Should employees be asked to become donors to the organization they work for?

Indoorsy 5 Likes
edited November 8 in Fundraising & Communication

Heck no!

Heck yeah!

When it comes to employee giving, everyone has an opinion one way or the other. But the issue itself is not a clear cut and dry one. It covers a wide range of topics including fundraising, storytelling, grant writing, Board giving and much more.

Based on a survey I conducted in 2019, I have a published a free ebook on the topic of employee giving. I look at all the issues and my conclusion is... well, you'll have to download and read to find out!

The ebook can be downloaded here: Employee Giving Ebook -

I'd love to get feedback from the sector experts in this community!



  • Thanks for making the ebook available! It's something I def need to learn more about.

  • JaxGitzesJaxGitzes
    edited January 19

    I wouldn't claim to be an expert, but I've worked at several organizations and while one boasted about staff giving back, most expected staff to help with fundraisers rather than donate directly. Thanks for the book recommendation!

  • One man's opinion. 100% of staff and board members should be donors to the nonprofits they work or volunteer for.

  • Hi @KentWeimer!

    100% of staff- force them to, even if they don't want to/can't donate?

    Volunteers is an interesting one. Many nonprofits don't ask their volunteers for a donation and I think it's a missed opportunity. I wouldn't say they have to but no reason not to ask them.

  • JaxGitzesJaxGitzes
    edited January 25

    @KentWiemer - could you elaborate a bit? I could see circumstances where staff might want to donate back to their employer or participate in a fundraiser by buying raffle tickets or an auction item, but it's not something I would expect outright, especially while we are still battling for staff to be paid adequately in some sectors. I'm interested (genuinely) to know more about your thought process.

    Also, while I think boards should strive for 100% participation in board giving, I think it can depend on the board. A board member who is part of the community being served should definitely not be required to give directly, though I think it would be fine to ask them to help with fundraising in some way.

  • Regarding staff, I would never force anyone to give to our nonprofit. Personal choice is at the very heart of philanthropy. We strongly encourage 100% staff participation at any level. It sends a strong message to the board and outside funders when we can say 100% of our staff our donors. It demonstrates a commitment beyond it being just a job.

    With board members, my opinion is it should be an expectation that they are donors. I have served on boards or been involved with them as a staff member where a minimum expectation was suggested. it depends on the nature of the board. If you have people who have no means for significant contributions, emphasize that participation and not amount is the important part. If all they can afford is $5, so be it. 100% of a board being donors sends a powerful message to donors and prospects.

  • @KentWeimer - I worked at a regional Girl Scouts and United Way program back in a past life, and both positively encouraged the "participation over amount" you mention in regards to staff giving. An automatic monthly withdrawal option from paychecks was an easy way for those organizations to achieve a higher percentage of employees who were also donors, while also allowing the employee to have control over establishing their contribution amount and frequency.

  • Hi @KentWeimer

    "We strongly encourage 100% staff participation at any level."

    Could you share with me what "strongly encourage" means? The ebook I published on this topic includes a lot of quotes from experts in the field and this was discussed. So I'm always interested to hear how your organization runs its employee giving campaign. Looking for good examples of how to do so in a way that encourages philanthropic giving by everyone!

  • Hi @KaraAdams !

    At Girl Scouts/United Way, were there grumblings on the part of employees about donating back to the org they worked for?

  • @EphraimGopin - None that I was aware of! It was optional, and no certain donation amount was pushed. At Girl Scouts in particular, many of the employees had personal ties to the organization - whether from their childhood, as a parent of a scout, or both - so I think many felt giving back a little was the right thing to do. That, and buy all the cookies!

  • Hi @EphraimGopin

    I work for a foundation that is the charitable arm of a safety net hospital system. The system has over 12,000 employees, so the communication is via email and occasionally through our staff newsletter. Also, at the yearly benefits fair we have a booth - at least prior to the pandemic. There is an active and involved employee giving council that provides the volunteers for the table and are our staunchest allies in proclaiming the benefits of being a donor. They are persuasive because they are true believers. A substantial number of our employees look at working for Parkland as a mission and not a job, and are passionate about what we do. We work hard to overcome health disparities in our County and provide high quality care to the most disenfranchised living in our service area.

    Many of our employees have moved beyond an annual contribution. We have many who have made substantial major gifts, created named endowments and included us in their estate plans. A majority of those in our legacy society are either current employees, worked here at some time or trained here. Some of our most passionate donors are physicians who trained in our hall ways.

    For the system, we get nowhere near 100% participation, In our Foundation office we do get 100% participation. Via email, our colleagues are asked to consider a gift at any level and we encourage 100% participation as a strong message to the rest of the hospital employees.

    We make it easy to sign up for payroll deduction on our intranet.

    Thanks for asking.

    Kent C. Weimer, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy

    Director of Trusts, Estates and Gift Planning

    Parkland Foundation

    Immediate Past Chair, National Association of Charitable Gift Planners

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