Corporate Volunteering: The Next Big Thing (if it’s done right)

Mark Horoszowski

Mark is the Co-founder of MovingWorlds.org, a global platform connecting people who want to volunteer their expertise with social impact organizations.

The Civil Society Consulting Group recently released a new report Corporate Volunteering in the Global Age. The evidence supporting the benefits of corporate volunteering was clear:

There can be no doubt that corporate volunteering… is one of the most significant volunteer assets available to help address our most important human, social, economic and environmental challenges.

The report highlights why corporate volunteering “is becoming a strategic asset for businesses
in every region of the world“, as well as outlining best practices for implementing effective programs

2 Reasons Why Businesses Should Implement Corporate Volunteering Programs

1. It Makes the World a Better place

The report shares specific impact from major employers, like IBM, Kraft Foods, Pfizer, GSK, Microsoft, Ford, Motorola, Samsung, Vale, BHP Billiton, Telfonica, Boyner Group, Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, MTN Yemen, National Australia Bank, China Mobile, Tata Consulting Services, UPS, and many, many more.

“Corporate volunteering is a dynamic, global force, driven by companies that want to make a significant difference to serious global and local problems.”

2. It’s Good for the Company

  • For companies to respond to workers’ concerns about the quality of life in their working and living environments;
  • To increase and reinforce workers’ skills, particularly in leadership and participatory decision-making;
  • For a business to respond affirmatively to the public’s expectations of its involvement in community problem-solving
  • For corporations to demonstrate moral leadership, “doing

Read more about the Business Case for CSR on this report from the Conference Board

4 Tips to Make Corporate Volunteering Effective

1. Make It Cultural

The a fore mentioned report highlights inspiring examples of corporate volunteerism from Telefonica which adapted the global program to regional areas to improve impact:

“The program is therefore managed from a global perspective and resources are dedicated to making sure employees from all over the world can become Telefónica Volunteers.”

2. Get Top Down Support

 “This outspoken commitment [from the Executive Committee] has a domino effect on all levels within the company”

3. Promote “Released Time” and/or “Social Service Leave”

Even the most selfless, socially minded employees are tight for time. Especially for international, skills-based volunteering trips, people are short on time. There is a reason why some of the best employers like Google, Accenture, and Microsoft give people paid-days away from work to volunteer.

4. There is No ‘Best Way’ to Do Corporate Volunteering

The only key to success is ensuring that #1, #2, and #3 happen. In order to do that, the program must have a strategic fit, and therefore, must be customized by every business to best meet their own needs.

Corporate Volunteer Programs are good for the globe, good for the volunteers, and good for the company.

Which companies do you think offer the best corporate volunteering programs?

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