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BYU research provides a blueprint for institutions to improve employee giving

Tis the season… for workplace giving, and new research from BYU professor Rob Christensen reveals a blueprint for institutions looking to increase charitable donations.

Christensen, associate professor of public management in the Romney Institute of Public Management (Marriott School), joined with researchers from IUPUI to break down feedback on workplace giving from more than 6,000 people across the nation.

“We wanted to know whether matching programs, employer endorsements and other strategies inspire more employees to support particular causes and what might increase giving overall,” Christensen said. “We learned that there are certainly some things to emphasize, as well as some things to avoid.”

Here are five guidelines they suggest to employers who encourage workplace giving:

  • Make a big deal out of the campaign, and make sure people know it is an institutional priority.
  • Ensure that employees know about matching programs and find them user-friendly.
  • Let employees choose from a range of charities.
  • Don’t make a fuss over the people who give at work. They don’t do it for the attention.
  • Refrain from having co-workers ask each other to make donations.

The study, recently published in Nonprofit Management & Leadership, also uncovered some interesting facts about employees who give. According to the study, people who earned more said they gave more and those with more education reported making larger donations. Christensen’s related work also suggests that an employee’s duration of employment (longer), sex (female) and age (older) are all positive predictors of workplace giving.

To read more on the nation-wide study, take a look at this deep-dive from Christensen himself, along with research co-author Genevieve Shaker, written for nonprofit academic news outlet, The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/what-works-in-workplace-giving-81243