Abacus Updates

How Faraday Uses Abacus to Match Employee Donations to BLM

Faraday is a Burlington, VT.-based provider of data science solutions which enable B2C companies to deploy AI-based technology. In this guest blog, Faraday CEO, Andy Rossmeissl, explains how the company’s innovative use of Abacus Expense enabled it to easily implement a corporate philanthropy initiative.

Like many small businesses around the country recently, Faraday wanted to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but struggled with how to meaningfully contribute. A working group of my colleagues came up with a multi-point list, including everything from discounts and free services for Black-owned businesses, to dedicated, paid time off for employee volunteering.

Number one on the list, however, was donation matching: our employees wanted Faraday to amplify their philanthropic dollars supporting BLM.

At first, the bookkeeping involved in tracking and matching donations presented a difficult hurdle for our small accounting team. But then we realized we could use Abacus—a tool we’ve used for over six years—to handle the legwork for us.

Here’s how we use Abacus to match employee donations to BLM:

  • First, our D&I (diversity and inclusion) working group prepared a list of approved organizations
  • Then we created a “BLM donation match” category in the settings of our Abacus Expense 

Now, whenever an employee wants to make a donation to BLM or a related organization, they first make the donation for twice their planned amount. They then submit the receipt using Abacus with the “BLM donation match” category, requesting reimbursement for half of the donation amount.

This accelerates dollars flowing to these organizations—no need to wait for accounting to make a separate matching donation—while streamlining the bookkeeping. Plus, I can see a running total of our BLM match anytime with a Live Report on that category.

I hope this will help more organizations to empower their employees to support this (and other) important cause.

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