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Everybody Wins with Workplace Giving

February 26, 2014 | Hannah Appelbaum

Do you work for a corporation or the federal government? If so, you’ve probably had the opportunity to participate in a workplace giving campaign to benefit charity—at least we hope so. Every year, billions of dollars are donated to charities (including the Cancer Research Institute) through workplace giving campaigns.

Originally designed to improve charities’ efficiencies by funneling charitable contributions directly from employees’ paychecks to a nonprofit organization of their choice, workplace giving programs are actually a win-win for both charities AND employees. For employees, these programs are convenient, automatic, and allow you to reap the tax benefits of standard charitable giving without having to write a monthly check or make an online donation. Since many employers match charitable contributions, workplace giving programs also give employees the chance to influence where their company’s philanthropic dollars go.


In 2013, 86% of our revenue went directly to our research programs—that’s 6% higher than the average program expenses of other U.S. charities and over 11% higher than the average program expenses of other health-related U.S. charities.


Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most utilized evaluator of charities, rates Cancer Research Institute 4 out of 4 stars for its financial accountability and transparency. Here, it offers the following 6 tips as a guide for employees who donate through workplace giving programs.

  1. Examine your values to determine which causes you want to support—we hope CRI is one!
  2. Review your personal finances to determine how much you can afford to give.
  3. Learn how the participating charities were pre-screened and back it up with your own research.
  4. Find out what percentage of your donation is going to the charities you’ve chosen. In 2013, 86% of our revenue went directly to our research programs—that’s 6% higher than the average program expenses of other U.S. charities and over 11% higher than the average program expenses of other health-related U.S. charities!
  5. Maximize the amount of money going to charity by reviewing your employer’s matching program. To find out if your employer has a matching gift program, search for their name.
  6. At the end of the year, find out how your donations were put to use. Better yet, stay up to date with all the exciting things happening at CRI by signing up to receive our e-Newsletter and other important updates.

If you are interested in starting or enhancing an existing workplace giving campaign at your organization, we would be more than happy to assist! Through the Cancer Research Institute’s membership in the Community Health Charities of America (CHC) and United Way, your employees can both contribute to America's most worthy health charities and gain access to special resources including video podcasts on healthy living. To learn more about this, contact Alfred R. Massidas at amassidas@cancerresearch.org or (212) 688-7515 x237.

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