Data from over 500 companies identifies how businesses are leading with purpose during a global crisis
Calgary, AB, May 5, 2020 — Benevity, Inc., the global leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement software, today released a special COVID-19 Relief report, Leading with Purpose in Extraordinary Times. The report examines data from over 500 purpose-driven companies between March 1 and April 30, highlighting how businesses are activating their people and communities during a global crisis.
The report reveals five trends that speak loudly to the growing role of companies in driving positive social impacts beyond profits:
1) Business has been quick to respond, despite economic uncertainty and a looming recession. More than 500 companies and 450,000 of their people drove $640 million in donations, 786,000 volunteer hours, 53,000 small acts of Goodness and 8,648 corporate grants to support 79,000 global causes in just 8 weeks. More companies are activating support initiatives every day.
2) Community investment budgets are being sustained or boosted. Of the largest 175 companies, 83% indicated no changes to their CSR program budgets and 63% reported the desire to run social impact initiatives or campaigns (or are already running them). Further, many companies are drawing on additional crisis or relief budgets to protect annual budgets dedicated to ongoing employee engagement, community investment and customer marketing programs.
3) Matching donations is the most common response. 63% of companies engaged their employees, customers and/or the public by matching donations in ratios of up to $5 for every $1 donated, driving greater engagement and participation. Overall donation volume per day was up 36% in March and 134% in April, with an average of $8.1 million being donated through the Benevity platform every day.
4) Volunteering has declined, but virtual volunteering is on the rise. Volunteer hours logged through Benevity dropped by 12% in March and 20% in April. This highlights the impact of physical distancing on giving time and talent in traditional ways, and the lag from nonprofits and companies adapting their programs to find more innovative ways for people to volunteer. However, the number of open spots for virtual volunteers has climbed steadily, with 44,000 available opportunities as of March 26th. We expect volunteering to rebound as this trend continues.
5) The types of causes people and companies are choosing to support has shifted. Significant increases in the share of total donation volume are most notable in the categories of human services (+24%), food security (+268%), public safety and disaster preparedness/relief (+57%), community improvement (+57%) and employment (+141%).
“How we respond to this crisis — as companies and as people — may be more significant than anything we have ever done in our lifetime,” said Bryan de Lottinville, Benevity founder and CEO. “COVID has shown us in living color what can happen when we are not ready to address imminent existential threats. The impact of our collective action in response to this pandemic has been both heartening and perhaps a presage of things to come as we seek to address the far and near future of our global village. We are proud to see so many of our clients leading the way toward recovery.”
“We’re thrilled that Benevity released this insightful report as part of #GivingTuesdayNow,” said Woodrow Rosenbaum, Chief Data Officer for GivingTuesday. “On this global day of unity and giving in response to COVID-19 it’s important to note that research shows that people want multiple ways to get involved, and they look to their employers to get involved with them. Companies that can tap into the power of human connection to scale grassroots generosity will be crucial for meeting the needs of nonprofits and communities around the world. We hope this report serves as a roadmap for companies of all sizes to join the movement in their own unique ways.”
Download the full report to learn more.