Blackbaud's 2020 Industry Review and the Future of Employee Engagement

A look into the key findings from the 2020 Blackbaud and YourCause Industry Review. Major themes around increased engagement, global program expansion, and crafting civic culture beg more than a few questions on how to better engage corporate employees.

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Blackbaud, along with newly acquired YourCause, have released the 8th annual Industry Review. This compressive look into corporate employee and retiree philanthropic behavior covers topics ranging from overall engagement in CSR programs, donations, volunteering, and causal support. Specifically, the data is pulled from Blackbaud’s customer base of “150 companies and nearly 4.5 million employees, collected between January and December 2019 within Blackbaud’s YourCause CSRconnect® and GrantsConnect® solutions.”

As companies seek to benchmark their current programming against sector trends, this review provides great insight into shifts in employee engagement’s emphasis on corporate philanthropy across the globe. 

This review tells a powerful story of companies that seek to deepen the connection they have with the people who walk through their doors – literally and virtually – every day. Although the data was collected before the COVID-19 pandemic, this time has emphasized how important it is to align around social impact and the important role companies play in driving change and inspiring and empowering employees to support the causes they care about.

Rachel Hutchisson, vice president, corporate citizenship and philanthropy, Blackbaud.

Key findings from this year’s Industry Review include:

Engagement is Up!

  • Across the sector, companies see increased engagement when offering both volunteering and giving opportunities- 75% of companies saw twice the engagement of companies only offering one or the other.
  • Of those offering both volunteering and giving opportunities, the top 10% of companies offering giving and volunteering achieved employee engagement rates over 46.5%.

Global is Playing a More Significant Role than Ever.

  • Global engagement in giving and volunteering is heavily influenced by a region’s economy, culture, and technology. In fact, culture and tradition positions volunteer engagement highest in Asia (16%), followed by Oceania (11%), Europe (8%), North America (8%), and South America (8%).
  • More than half of companies evaluated have a global giving and/or volunteering element to their program, and when comparing 2018 to 2019, the average annual donation amount per global employee jumped 32%.

Creating Culture Matters Most.

  • Connection is key – Employees who work from a company’s headquarters location are engaged in giving 2.5 times more than remote employees.
  • Bringing like-minded employees together can be effective – Companies that offer employee groups through CSRconnect see an approximate 12:1 employee engagement rate ratio when compared to companies that do not offer groups to employees. Groups provide employees with similar interests a common place to share documents, send communications, and feature events.

Questions to consider based on these findings:

  1.  If employees are twice as engaged when both volunteering and giving opportunities are offered, how will you ensure both opportunities are prioritized during periods of “Working from Home?”
  2.  Should you consider expanding global programming and opportunities based on the 32% jump in global giving year-over-year?
  3. If creating culture matters most and HQ employees are engaged in giving 2.5 times that of remote employees, how can you better plan for the societal shift to remote work?
  4. What virtual opportunities exist or can be created through employee resource groups over platforms like CSRconnect or comparable technology? How can you continue to create culture and connection through these online platforms?

For more information, read the full Industry Review here.

Need help with your CSR and Employee Volunteer Strategy? Reach out to


Em Clarke

Senior Manager, Corporate Solutions , Points of Light

Em Clarke has been with Points of Light for a year and a half working with corporate clients through POL's Corporate Solutions consulting practice. She is motivated by her work evaluating corporate accountability and social responsibility and has spent the last five years dedicated to improving the well being of local communities through global strategy and ensuring marginalized voices are heard when funders and decision makers choose to take interest. Upon receipt of her Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership from The University of Georgia, she joined the United Way system for several years before transitioning to Points of Light. Her professional experiences include managing teams of executives working collectively to design enterprise-wide programming, volunteer days of service, and funding strategies.
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