Fidelity Investments announced a new program on Monday that allows employers to integrate charitable giving into their current benefits program, and at the same time offers employees a way to manage their philanthropic activities.
Fidelity Workplace Giving is a response to the increasing desire by employees for greater involvement in their company’s socially responsible commitments, Fidelity said.
It cited recent research that showed four out of five millennials preferred to work for a socially responsible company, and two out of three said they would not take a job with a potential employer that lacked strong corporate social responsibility practices.
“Employers increasingly recognize the importance of offering benefits that contribute to the total well-being of their workforce, especially charitable giving programs,” Kevin Barry, president of workplace investing at Fidelity Investments, said in a statement.
“However, it’s often difficult for employers to easily integrate these programs into their benefits platform. Fidelity Workplace Giving enables companies to provide access to a charitable giving option alongside other company benefits, increasing employee engagement and helping employees better understand how charitable giving fits into their overall financial picture.”
The new program eliminates the administrative burden on a company of managing a separate third-party solution to coordinate charitable giving. The program integrates into the employer’s current benefits platform, enabling the company to measure the activity and gauge the program’s effect.
As well, companies can more easily configure and automate company matching gifts, which may encourage increased giving among employees, according to Fidelity.
Fidelity said the program addresses several issues that till now have made it hard for employees to actively engage in charitable giving. For one, the platform gives them access to thousands of charities aggregated into a single view that can be sorted by name, industry or cause, and workers can pre-set or select the amount they want to donate.
For another, employees can make one-time or recurring donations, and have it delivered by the donor’s preferred payment method.
And the program allows donors to weave giving into their overall financial wellness strategy, alongside other financial vehicles such as their 401(k), health savings account or 529 plan.
Fidelity said its aim was to provide a holistic workplace philanthropy platform that supports both giving and volunteer programs.
“When charitable giving is made easier and more transparent, employees are more likely to engage, which will ultimately contribute to greater corporate responsibility and a more positive impact on the community,” Barry said.