Corporate Philanthropy Trends in 2016

nonprofit strategy

Today’s nonprofit organizations and companies can stand to learn a lot from each other.

Perhaps your nonprofit is having trouble reaching your major gift donors or is needing guidance with fundraising strategies. Furthermore, as far as your corporate partners go, they can benefit by demonstrating their corporate social responsibility. After all, no one wants to give their money to a company that does not care about making the world a better place.

Think about it: your nonprofit can give companies the chance to show consumers that they are concerned with things other than just making money.


Rising Through the Ranks

Over the past few years, there’s no doubt we’ve seen corporate responsibility expand and evolve. In fact, 2015, as well as the first part of 2016, proved that responsibility, purpose and transparency are all minimum requirements when it comes to expectations for today’s modern companies.

For the remainder the year, and heading in 2017, I expect companies will continue to step up their game in corporate philanthropy programs. They will grow more creative, collaborative and inclusive as their corporate responsibility initiatives come of age, creating more compelling and desirable employer/consumer brands.

Here are a few corporate philanthropy trends that I’ve noticed have risen through the ranks:


The Power of Youth

With 100 million millennials, half of whom are already in the workforce, nonprofits today cannot afford to ignore this constantly growing donor segment. In fact, more than three-fourths of millennials, according to recent statistics, have donated to nonprofits in the past few years. And because more millennials will be entering the workforce as they graduate college, nonprofits must step up their outreach game.

Corporate millennials are definitely not like previous generations of givers. They expect a digital relationship with a nonprofit. And while some don’t mind receiving direct mail and phone calls, many more prefer interacting with their favorite businesses and organizations online and on their mobile devices. Think crowdfunding pages for your 5K race or making a donation during a fundraising event with text-to-give.


Make Mobile Giving a Reality

Whether it’s a Blackberry, an iPhone or Android device, everyone from interns to the CEO today seem to be tweeting, posting, liking and talking on their smartphones and tablets.

As a result, today’s savvy corporations are encouraging their employees to donate during special fundraising events, using text-to-give mobile responsive donation pages.

This type of corporate philanthropy will become increasingly popular the more that your donors know about them. So if you have a mobile donation page or use text-to-give technology during your organization’s fundraisers, always let your donors know and ask them to spread the word.


Let’s Make a Match

“Matching gift programs are about equally split between companies matching any employee gift (open programs) and those that match a limited number of charities or specifically identified charities,” according to the most recent Snapshot report from America’s Charities.

Furthermore, statistics show that nearly two-thirds of all large corporations will match donations, with 80 percent of those companies using some type of technology platform, to empower employees to access their matching gift program.

As a result, it’s vital for your nonprofit to be effectively marketing matching gifts to supporters. While not all of them will work for companies that match their donations, the growing trend indicates that more and more corporations will start expanding their matching gift programs.

The bottom line: while your nonprofit can always just “ask” for donations from companies, it is even better if you can form a meaningful, long-term relationship with companies that actively and enthusiastically support your organization’s mission via volunteers and employee giving.

Personal is powerful. That’s why IPM Advancement works with nonprofits we care about in order to develop integrated annual giving fundraising, membership and advocacy solutions that enable our clients to do more good.


On average, new IPM clients see a 34.8% increase in direct mail fundraising acquisition response rates within the first year of working with us. Want to learn more?

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