Quick Guide to Corporate Giving Programs for Nonprofits

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When thinking about fundraising, most people immediately think of individual donors, but corporations are another great source of potential revenue for nonprofits! Corporate giving programs, which are akin to corporate social responsibility programs, often reflect a business’s moral compass. They have the potential to enhance a corporation’s reputation while simultaneously contributing to a worthy cause.

There are many ways a business can participate in corporate philanthropy to produce benefits for both the corporation and the nonprofits they partner with. Learn how corporate giving programs can help your organization in this quick guide!

What is corporate giving? 

Corporate giving is the term used when a for-profit company in some way donates to charitable causes. This practice helps businesses cement stronger relationships with the communities they serve. While corporate giving is often monetary, it can also include various giving strategies, from resources to volunteer programs organized with different nonprofits.  

Corporate philanthropy 

Corporate giving programs are usually part of a larger corporate philanthropy strategy a business has. Corporate philanthropy is a fundamental part of a company’s efforts to make an impact for the public benefit in four core areas of focus: 

  • Improving society. Many corporations provide support to initiatives that improve healthcare, education, environmental sustainability, and other charitable causes that contribute to a better society. 
  • Engaging employees. Corporate giving programs help keep employees more engaged and loyal to the businesses providing them. 
  • Strengthening business. Corporate philanthropy can enhance a company’s reputation and lead to increased customer loyalty and positive public relations. 
  • Building partnerships. With corporate philanthropy, companies and nonprofits can collaborate and build lasting partnerships to create a positive impact on their community.  
corporate giving program represented by hands holding a heart and a coin made of clay

Benefits of corporate giving programs 

Corporate giving programs are mutually beneficial for businesses and nonprofits. These benefits vary based on the type of corporate giving program and the type of engagement it receives.  

Benefits for corporations 

Here are a few benefits corporations gain from participating in corporate philanthropy: 

  • Boosted employee morale and engagement. Employees enjoy it when their company values the same causes they do. Corporate giving programs help employees feel pride in their job by joining them to participate in volunteering and fundraising for causes they care about, leading to higher job satisfaction. 
  • Improved reputation and brand image. Corporate philanthropy helps companies build a strong community presence, which can lead to better relations with important local figures. It also shows companies are socially responsible, leading to increased trust from the general public.  
  • Added recruitment advantage. Corporate giving programs can be a big selling point for potential employees because it shows a company cares about their community. These programs also help with employee retention, as employees value businesses that share a commitment to philanthropy.  
  • Tax benefits. Corporate philanthropy is tax-deductible, which provides a nice perk for participating corporations. These benefits can help companies offset the cost of their corporate giving programs. 
  • Increased brand loyalty. Customers and stakeholders also value corporate giving programs when considering what companies to support. Businesses can increase loyalty to their brand by supporting the causes their customers care about. 

Benefits for nonprofits 

Here are some of the benefits nonprofits receive from corporate philanthropy efforts: 

  • Diverse source of income. It can be risky for nonprofits to rely on donations for income with no safety net. Corporate giving programs help nonprofits have diversified streams of income by contributing donations, scholarships, grants, matching gift programs, and other resources to supplement a nonprofit’s operations.  
  • Increased volunteer recruitment. Corporate social responsibility programs can also include volunteer programs, providing nonprofits with much needed volunteers with a wider range of professional skills. These programs can also include pro bono services as an in-kind donation to the nonprofit 
  • Expanded audience. Donors from a business may have a different network than a nonprofit’s current donor groups that can be tapped into to widen their donor base. Companies can also provide unique marketing opportunities at corporate events to help nonprofits increase their reach amongst possible supporters.  
  • Networking opportunities. Corporate giving programs can introduce nonprofits to other potential philanthropic partners. These networking opportunities can lead to long-term partnerships between businesses and nonprofits that can can help increase the nonprofit’s advocacy efforts for their cause.  
people volunteering as part of a corporate giving program

Corporate giving program ideas 

There are many types of corporate social responsibility programs that are meant to meet different needs that nonprofits have. Here are a few ways businesses can participate in corporate philanthropy  

Gift matching 

One of the most common ways companies participate in corporate philanthropy is by implementing a gift matching program where employees can request their donations to certain organizations be matched by the company. These programs are easy for employees to participate in and boost both the business’s reputation and the money raised for the eligible nonprofits. Companies can do this with individual donations, or they can host a fundraising match event, where the corporation matches the total amount a nonprofit raises for a specific campaign up to a specified amount.  

Volunteer programs 

Volunteers are one of the most needed resources for nonprofits. In fact, recent reports value one hour of volunteer work at $31.80. Companies can encourage their employees to volunteer for the causes they care about by offering paid volunteer days where staff have a specified amount of Paid Time Off (PTO) dedicated for time they spend volunteering for a local charitable cause. Companies can also offer skills-based volunteer programs for specific professional skills employees can provide that nonprofits may need assistance with, such as marketing, finance, legal advice, strategic planning, and more! 


Corporate grants are another way companies can participate in corporate philanthropy. A business can determine a set of criteria for nonprofits to meet to receive a grant from the company. These grants can be created for different purposes within the charitable organization. Companies can offer financial grants for a specific cause or for community innovation programs. Alternatively, they may offer volunteer grants, allocating a designated amount of money to donate to organizations where their employees volunteer the most. Corporations can also set aside an annual stipend to distribute in the form of grants to various community programs.  

In-kind donations 

Corporations can also offer their products or services to nonprofits as in-kind donations. Supplies and professional services are both costly resources for nonprofits, so by donating their services to charitable causes, companies can easily boost their philanthropic efforts for little cost to their business. In-kind donations can take many forms including not only goods and services, but expertise/training, facilities, transportation, marketing and advertising, professional development and more.

Corporate sponsorships 

Corporate sponsorships are a great corporate giving option because they often include extra advertising for the company that sponsors the nonprofit. Businesses can provide either financial or in-kind support to charitable organizations for specific events or campaigns in exchange for advertising space on event merch, signage, or websites. This promotes an established relationship between the business and the nonprofit by showcasing the company’s logo at charitable events. 

Payroll giving

Companies can enable their employees to give directly from their paychecks by allowing automatic payroll deductions. Employees can choose any donation amount to automatically donate to their favorite causes from their paycheck, providing eligible nonprofits with a steady stream of donations while fostering a culture of giving back within the company. 


Another great corporate giving program campaigns can establish is a scholarship program. Scholarships help promote education within the community and provide meaningful opportunities to individuals who may end up becoming employees. Corporations can offer scholarships for related fields of study or provide a scholarship fund to nonprofits that are focused on advancing education within the community. Or companies can offer scholarships to employees looking for additional education to further their work at the business. 

Cause marketing campaigns 

Cause marketing is another type of corporate philanthropy that can be incredibly beneficial for both the business and the nonprofit. These campaigns help raise funds for the nonprofit through the business offering a product that has a portion of its sales dedicated towards the nonprofit. These campaigns help increase visibility for both the company and the nonprofit while raising funds for the cause.  

Getting started with corporate philanthropy 

If you’re interested in launching a corporate giving program, you may not know where to start. To help you get started, here’s how both nonprofits and corporations can kickstart a corporate social responsibility giving program. 

For companies 

  1. Set a budget. Decide how much money can be allocated to the corporate giving program without negatively impacting the operations of the business. 
  1. Choose a cause. Pick a cause that relates to the corporation’s mission or complements the company’s values. Look for local nonprofits that can be supported either financially or through volunteer work. 
  1. Create a giving plan. Work out the details and guidelines for the program. The guidelines should include which organizations are eligible and how much funding is available per employee. 
  1. Market the program. People can’t participate in a program they don’t know about! Market the corporate giving program to employees internally and announce the program externally to help recruit employees and customers. 
  1. Add the program to a corporate giving database. There are several databases that can make corporate philanthropy even easier for employees to participate in.  
  1. Track the data. Monitor the impact of the giving program using data tracking software to help improve the program over time. 

For nonprofits 

  1. Research potential businesses. Search for companies with similar missions or values by using online databases that help find potential corporate donors. 
  1. Identify connections through existing supporters. A good way to find potential companies is by reaching out through current donors’ connections and employers. 
  1. Network and reach out to the best matches. Don’t be afraid to make the first move! Contact potential corporate partners to express interest in joining their giving programs. Or market corporate philanthropy opportunities through email and social media for corporations to find. 
  1. Create a presentation to highlight program benefits. Showcase the benefits of corporate philanthropy with a presentation to motivate potential partners to join the program.  
  1. Offer partnership opportunities. Provide different options to potential corporate partners to create a long-term, mutually beneficial program. 
  1. Evaluate programs and show data. Track corporate philanthropy data and evaluate program efficiency to provide transparency to both partners and donors to stay accountable.  
Qgiv donation form mockup featuring GiftAssist and recurring giving

Corporate giving software 

Technology is constantly advancing the fundraising landscape, and the right software can make corporate philanthropy even more effective. 

How software helps nonprofits and corporations 

The right software can streamline the entire process of corporate giving. Some fundraising software, such as Double the Donation, can automatically notify donors if their company offers a gift matching program and help them submit their donations for matching. Nonprofits may also be able to enable this option within their donation forms depending on their fundraising software. Volunteer software is also available to track volunteer schedules and ensure accountability within corporate volunteer programs. 

Software features to look out for 

When choosing the right nonprofit software, be sure to prioritize features that make philanthropy easier for everyone involved. Look for online giving options, engagement tools, and comprehensive data reporting to ensure philanthropy is quick, engaging, and simple to track. Finding the right software increases the impact corporate giving programs can make. 

How Qgiv + Bloomerang can help 

Qgiv provides a comprehensive suite of fundraising tools that enable nonprofits to raise money more effectively. Qgiv donation forms can integrate with Double the Donation to streamline the gift matching program. Plus, with unlimited forms, peer-to-peer fundraising tools and more, nonprofits can create custom pages for nearly every kind of corporate philanthropy campaign.

Bloomerang specializes in simplifying donor and volunteer management for nonprofits, empowering them to better engage with employees participating in corporate social responsibility programs. By harnessing the combined power of Qgiv + Bloomerang’s fundraising software, corporate giving programs can unleash their full potential with maximum impact! 

Final thoughts 

Corporate giving programs show a company’s commitment to their community while helping nonprofits make the world a better place. When corporations and charitable organizations with aligned values work together, it benefits everyone in the community. Create a lasting legacy by creating a corporate philanthropy program that lasts a lifetime.   

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