The Business Value of a One-Stop-Shop Philanthropy Platform
Nov 2, 2016
The idea of a “one-stop-shop” in technology has grown to receive mixed reviews. The problem is many companies believe that because their tool will provide a multitude of features and answer a great deal of needs, it falls within the distinction. However, one-size-fits all doesn’t equate to a one-stop-shop in our book.
We like to think it goes far beyond the ability to scale according to company size or brand customization. In the world of CSR, companies and foundations alike need so much more from software than features and aesthetics. A real one-stop, versatile philanthropy platform holds as much depth as the program it helps facilitate.
Technology is merely a tool in producing and growing human interactions. A truly versatile philanthropy software will provide those repeatable, time-saving processes but with the support only a human’s touch can offer. The company behind the software should dedicate time to understanding the goals an organization hopes to meet, then build the platform to match.
Innovation with Experts
If an employee giving program isn’t seeing high levels of employee participation, the employer shouldn’t feel alone with fancy technology and at a loss of the next step. A one-stop-shop will understand the challenges and changes their clients experience year over year and will know how to respond accordingly. Sometimes that will mean building a new, customized feature that meets unique company needs and sometimes it will mean expert advice for future initiatives.
In either case, a true one-stop philanthropy platform doesn’t shrug shoulders or try to upsell already established features that don’t really hit the need of users. Instead, it dives into the company’s CSR strategy, motives and budget to create a strategic CSR plan that is then translated into a tool for increased productivity and participation. Outcomes reporting is also an important aspect of a “one stop shop” so companies will be able to quantify and tell stories about their impact in the community.
Growth on Your Terms
Often, the challenges faced by a company come from a change in company size and offers, but a one-stop philanthropy software will do more than provide them with the ability to increase or decrease employee and admin accounts. For example, scalable CSR software give administrators the ability to share responsibilities and open the technology up to key members in the company’s employee giving and volunteering efforts. One-stop-shops have these capabilities, but also consider the overarching goals of the client. If the company wants to begin providing payroll integration with CSR efforts in addition to the employee volunteering program, the platform will know how to facilitate that need. If the company is interested in building a scholarship program, the platform should know how to pivot into grantmaking and grant management. Likewise, if the company expands programming internationally and requires a local platform, the platform should not only be able to accommodate different languages and currencies, it should also have resources and expertise to support international giving.
The ability to integrate new technology with already established processes is quite possibly the best part of a one-stop CSR platform. Change has a habit of throwing employees and executives off for awhile, which means a loss of time and an increase of frustration.
While very few platforms can promise completely pain free implementations, philanthropy software with the right integrations can soften the blow. CSR payroll integration helps employees donate easily without introducing a whole new system. The integration also keeps all tax documents in one organized location easily found come tax season.
The way a company approaches CSR communication to employees can have enormous repercussions on participation. There are a lot of ways it can go wrong, but the best way to go right is by understanding your unique culture and going beyond a few posters in the break room. Most employees (43%) prefer to learn about CSR projects through internal email or newsletters, but those aren’t the only options nor the only ones employees respond to. From announcements on portals to management, communication is something that takes a lot of hands.
One-stop philanthropy software will integrate with company intranets, house internal email campaigns and even distribute automatic reminders of events. It should house a calendar with company-wide events, but scale down to only including those within the user’s geographic location.
One Portal to Win them All
The important and possibly most exciting part of a full scale CSR software is that users are one username and password away from participation. Mobile optimized CSR software is no longer a wish or dream. It is absolutely necessary for today’s workforce and that means a real one-stop-shop will be accessed from any screen, no matter the size or location.
The technology will serve as the hammer, but it is the company of experts behind the software that will give the wood and nails needed to build a structure. A one-stop-shop philanthropy platform is not the list of features, vast technological capabilities or customizable web-based portals. It is a technology provider who is willing to hear out their client’s future plans and respond with the inclination to create actual functions that meet those goals.
Quick Guide: Get Exec Buy-in for Corporate Philanthropy Software
Want to invest in one complete system to house all your corporate philanthropy initiatives? Get step-by-step instructions to gather the information, data and support you need from your organization before making your pitch to the executive team.