Deloitte, Kellogg employees use tech to give back

Companies including Deloitte and Kellogg are capitalizing on technology to help their employees find opportunities to give back.

The food manufacturing company and consulting firm are rolling out a newly updated version of Philanthropy Cloud — the result of a partnership between United Way and Salesforce.org, the nonprofit arm of Salesforce — a platform which allows workers to connect with donation and volunteer causes.

Doug Marshall, managing director of corporate citizenship at Deloitte, says the company wants to make volunteer opportunities more accessible to workers.

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A worker, left, serves hot food to a visitor at the Shelter From The Storm shelter for the homeless in the Islington district of London, U.K., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Shelter From The Storm is based in Islington, one of the most unequal neighborhoods in a city where extremes of wealth and poverty are often found on the same street. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

“We’re always looking to make it easier for our people to get involved in things that they care about,” he says. “[It’s about] giving them ways to engage in the community and make a difference in those communities.”

Philanthropy Cloud was initially launched in 2018, but it was updated in June to include features for skills-based volunteering, volunteer and donation reporting and a champion role, which gives certain employees the ability to share their own volunteer interests with other members of the team on the platform. Employers providing workers opportunities to volunteer has become popular benefits for younger employees, Salesforce.org CEO Rob Acker says in a statement.

“New generations of the workforce expect and demand that corporations take a leading role in making the world a better place,” he says.

Volunteer benefits have become table stakes for millennial and Generation Z employees who may be factoring in these opportunities when applying for a job, some experts say. Employers including TripAdvisor, Prudential and Cisco all provide ways for workers to give back to their community. Kronos, AIG and Benefitfocus offer charitable gift matching programs.

“I think [volunteer opportunities are] part of the overall dynamic employee experience that happens at a company and they’re becoming even more so,” says Tali Golan, director of social impact for TripAdvisor.

See also: How employers are encouraging workers to dig deeper on Giving Tuesday

Research from Benevity, a corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software company, shows there is an increase in employee engagement that comes from corporate goodness programs. Research shows a connection between these types of programs and a positive impact on a company’s management strategies and human capital.

About 24% of companies surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management offered time off for volunteering in 2018, up from just 16% in 2014.

Deloitte’s Marshall says the company has been piloting the new version of Philanthropy Cloud and will be rolling out the full platform to all U.S. employees in the fall. The consulting firm currently has more than 25,000 professionals donating their time.

“If companies want to be able to attract and retain the best talent, you need to be able to give [employees] opportunities to engage in our communities and make an impact,” he says. “Find ways to have them feel that they are a part of a firm that is committed to making an impact in our community.”

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