02/02/2012 10:17 am ET | Updated Apr 03, 2012

Causecast Makes It Easy for Companies to Give Back

Gone are the days when employees passively donate to charities with no interaction from their companies. Gone even are the days when companies mindlessly match funds for employee donations. Just as consumers have come to expect brands to support causes, employees now expect their companies to engage them in serious and meaningful ways around the causes they care about. Employees these days want to save the world -- and they want the companies where they work to help them do so.

A study from the Corporate Leadership Council found that highly engaged organizations can decrease employee turnover by 87 percent and enhance productivity by 20 percent. Yet according to a 2011 Gallup survey, 71 percent of American workers are not engaged in their positions. According to the 2003 study "Good Companies, Better Employees," employee volunteer programs have been known to increase job satisfaction levels (64 percent fairly or very satisfied), good word of mouth (54 percent speaking highly of company to others) and retention rates. Indeed, Tim Mohin of AMD recently predicted the emergence of employee engagement as one of the top 10 trends for CSR in 2012.

The Huffington Post recently reported on this growing trend, discussing a Forbes and HP survey that found that 72 percent of executives donate to charities where their employees volunteer. Indeed, a new corporate movement is afoot -- one in which companies and their employees are ever more entwined in a symbiotic relationship around corporate social responsibility. However, facilitating employee engagement around cause has historically been difficult, expensive or both. That's radically changing with the introduction of Causecast's Employee Impact Platform.

Causecast's solution, which just launched last week, makes it easy for companies to create opportunities for their employees to donate their time, treasure and talent. I've had a chance to look at the platform, and it appears to have features I haven't seen anywhere else. The platform engages employees via a robust campaign infrastructure. Volunteer days of service can be created -- and impact tracked -- in a few clicks. Forget the old 'stubby pencil' campaigns and clip boards -- 'logging of hours' is done via smartphone or even text message. 'Gamification' of corporate matched personal fundraising sweetens the offering by adding a novel competitive element to raising funds.

Campaigns can be created easily by the corporations, or, in an interesting twist, Causecast's creative team will create campaigns and make them available to its clients. These campaigns involve donating, volunteering, or competitive social fundraising and can engage multiple nonprofits simultaneously.

Unlike the other players in this space, Causecast's motto is "Nonprofits Ride Free." Causecast built this platform as a way to facilitate as much engagement with employees and companies as possible, all directed at serving nonprofit partners. In other words, Causecast and the nonprofits are on the same team -- both want to see giving, volunteerism, and engagement rise -- and so Causecast's model intentionally doesn't require nonprofits to pay to play.

The smart application of technology around cause will continue to be a critical component in social impact progress. Solutions like the Employee Impact Platform offer exciting tools to create strategic efficiencies around good intentions.