CHCI chair Bill Heffernan responds to Crain's Chicago Business:
Employee-giving programs an important way biz helps

The otherwise excellent overview of corporate philanthropy in Chicago (Too many mouths to feed, August 21) glides over one important role that business plays in supporting important causes, encouraging and facilitating employee workplace giving.

As chair of Community Health Charities of Illinois, a fund-raising federation of some 40 local and national health-related organizations, I'm well aware of the critical role we play in providing opportunities for employees to support medical research, health education and patient services through charitable giving in the workplace.  Our peers, like United Way and others, provide similar opportunities in support of social welfare, environmental concerns, world hunger and a myriad of other important causes. 

In a recent survey of employed professionals in Illinois, 37% of respondents say they make charitable contributions through workplace-giving programs, and an additional 31% said they would participate if their employers offered the opportunity. 

Employers who sponsor such programs receive multiple benefits.  They are seen as good citizens of their communities, raising needed funds for important causes, they help their employees feel good about themselves and about their company, and they are perceived as offering employees an extra benefit without increasing their own expenditures.  So it's Win-Win-Win -- employer, employee and beneficiary all come out ahead.

We thank Crain's for putting the spotlight on the importance of corporate philanthropy, and for giving us the opportunity to spotlight another piece of the giving pie:  employee giving through payroll deduction programs.



307 N Michigan Ave, Ste 800  |  Chicago, Illinois 60601  |  312.360.0382  |  Toll-Free: 800.299.6842  |  Fax: 312.360.0388  |  Email