4 Tips for Bringing Philanthropy-as-a-Service (PhaaS) to Your Company

There’s never been a better time to give your employee benefits a shakeup. In the wake of The Great Resignation, workers want to feel like they’re not just cogs in a wheel. They want a partnership with the brands they represent. And that’s where philanthropy-as-a-service (PhaaS) could become your greatest differentiator in the battle for talent.

Although the concept of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) isn’t new, PhaaS is. Like all “as a service” concepts, PhaaS aims to remove all the clunkiness and heavy costs from corporate philanthropy. Instead of having to set up its own foundation, your company can tap into a corporate donor-advised fund. The fund is managed by a third-party digital platform that handles all legal, compliance, and other issues.

Best of all, your company can democratize giving by allowing employees to donate to the charities of their choice. This removes the company from the equation, except in terms of providing employees with access. At the end of the day, the employees get to have a real say in where their employer contributions go.

Of course, setting up PhaaS at your company won’t happen automatically. You have to take a few steps to make it a reality. Below are several tips for getting a PhaaS initiative up and running.

1. Arrange for PhaaS training for your workers.

Again, the idea of PhaaS is a novel one for many people. Consequently, you’ll want to arrange training sessions to educate your team members on how PhaaS works. As part of the training, help them see how they can use the technologies associated with the PhaaS you’ve chosen.

For instance, Groundswell, one of the PhaaS leaders, offers a digital app platform. The app allows your employees to have complete control over their accounts. On the app, they can see every donation they’ve earmarked at once. They can also make use of the software’s AI to receive personalized recommendations for charities to support.

However, you can’t just expect all your workers to understand how to make the most of the PhaaS tools at their fingertips. Consider creating a series of training, perhaps even a video library that can be viewed during future hire onboarding. That way, everyone can get more value out of the benefit.

2. Set up company matches to employee contributions.

There’s a good reason that 81% of American workers seek out employers that offer retirement matches. First, it’s an easy way to save more for retirement, whether the worker is from Generation Z or Generation X. Secondly, it shows that the company has a little skin in the game.

As part of your corporate move toward PhaaS, consider adding a contribution match per worker. The match could be a percentage of giving or dollar amount, up to a certain maximum. By presenting a match, you’re doing both your employee and nonprofits a favor. Your employee is able to make a bigger impact, and the nonprofit recipients earn more toward their causes.

Remember that you’ll be able to see where all the money in your organization is being spent thanks to PhaaS reporting. This may help you learn more about your employees, such as what drives and motivates them. Having clearer insights into your talent will only help you improve and strengthen your workplace culture.

3. Remind your employees regularly about your PhaaS program.

People tend to forget about benefits, even if they love them. Case in point, a WorldatWork study showed that 37% of workers leave part of their paid-time-off (PTO) hours on the table annually. Even when PTO is “use it or lose it,” nearly one-fifth of employees opt to “lose it.”

Keeping this in mind, you’ll get more PhaaS buy-in and participation if you send out reminders. These can be in any form you like.

For instance, maybe your sales manager wants to share a good experience using your PhaaS platform. You could distribute the sales manager’s comments via email or Slack as a subtle nudge.

Another way to increase engagement is to offer rewards for departments whose employees all use the PhaaS. The rewards don’t have to be huge to make an impact and get people comfortable with a new way of giving.

4. Highlight your PhaaS on social networks.

Your company probably maintains around one or two social media pages. If you’ve been looking high and low for content, try talking about your PhaaS. Not only will you position your company as a future-forward brand, but you’ll showcase your philanthropic leanings.

Keep in mind that every type of social platform has a different rhythm and atmosphere. Consequently, be sure to post something that will be relevant to your followers and viewers. An image of “this month’s employee charity pick” could work on Instagram. On LinkedIn, you might springboard your PhaaS into a broader thought leadership article about corporate responsibility initiatives.

Interested in doing even more with PhaaS? Add something about it on your corporate careers pages. Many job seekers will visit a company’s career page as part of their investigation. Having a blurb devoted to PhaaS will get the program — and your organization — additional attention and recognition.

Giving back to nonprofits and causes doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. With a PhaaS, your organization can make corporate generosity easy as well as democratized.

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