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Purpose-Driven Organizations Reimagine Corporate Giving

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Nonprofits suffered in 2020 due to COVID-19, but they saw an influx of support from purpose-driven organizations.

This year brought new challenges for all sectors, with nonprofits being hit particularly hard. A recent report estimates a third of global nonprofits might have to shut their doors this year. Nearly overnight, organizations had to shift their operations and find creative new revenue streams when traditional fundraising events like galas and walks were put on hold. 

The good news is nonprofits have also seen an influx of support, and purpose-driven organizations have stepped up to support their communities. The latest Nonprofit Trends Report found that nearly 60% of respondents said their organizations had seen an increase in interest from volunteers to participate in their organization’s work. Organizations also reported increased donations from both individuals and corporate donors in July and August 2020.

This giving season, we’re celebrating three inspiring companies that have used Philanthropy Cloud — in collaboration with United Way — to move their in-person giving and volunteering campaigns virtual to meet community needs. By reimagining their corporate giving programs, they gained a newfound ability to connect virtually with their employees across geographies, raise more funds in real time, and deliver on what has quite possibly been the biggest need for food and funds our country has seen since the Great Depression.

Auto Club Enterprises 

Auto Club Enterprises wanted a volunteering platform to help organize and promote employee volunteer events, and chose Philanthropy Cloud to launch its volunteer time off (VTO) program in January. Employees loved it and began signing up for volunteer activities. 

Then COVID-19 hit. Employees started working remotely, and all the company’s in-person volunteering events were canceled. With Philanthropy Cloud already in place, Auto Club Enterprises quickly pivoted to virtual events and launched the giving feature.

They used Philanthropy Cloud to promote their annual giving campaign, where employees could donate through the platform. The result? They raised more than $760,000 in two weeks.

Their final event of the year was a virtual holiday donation drive, with online wish lists posted on the platform.


Deluxe, a company with a 105-year history that began with the invention of the checkbook, was already in the midst of a digital transformation when COVID-19 hit. As part of that broader transformation, the company implemented Philanthropy Cloud in January, just in time to react quickly to needs surrounding COVID-19 and the social injustice protests and unrest that broke out near its headquarters in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.

Deluxe quickly responded to unexpected crises throughout 2020 by spinning up giving and volunteering campaigns, creating eight campaigns in the first nine months of 2020. In January, it launched its 2020 Giving Campaign, which was initially intended to be its big annual push for the year, along with a focus on supporting cancer research. 

As the year progressed, Deluxe created new campaigns in response to unfolding situations. The company provided support for victims of wildfires in Australia and California, COVID-19 needs, and cleanup efforts after civil unrest in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It also supported relief efforts for Hurricane Laura survivors. Through its own actions and Philanthropy Cloud, Deluxe provided assistance and support to its local community, the nation, and the world.

In the first nine months, Deluxe’s 6,500 employees raised $266,000, and for the first time, the company has real-time, automated visibility into where that money is going to better inform and understand which organizations are receiving the most funds, which causes its employees are most interested in, and how its employees prefer to engage with each cause. 

Kellogg Company

Kellogg’s vision is for “a good and just world, where people are not just fed but fulfilled” has never been more relevant. This year, many are struggling to feel fulfilled. The need for food is as great as it’s been in our lifetimes. Typically, Kellogg is engaged in year-round volunteer opportunities that focus on packaging, making, and serving food to families in need. This year, with many employees working from home, the food giant turned its attention to giving campaigns but wanted to keep the fun elements of in-person events intact. Its mission is to nourish people, so they can flourish and thrive. 

One example: a virtual leadership challenge. In this March Madness bracket-style competition,  business leaders record themselves participating in a competition they could do at home. They were each sent a kit filled with the Kellogg items they’d need — Cheez-It crackers to be used as mini footballs, Pringles cans to flip over, and so forth. Employees “bet” on which leader they thought would win its competitions by donating money through Philanthropy Cloud’s donation pages. The names of employees placing the winning “bets” were entered into a drawing for a gift card. In the end, this one event scored more than $7,000 for the campaign, but more important, it brought together people from all over Kellogg, not just its headquarters in Michigan. 

The fun and games were part of a larger corporate effort to support communities throughout 2020. Kellogg also donated $18 million in food and funds toward COVID-19 relief, created a virtual food drive competition among its employee resource groups, donated an additional $1 million to its long-time partner, the NAACP, and created a video series called Feeding Freedom to raise awareness on food insecurity, especially among people of color.

We believe that the purpose of business is to improve the state of the world. We are grateful for Auto Club Enterprises, Deluxe, Kellogg, and all of our customers who use Philanthropy Cloud to empower their company and employees  — crisis or not — to be a platform for change. We are also grateful for our partner, United Way, who provides critical resources, guidance, and expertise to all of these customers and enables them to serve their communities and improve the state of the world.

Mobilize your employees to start giving back today

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Nick Bailey

Nick Bailey is Vice President, Innovation and Products at Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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