3 Ways To Rethink Your Corporate Employee Matching Model

Want to make your employee matching and giving programs part of a strategy that boosts employee engagement at your company? These takeaways from our research could help.


It’s no surprise that when companies are asked, “What is your greatest resource?” the typical response is “our people.”

In 2022, employers are re-evaluating how their employees engage with the company to retain their greatest resource. National trends indicate a more pressing need to re-engage employees now than at any time in the past decade. Employers are challenged by the phenomenon called the Great Resignation, the Great Migration, or the Great Reshuffle, to meet employees where they’re at to retain and grow their talent pool. A big piece of that is creating meaningful work and offering employee programs with purpose (here are tips on how companies can better engage their employees in giving programs).

However, most human resources and community affairs teams don’t have all the research or resources needed to understand how to benchmark their employee matching or giving programs to others in and outside of their industry.

Our team reviewed the programs of a handful of multinational US companies to help understand the lessons they’re acting on in 2022. Here are three major trends we saw across the data that can help you refresh your employee matching and giving programs:

    Geography matters in employee giving programs.

    Companies that expand their geographic footprint to include more local, national, and international nonprofits report higher levels of employee engagement. Employees want more autonomy in where they give—whether it’s to a charity in their backyard or to international causes that align with their interests.

    One Fortune 500 company set a five-year target goal in 2020 to expand their employee giving program from just two countries (the US and UK) to 19 countries globally. They hoped to engage 50% of eligible employees worldwide. At the end of the 2021 fiscal year, they found that 19% of employees engaged worldwide compared to 31% of their US and UK employees in 2020. While engaging 19% of their global workforce may seem underwhelming compared to engaging 31% of their domestic workforce, the difference is actually more than 7,000 new employees who were meaningfully engaged worldwide.

    Lately, companies are making it easier for employees to take the lead and contribute where they want to have the most impact. For many companies, making an employee giving program globally accessible may hold untapped potential. And existing research shows that employee engagement is a global priority.

    Setting goals that prioritize your employees is key.

    Companies that set organization-wide goals to increase employee engagement also created a multi-pronged program to execute those goals, ensuring that they were growing and meeting their employee engagement targets. Implementing this approach correlated with higher employee satisfaction and helped employees foster a sense of purpose within the company.

    One multinational beauty brand in our research launched 29 targets for 2025, including one focused on employee engagement. Their goal was to achieve a minimum of 35% employee engagement. However, they saw their engagement drop from 37% in 2020 to 35% in 2021. While they attribute some of this reduction to COVID-related factors, the company took this as a sign to engage in intentional conversations with employees across teams.

    As a result, they found that employees wanted more resources that centered on well-being and mental health. This eventually led the company to invest in what became a top priority—an exceptional employee experience.

    Employee matching programs can’t be everything.

    Companies that execute well on a multi-pronged approach for employee engagement go beyond just an employee matching program. Findings indicate that companies with high employee engagement excel at finding opportunities to create purposeful relationships between their current programs (for example, dollars for doers combines employee volunteerism with employee giving). Therefore, employees are more willing to get involved. That multiplies the impact an employee can have on participating and eligible charities.

    One well-known tech company in our research reported its highest year of employee giving in 2021, beating its record year of employee giving in 2020, through programs like dollars for doers that generated $725 million in employee contributions to international nonprofits.

    Other ways companies have tried to include employees are through employee engagement committees, monthly featured nonprofits, double-matched donations on #GivingTuesday, or disaster response campaigns. We’re seeing a trend that companies continue to get more and more creative in how they design employee matching and giving programs as part of the overall employee experience.

Ultimately, employee engagement is not something that can be achieved and set aside. Being future-forward and innovative means being present—and we know that today’s workforce is ever-changing. To be a company that puts its people first and achieves high employee engagement requires centering on the employee experience. A profound yet obvious finding of our research is that companies that were able to deploy meaningful employee engagement programs have a way of putting community, connection, and relatedness at the center.

Learn how GlobalGiving can support engagement through your employee matching and giving programs.


Featured Photo: Ultimate Peace Grads Making Real World Impact by Ultimate Peace, INC.

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