efforts. By matching donations, companies can amplify the impact of their employees’ charitable contributions and make a positive impact in their community. This can also help to boost employee engagement, morale, and retention, as employees are more likely to feel engaged and proud of their company when they see their employer supporting causes they care about.

Corporate matching gift program boundaries

The parameters of a corporate matching gift program can vary from company to company but typically include the types of nonprofit organizations eligible for matching gifts, the minimum and maximum donation amounts that will be matched, and any other eligibility requirements, such as full-time employee status or a minimum tenure requirement.

Some companies may also choose to support specific causes or organizations by limiting their matching gifts to certain types of nonprofits, such as those focused on education, health, or the environment. Other companies give employees the freedom to give to the causes they care about most, given that the nonprofit organization is vetted. The latter option lends to a more inclusive and diverse giving experience for employees.

To administer a corporate matching gift program, companies often work with a matching gift vendor like Groundswell who can help manage the administrative tasks associated with the program, such as verifying nonprofit eligibility, processing donations, and disbursing matching gifts.

Groundswell is a modern corporate matching gift provider, suitable for everyone from small businesses to enterprises.

Overall, corporate matching gift programs are a win-win for companies and their employees. Not only do they allow companies to demonstrate their commitment to philanthropy and social responsibility, but they also help to strengthen employee engagement, boost morale, and make a positive impact in their community.

How does corporate gift matching work?

Companies launch corporate gift matching programs to support their employees’ interests and make a social impact in their community.

Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Eligibility: The company first determines which charitable organizations are eligible for the gift matching program. These organizations are usually non-profits that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  2. Employee donation: The employee makes a donation to one of the eligible charitable organizations.
  3. Employee request: The employee then submits a request to the company to have their donation matched. This request may be made online or through a paper form and may require the employee to provide proof of their donation.
  4. Company verification: The company verifies the employee’s donation and confirms that it is eligible for matching.
  5. Matching donation: Once the company has verified the donation, it will typically make a matching donation to the same charitable organization.
  6. Donation processing: The charitable organization receives both the employee’s donation and the company’s matching donation. The organization may provide a receipt for tax purposes to both the employee and the company.

How to set up a matching gift program

Step 1: Define the Parameters of Your Program

Before launching your matching gift program, you’ll need to define the parameters of your program. This includes determining the types of nonprofit organizations your company will match donations to, the minimum and maximum donation amounts that will be matched, and any other eligibility requirements, such as full-time employee status or a minimum tenure requirement.

Step 2: Choose a Matching Gift Vendor

Next, you’ll need to choose a matching gift vendor to administer your program. A matching gift vendor can help you manage the administrative tasks associated with a matching gift program, such as verifying nonprofit eligibility, processing donations, and disbursing matching gifts.

Groundswell is a matching gift vendor providing a modern solution built for the way people give today. Through the mobile app, employees can search for nonprofits and make donations directly through Groundswell.

Step 3: Communicate the Program to Your Employees

Once you have defined the parameters of your program and chosen a matching gift vendor, it’s time to communicate the program to your employees. This can be done through email announcements, company intranet postings, and other internal communication channels.

Be sure to provide clear instructions on how employees can participate in the program and how their donations will be matched.

Step 4: Launch the Program and Monitor the Results

After communicating the program to your employees, it’s time to launch the program! Be sure to monitor the results and track the impact of your matching gift program. You can do this by tracking the number of employees who participate in the program, the total amount of donations made, and the number of matching gifts disbursed.

By following these steps, you can set up a successful matching gift program for your company that supports your employees’ philanthropic efforts and makes a positive impact in your community. Happy giving!

More about Groundswell

Groundswell is a modern corporate matching gift provider, helping companies transform their company culture with matching gift programs.

Learn more about Groundswell, including pricing and deployment, by scheduling a demo with a company culture representative.

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Tax Benefits of Corporate Donation Matching Gifts: All You Need To Know

Corporate donation matching gifts programs are rising in popularity, and for good reason.

As more companies shift to better business practices and align with corporate social responsibility values, business leaders are looking for more ways to provide employee benefits that also make a social impact. Enter corporate matching gifts programs.

Along with making the world a better place, an added benefit corporate matching gifts programs offer are tax deductions.

In this article, you’ll find information on what a corporate matching gifts program is, what tax deductions you can expect from corporate matching gifts as an employer and an employee, and a financial-wellness hack on how to maximize your benefits using donor-advised funds.

What is a corporate donation matching gift program?

A corporate donation matching gift program is a type of charitable giving program in which companies match the donations made by their employees to eligible non-profit organizations.

Corporate donation matching gifts program providers offer experiences that differ in how they streamline the donation experience, consolidate and catalog donation receipts, or give donors access to different features. Those differences include access to a mobile app or access to different tax-advantaged accounts.

Are corporate donation-matching gifts tax deductible?

Yes. Corporate matching gift donations, like independent donations, are tax deductible and follow the same tax deduction rules for donations to eligible organizations.

Tax basics of corporate donation-matching gifts

Corporate matching gift programs offer several tax benefits for both the company and the employees who participate in them.

Matching gifts are tax-deductible expenses and can be deducted from the company’s taxable income. This can help reduce the amount of taxes the company has to pay to the government.

For employees, the tax benefits of corporate matching gifts depend on how they make their donations.

Pre-tax donations

The donation is considered pre-tax if an employee donates to an eligible non-profit organization directly from their paycheck through a payroll deduction program. This means the employee’s taxable income is reduced by the amount of the donation, and they pay less in federal income taxes and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes.

Additionally, because the matching gift is made by the company, the employee may be able to deduct the entire amount of their donation, including the matching amount, on their federal income tax return.

Post-tax donations

If an employee makes a donation to an eligible non-profit organization outside of a payroll deduction program, the donation is considered post-tax. In this case, the employee can still claim a tax deduction for their donation, but they may not be able to deduct the matching amount made by the company.

It’s important to note that the tax benefits of corporate matching gifts may vary depending on the specific laws and regulations in your country and state. It’s always a good idea to consult with a tax professional or financial advisor to understand how matching gifts may impact your tax situation.

Using a donor-advised fund as part of your corporate matching gifts program

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a charitable giving vehicle that allows donors to make a tax-deductible contribution to a fund, which is then used to make donations to eligible non-profit organizations over time.

Many corporate leaders and high-wealth donors channel their donations through their DAF to receive financial advantages.

DAFs offer several tax advantages for donors, including:

  1. Immediate tax deduction: When a donor contributes to a DAF, they can immediately claim a tax deduction for the full amount of the contribution on their federal income tax return, even if the funds are not immediately disbursed to non-profit organizations.
  2. Capital gains tax savings: Donors can contribute appreciated assets, such as stocks or real estate, to a DAF and receive a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the assets. This allows donors to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the appreciation of the assets, which can be significant tax savings.
  3. Simplified record-keeping: When donors contribute to a DAF, they no longer need to keep track of individual donations made to non-profit organizations throughout the year. Instead, the DAF sponsor handles all record-keeping and tax reporting, which can simplify the donor’s tax preparation process.
  4. Flexibility in giving: Donors can recommend grants from their DAF to eligible non-profit organizations at any time, allowing them to support charitable causes as their interests and priorities change.
  5. Legacy giving: Donors can name their DAF as a beneficiary of their estate, ensuring that their charitable giving continues after their death.

It’s important to note that once funds are contributed to a DAF, the donor no longer has control over the assets and cannot take them back for personal use.

Additionally, DAFs are subject to annual administrative fees, which can vary depending on the sponsor and the size of the fund. As with any tax-related matter, it’s always a good idea to consult with a tax professional or financial advisor to understand the full range of tax implications and benefits of corporate matching gift programs and a DAF.

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Everything You Need to Know About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace

Having a workplace that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential for creating a work environment that is respectful, supportive, and equitable for all employees.

Diversity in the workplace can bring about a variety of viewpoints, experiences, and skills that can help an organization become more productive and successful.

Equity in the workplace means ensuring that everyone has the same access to resources and opportunities regardless of their background or identity.

Inclusion in the workplace means valuing each person’s unique perspectives and creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and respected.

By creating such an environment, organizations can attract and retain top talent, increase employee engagement, create a positive working environment, and drive innovation and growth.

Moreover, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is important for creating a workplace free of discrimination and bias and fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance for all employees. Ultimately, a diverse and inclusive workplace can help organizations achieve their goals and objectives in an ethical and successful manner.

What is DEI?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are three interconnected concepts that are important for creating and maintaining a fair and just society. This idea is also important for business.

Diversity refers to the range of differences among people, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, ability, and socioeconomic status. It is important to recognize and value these differences, as they bring a variety of perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table.

Equity refers to the fair and just treatment of all individuals, regardless of their differences. This means providing the necessary resources and opportunities for everyone to succeed and thrive. This can involve things like addressing structural inequalities, such as systemic racism and discrimination and implementing policies and practices that promote fairness and equal access.

Inclusion refers to the active involvement and engagement of all individuals in a given community or organization. This involves creating a welcoming and inclusive culture where everyone feels valued, respected, and heard.

Why DEI is good for business?

DEI is important for business for a number of reasons. First and foremost, a diverse and inclusive workplace can lead to improved decision-making, creativity, and innovation. When there is a range of perspectives and experiences represented in the workplace, it can lead to a broader range of ideas and solutions to problems. In addition, a diverse and inclusive workplace can also improve the company’s reputation and attract top talent.

DEI is also important for business because it is the right thing to do. Discrimination and inequality are wrong and have negative impacts on individuals and society as a whole. By promoting DEI, businesses can play a role in creating a fair and just society.

Finally, DEI is important for business because it can improve the bottom line. Studies have shown that diverse and inclusive organizations tend to have better financial performance and higher levels of customer satisfaction. Customers are increasingly seeking out companies that reflect their values and prioritize DEI.

Overall, DEI is important for business because it leads to a more positive and productive work environment, helps to attract top talent, is the right thing to do, and can improve financial performance.

DEI for Small Businesses

Businesses of all sizes benefit from DEI. 

In the case of small businesses, DEI is crucial to the success and growth of the company. That’s because the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion has a greater impact on the company’s employees. Because each employee has a greater influence on the company’s outcome, it’s even more important that each individual feel they’re being properly represented in the company.

Though the size of the company is much smaller than mid-market and enterprise-sized businesses, the magnitude of its impact can be felt to a much higher degree. 

This opportunity gives company leaders of small businesses the opportunity to start building the company culture that supports DEI in the workplace.

Challenges with DEI

DEI can be a challenging and ongoing process, as it requires acknowledging and addressing issues of power, privilege, and bias. It also involves ongoing education, self-reflection, and communication. It is important for individuals and organizations to be open to learning and growth in order to create and maintain a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive society.

A major hurdle for companies who want to align themselves with DEI best practices is building a program that lends itself to fostering inclusion without making others feel left out. 

How to practice diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Organizational leaders want to build a company culture that reflects the principles of its workforce and the society it operates in. Practicing DEI ensures companies stay aligned with their workforce, their customers, and all stakeholders involved.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Offer a diverse range of job opportunities
  • Create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all employees
  • Have a diverse representation in management and leadership roles
  • Listen to and address employee feedback
  • Educate staff members on bias and inclusion
  • Promote an equitable work environment
  • Implement policies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to a successful workplace. Companies need to ensure that they are actively supporting these values by taking steps such as: providing equal access to resources, ensuring fair treatment of all employees regardless of background, and recognizing and valuing different perspectives. 

By doing this, they can foster a culture of acceptance, respect, and belonging that will ensure everyone in the workplace feels included and appreciated.

List of Nonprofit Organizations in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a beautiful, metropolitan city that’s as diverse as they come. LA has become the destination for many communities, including many nonprofit organizations dedicated to making a difference in their local and global communities. 

Here’s a growing list of nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles categorized by theme. Bookmark this page and check back as we add more nonprofits to this list.


Community and Youth

Inner City Arts: This organization provides arts education to underserved youth in the Skid Row neighborhood of Los Angeles.

LA Works: This organization connects volunteers with local schools and community organizations to support various community service projects.

LA Promise Fund: This organization works to improve education and life outcomes for young people in Los Angeles through a variety of programs and initiatives.

Los Angeles Youth Network: This organization provides housing, education, and other support services to homeless and at-risk youth in the Los Angeles area.

Partnership for LA Schools: This organization works to improve academic achievement and support the development of students in high-need schools in Los Angeles.


Heal the Bay: This organization works to protect and restore Santa Monica Bay and other southern California coastal waters. They focus on issues such as water quality, plastic pollution, and habitat protection.

The Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters: This group works to promote environmental policies and elect pro-environmental candidates to public office.

The Nature Conservancy of Los Angeles: This nonprofit works to protect and restore natural habitats in the Los Angeles region, with a focus on preserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable land use.

Los Angeles Waterkeeper: This organization works to protect and restore the quality of Los Angeles’ waterways and coastal waters through advocacy, education, and community engagement.

TreePeople: This group works to promote urban forestry and green infrastructure in the Los Angeles region, with a focus on increasing tree canopy cover, improving air and water quality, and enhancing the urban environment.


LA Promise Fund: This organization works to improve public education in Los Angeles by supporting school leadership and teacher development, providing resources for students and families, and advocating for policies that benefit students.

LA Education Partnership: This nonprofit works to close the achievement gap in Los Angeles by providing resources and support to schools in high-need areas.

Partnership for Los Angeles Schools: This organization partners with the Los Angeles Unified School District to improve academic achievement and create a positive school culture at a group of high-need schools in Los Angeles.

LA’s Best: This after-school program serves elementary school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, providing them with academic enrichment and recreational activities.

LA Fund for Public Education: This organization supports public education in Los Angeles by providing grants to schools and teachers, advocating for policies that benefit students, and engaging community members in the education process.


The Animal Wellness Foundation: This nonprofit organization is based in Los Angeles and works to improve the lives of animals through a variety of programs and initiatives.

The Best Friends Animal Society: This national animal welfare organization has a chapter in Los Angeles that operates a pet adoption center and works to reduce the number of animals killed in shelters.

The Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation: This nonprofit organization supports the work of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, through fundraising and public education efforts.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (SPCA LA): This nonprofit organization provides animal welfare services in the Los Angeles area, including pet adoption, spay and neuter services, and cruelty investigation and rescue.

The Wildlife Waystation: This nonprofit sanctuary in Los Angeles County provides rescue, rehabilitation, and permanent care for exotic and indigenous wildlife.


AltaMed Health Services Corporation: AltaMed is a community health center that provides a range of medical, dental, and mental health services to underserved populations in the Los Angeles area.

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center: This community health center offers primary care, dental care, and behavioral health services to patients of all ages.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: This pediatric hospital provides comprehensive medical care to children and adolescents, including specialized services such as cancer treatment, heart surgery, and trauma care.

The Los Angeles Free Clinic. This non-profit organization provides free medical, dental, and mental health services to uninsured and underserved individuals in the Los Angeles area.

The Venice Family Clinic: This community health center provides primary care, dental care, and mental health services to low-income and uninsured individuals in the Los Angeles area.

Social Justice

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California: This group works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA): This organization works to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles.

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles: This group works to combat police brutality and racial profiling, and to advocate for the rights of black people in Los Angeles.

LAXart: This nonprofit organization works to promote social justice and equity through contemporary art exhibitions and public programming.


The Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System: This government-run organization provides healthcare and support services to military veterans in the Los Angeles area.

The American Legion: This nonprofit organization supports veterans and their families through a variety of programs, including assistance with healthcare, education, and employment.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW): This national organization provides support to military veterans and their families through a variety of programs and services, including financial assistance, healthcare, and education.

The Wounded Warrior Project: This nonprofit organization provides support to military veterans who have been wounded or injured during their service. This includes physical and mental health support, as well as assistance with employment and education.

The Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative: This coalition of organizations works together to support military veterans in the Los Angeles area through a variety of programs and services, including healthcare, housing, and education.

Disaster Relief

Team Rubicon: This nonprofit organization uses the skills and experiences of military veterans to respond to disasters and provide humanitarian aid. Since its inception, Team Rubicon has responded to numerous disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires, and has provided assistance to communities in need all over the world. The organization is known for its unique approach to disaster response, which combines the speed and agility of a military operation with the compassion and care of a humanitarian organization.

American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles: This organization provides disaster relief services, including emergency shelter, food, and support for those affected by disasters in the Los Angeles area.

Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Foundation: This organization provides funding and support for the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s emergency medical services, which respond to disasters and other emergencies.

Salvation Army Los Angeles: This organization provides disaster relief services, including emergency shelter, food, and support to those affected by disasters in the Los Angeles area.

Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation: This organization provides support and funding for the Los Angeles Fire Department, which responds to disasters and other emergencies in the area.

LA Family Housing: This organization provides temporary housing and support services to individuals and families affected by homelessness, including those who have been displaced by disasters.


Los Angeles Mission: This organization provides services such as meals, shelter, and healthcare to people experiencing homelessness in LA.

Union Rescue Mission: This is another organization that provides services such as meals, shelter, and healthcare to people experiencing homelessness in LA.

LA Family Housing: This nonprofit provides affordable housing and support services to low-income individuals and families in LA.

St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles: This organization helps low-income individuals and families in LA by providing them with basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter.

The People Concern: This nonprofit organization provides a range of services to people experiencing homelessness in LA, including case management, housing assistance, and access to healthcare.

Arts & Culture

Los Angeles County Arts Commission: This nonprofit organization supports and promotes the arts in Los Angeles County, including visual and performing arts, literature, and film and media arts.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): LACMA is a nonprofit art museum that features a wide range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs.

The Music Center: This organization supports and presents performing arts in Los Angeles, including music, dance, and theater.

The Hammer Museum: The Hammer Museum is a nonprofit museum focused on contemporary art and ideas. It offers exhibitions, public programs, and a research library.

The J. Paul Getty Museum: The J. Paul Getty Museum is a nonprofit museum that features a wide range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It is located in the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

How to Develop a Corporate Grant Strategy for Business Leaders

Developing a corporate grant strategy is an essential part of any organization’s philanthropy and social responsibility initiatives. A well-crafted grant strategy can help your organization achieve its mission, meet its impact goals, and build relationships with key stakeholders.

If you want to develop a corporate grant strategy, here’s how to do it. First, let’s talk more about what a corporate grant is and the types of corporate grants out there.

What is a Corporate Grant?

A corporate grant is a financial award given by a company or organization to an individual, group, or organization for a specific purpose, such as research or charitable purposes. Corporate grants can vary in size, scope, and purpose, and may be given in the form of cash, in-kind services, or other resources.

Types of Corporate Grants

Corporate grants are typically awarded to organizations or individuals who are able to demonstrate the potential to make a positive impact in their field. Common types of corporate grants include:

  • Community grants support projects or initiatives within a given community, often targeting a specific demographic group.
  • Project grants support specific projects or initiatives implemented by nonprofit organizations
  • Research grants support research into a particular field or topic
  • Scholarship grants support students pursuing higher education or other educational pursuits
  • Endowment grants support an organization’s long-term sustainability

Creating a Corporate Grant Strategy

Creating a corporate grant strategy can be a daunting task for corporations. It requires a lot of research, analysis, and coordination between multiple departments and stakeholders.

A corporate grant strategy should be tailored to the specific needs of the company and should include a plan for how the company will engage with potential grantees, how it will allocate funds, and how it will measure the impact of its investments.

With the right strategy in place, corporations can ensure that their grant-making efforts are effective and that their funding is making a meaningful difference.

1. Identify potential grantees

Start by researching organizations that meet the criteria of your corporate grant strategy – and align with the social and environmental impact goals for your company. It is important to look for organizations that have a strong mission, clear goals, and a track record of success.

Furthermore, consider the types of causes you want to support, the geographic areas you want to serve, and the populations you want to target.

2. Define your grant criteria:

Make sure to clearly define the criteria for your grants. This should include the amount of money you are willing to provide, the type of project you are interested in funding, and the timeline for when the grant funds should be used. Many corporate grants can be effective if given in a lump sum upfront, but other grants may be disbursed over time based on milestones.

Additionally, consider if you will require any reporting or accountability from the grantees to ensure that the grant money is being used effectively. 

3. Create a grant application:

Develop an application process for potential grantees to apply for your grants. This should include the necessary documents and information that they need to provide to be considered, including a detailed project proposal, budget, and timeline.

Make sure to set a deadline for when applications will be accepted to ensure that the process is organized and efficient.

4. Review applications

Carefully review each application to determine if it fits the criteria of your grant strategy.

Make sure to pay attention to the details of each application to ensure that the organization is a good fit for your corporate grant. Consider the organization’s track record, the impact of the proposed project, and the qualifications of the people who will be implementing the project.

5. Finalize the selection

Once you have identified the organizations that you want to provide grants to, finalize the selection and notify them of your decision.

Make sure to provide clear instructions on how the grant money should be used and the timeline for when it should be used.

6. Monitor and evaluate

Monitor the progress of the grantees and evaluate the impact of your grants on the organizations and communities you are trying to help.

Consider tracking metrics such as the number of people served, the amount of money raised, and broader outcomes in the communities where the grant money is being used.

7. Report your results

Keep track of your results and report them to your organization. This will help in understanding the impact of the grants and informing future grant strategies. Sharing the results internally can also provide employees with a sense of connection to the important causes that the company is supporting.

8. Adjust your strategy

As you continue to monitor and evaluate your grants, you may need to make changes to your strategy to ensure that it is effective.

Consider changes such as increasing or decreasing the amount of money provided, shifting the focus to different cause areas, or changing the types of organizations you are willing to fund.

9. Celebrate successes

Celebrate the successes of your grantees and the impact that your grants have had on the organizations and communities you are helping.

Share stories and success metrics with your team and your organization to showcase the impact of your corporate grant strategy. This can also be a time to jointly celebrate alongside the nonprofit partners who are recipients of the grants. 

Disbursement Options

As part of your corporate grant strategy, you’ll need to decide on how to disburse the grants to your recipients. Most commonly, companies start a foundation to hold and disburse funds to nonprofits.

Why use a corporate foundation?

A corporate foundation is a nonprofit organization that is funded by a for-profit corporation. It works in collaboration with the corporation to support charitable activities that are related to the company’s areas of interest. 

The foundation can provide grants to charitable organizations, as well as support employees’ volunteer work, and provide in-kind donations.

Often, opening a corporate foundation takes a great deal of administrative burden that companies don’t have the resources to support. A simpler and more affordable option is to use a Donor-Advised Fund

Can I use a Donor-Advised Fund as a corporate foundation?

Yes. A corporate donor-advised fund can act as a corporate foundation. A corporate DAF enables granting funds to causes – and by extension, nonprofits – the company supports. 

It works by providing donors with a tax-deductible donation to the fund, which they can then use to provide grants to their chosen charities over time. The donor is not required to make the grants immediately, and can instead choose when and how to distribute the funds. 

The DAF also provides donors with a way to streamline giving and manage charitable activities.

Open a DAF with Groundswell

Setting up a corporate grant strategy for business leaders is a great way to provide additional funding for projects and initiatives that may not have been possible without this extra source of funding. 

With careful planning and research, business leaders can create a grant strategy that best suits the needs of their company and organization, as well as their overall impact goals and objectives.

Groundswell provides corporate DAFs that deliver all the benefits of a corporate foundation without the administrative burden at a much lower cost. 

Book a free consultation and learn more about opening a DAF for distributing corporate grants.

22 Popular and Trending Corporate Giving Strategies for the Modern Business

Corporate giving strategies help modern businesses align with corporate social responsibility and ESG commitments. They also aid businesses in aligning their values with those of their employees.

A good corporate giving strategy will not only lead to a positive impact on social and environmental issues, but also results in increased brand recognition and reputation, as well as improved employee morale and engagement.

With the most recent business trends, employees and customers are avoiding corporations who ignore their societal impact and shifting towards doing business with  purpose-driven companies.

An effective corporate giving strategy serves as the bridge between a company and the people they serve.

There are many different corporate giving strategies that companies can adopt. Here are 22 examples of a corporate giving strategy that’s worked in the past:

22 Corporate Giving Strategies for Purpose-Driven Companies

Philanthropic Giving

In-kind donations: Companies may donate products or services, rather than money, to nonprofit organizations.

Corporate foundations: Many companies have their own foundations, which are separate nonprofit organizations that are funded by the company and can more flexibly engage in philanthropic work beyond what might be possible by the company itself.

Sponsorships: Companies may sponsor events, programs, or projects run by nonprofit organizations.

Direct donations: Companies may make direct financial donations to nonprofit organizations.

Social impact bonds: In this type of program, a company partners with a nonprofit organization to fund a specific project or program. The company provides the funding upfront, and the nonprofit repays the funds with interest if the project is successful.

Corporate Grants: Some companies make grants – through a Foundation, Donor Advised Fund, or other philanthropy-focused budgets –  to nonprofit organizations that align with their philanthropic goals.

Impact investing: Companies may make investments in organizations or projects (often known as social enterprises) that are expected to generate financial return alongside social or environmental impact.


Employee volunteer programs: Some companies have programs in place to encourage employees to volunteer their time to support nonprofit organizations.

Volunteer time off: Some companies allow employees to take paid time off to volunteer at a nonprofit organization of their choice.

Pro-bono services: Companies may offer pro bono services, such as legal or consulting services, to nonprofit organizations.

Sponsorship of educational programs: Companies may sponsor educational programs, such as scholarships or mentorship programs, run by nonprofit organizations – especially when there is an alignment with the company’s sector.

Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives: Many companies have CSR initiatives in place to address social and environmental issues. These initiatives may include a variety of giving strategies, such as direct donations, sponsorships, and employee volunteer programs.

Diverse and inclusive giving programs: Instead of restricting grants or donation to specific issues or cause areas, some companies have programs in place to support a wide range of causes and nonprofit organizations.

Employee donation-matching programs: In this type of program, the company matches donations made by employees to eligible nonprofit organizations.

Learn more about employee giving programs

Social enterprise: Some companies may operate social enterprises, which are businesses that are established to achieve a social or environmental mission, with profits being reinvested in the mission.

Employee gifting: Alongside a traditional donation-match program, many companies are implementing programs where employees are gifted funds to donate to the charity of their choice.

Corporate philanthropy consulting: Companies may work with philanthropy consultants to help them identify and prioritize giving opportunities.


Employee giving campaigns: Companies may run campaigns to encourage employees to donate to a specific cause or nonprofit organization, or in the wake of an important event such as a natural disaster.

Employee charitable giving committees: Some companies have committees made up of employees that help to identify charitable giving opportunities and make recommendations to management.

Community partnerships: Companies may form long-term partnerships with nonprofit organizations and other community groups to address specific needs in the local community.

Cause-related marketing: This involves partnering with a nonprofit organization to promote a product or service, with a portion of the proceeds going to the nonprofit.

Crowdfunding campaigns: Companies may use crowdfunding platforms to raise money for a specific cause or nonprofit organization.

These are examples of corporate giving strategies. Companies may adopt one or a combination of these strategies depending on their goals and resources.

Groundswell is an affordable workplace giving platform built for modern businesses. We give organizations the infrastructure and tools to make it easy to empower employees to support the causes they care about during moments that matter most.

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