Now more than ever before, customers, communities, and employees are increasingly interested in how a corporation makes a positive impact rather than simply how it brings in revenue. This has caused a larger trend in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and strategies among businesses of all sizes. While there are many ways a company can engage in CSR activities, the most active and engaging option is corporate volunteerism.
InitLive has helped many companies implement and manage successful corporate volunteer programs. Based on this firsthand experience, this article will explore what corporate volunteerism is, its benefits, and how to create an engaging program.
Here is a quick overview of what will be covered in the article:
- Corporate Volunteerism Q&A
- 4 Reasons To Invest In Corporate Volunteerism
- How to Manage A Corporate Volunteering Program
Corporate Volunteerism Q&A
As we mentioned, corporations are looking to invest in corporate social responsibility initiatives. Highly regarded companies specifically link employee volunteerism to their corporate social responsibility strategy.
This is because investing in corporate volunteer programs offers long term rewards through employee retainment, engagement, and customer loyalty. The participatory nature of volunteerism not only positively impacts an employee’s perception of the company but creates a more meaningful connection to the greater community.
If you’re looking to kick off your own corporate volunteer program, you likely have several questions that you need answered. Let’s dive into three common questions, so that you fully understand what these programs are all about.
Data source- Governance & Accountability Institute
What is corporate volunteerism?
Corporate volunteerism is a pillar of corporate social responsibility that encourages employees to volunteer their time and give back to their community’s nonprofits, charities or other initiatives. Some corporations offer employees volunteer time off (VTO), which provides them a certain amount of paid leave (like a vacation) for volunteering while others use reward or incentive programs.
Q&A How do corporate volunteer programs work?
There are a number of structures that can be used when creating a corporate volunteer program, from organized corporate volunteerism events to ongoing programs or even employee lead initiatives. However, no matter how you choose to structure a corporate volunteer program, it is important to make sure that it is a part of a larger corporate social responsibility strategy that has buy-in from the very top.
Here are some steps to get you started in your employee volunteer program implementation process:
Establish Your Program’s Goals - What is the purpose of the program? Is it about employee retention, engagement, and development, or is it about contributing a certain amount of hours to a community? Whatever your goals are for the program, you will want to ensure that you can track KPIs to measure the program's success.
Consult Key Stakeholders - No program can be successful without stakeholder buy-in, from board members to HR representatives and even employees. You need to gauge whether there is interest in setting up an employee volunteer program.
Partner with Nonprofits - To get your program started, you must first establish some volunteer opportunities for employees to participate in. Consider partnering with a local nonprofit to get your program going.
Invest in Management Tools - Your program will require hands-on management, from posting opportunities to tracking employee participation. Consider investing in a volunteer management solution that is specifically built to meet the management requirement for corporate volunteer programs.
How do corporate volunteer programs benefit nonprofits?
Corporate volunteer programs offer nonprofits access to a new pool of highly qualified volunteers to make a big impact. Depending on how a corporate volunteer program is set up, employee volunteers are still compensated for their volunteer work through paid leave or a rewards program, making the volunteers more intrinsically motivated to do their best work for a nonprofit organization.
Four Reasons To Invest In Corporate Volunteerism
There are so many people that benefit from corporate volunteerism. The company benefits from good social capital and more engaged employees, while employees benefit from purpose-driven fulfillments and increased morale. Finally, the community benefits from all the work the good volunteer program does. Corporate volunteerism offers a meaningful win-win scenario for all the shareholders involved, making it a worthwhile corporate social responsibility for businesses of all sizes.
Here are 4 benefits of corporate volunteerism:
1. Corporate volunteerism improves public relations.
Customers in 2021 care just as much about the impact a company has in the world than their value by purchasing their products or services. 70% of global consumers would recommend a company with a purpose over one without, and this number is rising.
This makes any corporate social responsibility strategy an important pillar for any public relations and marketing strategy. Corporations can connect more meaningfully with their local community through corporate volunteerism which in turn can present good press opportunities for their public relations department.
2. Volunteering increases team morale.
Employees, especially millennial employees, care about what impact their work and company have on the world. A corporate volunteer program offers employees the chance to engage in meaningful volunteer work with their colleagues. Volunteering can be used as a team-building activity. Still, instead of a retreat, employees work together to make a positive impact, which boosts morale and results in more productive and positive work environments.
3. Increased engagement can reduce employee turnover.
According to the Social Purpose Institute, purpose-driven workers have 20% longer expected tenures, are 50% more likely to be in leadership positions, are 47% more likely to be promoters of their employers, and have 64% higher fulfillment levels in their work. This makes corporate volunteering an ideal investment from a human resources perspective.
4. Corporate volunteering builds useful skills.
Corporate volunteering enhances teamwork among employees and departments while encouraging employees to learn new skills along the way. Corporations can also harness their employees’ existing skills for good by encouraging employees to give their time to volunteer efforts using their unique skills.
How to Manage A Corporate Volunteering Program
Creating and managing a corporate volunteer program doesn’t need to be a large administrative undertaking. The first step toward success is simply investing in a volunteer management solution that will allow you to manage and track all your corporate volunteer opportunities and your employee participation.
Once you have chosen a tool that works best for your organization’s needs, simply follow these steps to get your program running:
- Create Volunteer Opportunities - Before you can announce your corporate volunteer program, it is important to have a number of volunteer opportunities readily available for eager employees to participate in. You can choose to partner with a nonprofit or charitable organization in your community to help you get your volunteer opportunities off the ground. Once you have these opportunities established, simply create those opportunities in your volunteer management solution, and establish volunteer roles and the corresponding shifts for employees to sign up for.
- Import and Invite All Your Employees to Sign Up for Volunteer Opportunities - Once everything is all set up and ready to go, import a list of your employees into your volunteer management solution, and invite all your employees to sign up for the volunteer opportunities and shifts that interest them most.
- Enable Mobile Check-in and Hours Submission - Consider requiring employees to use a volunteer mobile app to check in to volunteer shifts or submit volunteer hours. This allows your company to track each employee's participation level and reward them.
- Track and Report On Your Program’s Impact - It is important to track essential data points like number of hours worked, number of volunteer opportunities, or any nonprofit help. This will allow you to do an impact report for your employees, stakeholders, and community.
There are so many different ways to manage a corporate volunteer program; it is important to establish goals for your program and work towards those goals through a management process that works best for your organization. These four key steps will give you a solid foundation to kick off your plan.
Now that you have a clear understanding of how corporate volunteerism can positively impact your company, employees, and community, it’s time to start working toward implementing a program. Leverage your employees’ passions and skills to do good through InitLive’s all-in-one volunteer management solution.
InitLive can help your team do more good in less time by reducing 70% of administration time and empowering employees to sign up for volunteer shifts while tracking their impact along the way. For more information on the InitLive corporate volunteer management solution, make sure to download the solution pdf below and check out the other resources.