We’re already a month into 2016. It’s time to start making (and sticking to!) those resolutions to eat healthier foods, exercise more and have a more positive outlook.

2016 is also looking to be a great year for corporate philanthropy and nonprofits. From matching gifts and payroll giving to fundraising events and mobile giving, corporate philanthropy is going to be all the rage in 2016. Make sure your nonprofit doesn’t get left in the dust when these trends start skyrocketing.

Check out the following five corporate philanthropy trends that will affect nonprofits in 2016.

1. Many Companies Will Match Donations to Any Nonprofit Organization

According to the most recent Snapshot report from America’s Charities, matching gift programs are about equally split between companies matching any employee gift (open programs) and those that match a limited number of charities or specifically identified charities.

Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of all large companies will match donations, and 80% of those companies use some kind of technology platform to empower employees to access their matching gift program.

What’s the takeaway from this trend?

It’s crucial for your nonprofit to be effectively marketing matching gifts to your supporters. While not all of them will work for companies that match their donations, the growing trend indicates that more and more corporations will start expanding their matching gift programs.

2. Your Corporate Givers are About to Get a Lot Younger

No, they didn’t discover the fountain of youth. But with 100 million millennials, half of whom are in the workforce, your nonprofit can’t afford to ignore this ever-growing donor group.

Over three-fourths of millennials have donated to nonprofits in the past few years. Was your nonprofit the recipient of some of those funds?

Because more millennials are going to be entering the workforce as they graduate college, your organization needs to step up its outreach game.

While some millennials may enjoy getting direct mail and phone calls, many more prefer interacting with their favorite businesses and organizations online and on mobile devices. They want to be able to set up a crowdfunding page for your 5K or give during a fundraising event with text-to-give.

Is your nonprofit ready to respond to that desire?

Corporate millennials aren’t like previous generations of givers. They expect a digital relationship with a nonprofit. It’s time to rethink your outreach strategy for working millennials.

3. Watch Out for Mobile Giving

Nearly everyone in the corporate world has a cell phone. Whether it’s a Blackberry, an iPhone, or an Android, everyone from the CEO to the intern is talking, tweeting, and posting on their phones. Instead of meeting at the water cooler, employees are texting each other and sending jokes via Snapchat or Vine.

Why wouldn’t they also be giving on their cellular devices?

Corporations can encourage their employees to give during special fundraising events using text-to-give and mobile responsive donation pages.

This type of corporate philanthropy will become increasingly popular the more that your donors know about them. If you have a mobile donation page or use text-to-give technology during your fundraisers, let your donors know and have them spread the word throughout their places of employment.

Check out the four ways mobile is changing the nonprofit world.

4. Volunteerism is Going to Be Huge

Volunteerism is now the core around which corporations are building employee engagement programs. It’s a great way to involve the majority of employees and deepen partnerships with nonprofits.

What does this mean for your organization?

It means that it is time for your nonprofit to start recruiting more advocates for your cause and tapping into the enormous potential that volunteers bring to the table.

This might mean using outreach tactics that your nonprofit hasn’t tried yet.

For instance:

  • Create volunteer events on Facebook and invite your followers to join.
  • Come up with your very own volunteer hashtag and encourage your supporters to use it every time they post about their volunteering experiences.
  • Using Instagram as a way to show your volunteers to the world.

Many corporations are giving their employees more freedom when it comes to volunteering in groups and individually. Your nonprofit can benefit from this donated time, but you still have to have ways to get in touch with your supporters.

Engage your volunteers just like you would communicate with your donors. Both groups are what keep your organization’s engine running.

5. It’s Time to Start Partnering with Corporations

No nonprofit is an island, and neither are for-profit companies. While the two have differing missions and objectives, they can still partner up to create positive change and give employees a chance to donate to and volunteer with nonprofit organizations.

While your nonprofit can always just ask for donations from companies, it is even better if you can form a meaningful partnership with companies that actively support your mission with volunteers and employee giving.

Why do these partnerships matter, anyway?

While the end goals for companies and nonprofits might differ, your organization can still borrow some tactics from the corporate world. If your corporate partner has a great strategy for reaching out to potential consumers, see what lessons you can glean from the process.

Nonprofit organizations and corporations can stand to learn a lot from each other. Maybe your nonprofit is having trouble reaching your major gift donors or is needing some guidance with fundraising.

And as far as your corporate partners go, they will benefit by demonstrating their corporate social responsibility. No one wants to give their money to a company that doesn’t care about bettering the world. Your nonprofit can give companies the chance to show consumers that they are concerned with things other than profits.

Everyone wins when your nonprofit starts partnering with companies!


These corporate philanthropy trends have been a long time coming. Will your nonprofit be prepared when they become a concrete reality or will you get left behind in the dust?