Volunteer ideas for the entire family that your kids will love

Family volunteer ideas

Nothing quite beats summer vacation with seemingly endless days filled with sun and fun. Beyond the summer reading list and occasional week at camp, a great way to occupy a child’s time is with volunteering! This post explores the importance of volunteering as a family and family volunteer ideas. 

By instilling the practice of volunteering in our children from a young age, they will be apt to volunteer as adults. This practice will boost their self-confidence, increase their knowledge about their community, and broaden their horizons.

If you are ready to start your family on your do-good journey, here are ten family volunteer ideas:

  • Socialize adoptable dogs and cats at your local animal shelter – If you find an animal you love, consider fostering him or her!
  • Pack or sort food at a local food pantry – This is an easy project that educates children about hunger in your community.
  • Conduct a donation drive – Assist your child in collecting shoes or socks for the homeless in your community. Drop them off together at your local shelter.
  • Serve food at a soup kitchen – If your children are older, volunteer at your local soup kitchen. This activity will showcase the struggles of individuals in your backyard.
  • Collect trash at a local park or beach – This is the perfect project for children of all ages. Don’t forget to weigh your trash, so you know your impact!
  • Support a child overseas – “Adopt” a child in a developing country and support him or her through monthly donations. Your child can write letters to the child you support. This opportunity will open a child’s eyes to the lives of children in other parts of the world.
  • Host a bake sale and donate the proceeds to charity – Allow your child to help out in the kitchen and choose the charity the funds support!
  • Create gift packages for soldiers overseas – Gather together supplies for soldiers serving overseas. Your child can decorate a card with well wishes.
  • Serve Meals on Wheels to seniors – Deliver a hot meal to a senior citizen in your community.
  • Assist families at the Ronald McDonald House – Volunteer alongside your older children at the Ronald McDonald House. Your service will benefit families during their time of need.

Each of these activities will introduce the importance of service to your children. With consistent volunteering, they will dedicate themselves to improving the world around them.

What does family volunteering mean for corporate volunteer coordinators?

With work and family life continuing to intersect, allowing families to participate in corporate volunteer programs will boost overall participation. Furthermore, with more individuals volunteering, you will increase your volunteer numbers and your community impact.

Engaging families in volunteer activities lays the groundwork for a well-functioning society. If we groom our children now to be volunteers, they will continue to give back throughout their life.

The importance of outcome measurement in defining CSR success

Outcome measurement and corporate social responsibility

Open any Corporate Social Responsibility report, and chances are you will see glossy photos of employees picking up trash or painting a building. Amid the photos, statistics highlight the hours volunteered, dollars donated, and charities supported. The photos and statistics provide proof points for CSR programs, but do they accurately depict the impact companies create in the communities in which they operate?

Many corporations stop their CSR tracking with outputs – hours volunteered, dollars donated, and charities supported. They fail to ask themselves the question, “Why would our stakeholders care?”

We can take a hint from foundations and other grantmaking organizations to better report upon our CSR impact. These organizations utilize the outcome measurement approach to track inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes. This model more accurately answers the question, “so what?”

Say one of your CSR programs is a volunteer program that matches your employees with students for one-on-one mentoring and tutoring. The inputs include the volunteers, books, writing utensils, computers, budget, and any other inputs needed to operate the program.

Activities may include helping with homework, demonstrating computer functionality, and participating in any extracurricular activities that may boost the confidence of the students.

The outputs are the tangible results of the volunteer program – hours volunteered, numbers of students mentored.

The final and most important components of the outcome measurement approach are the outcomes and performance indicators. These components indicate the intended impact of the CSR program and the specific and measurable characteristics of the program.

The outcomes of a mentoring and tutoring program may include improved reading comprehension, increase in computer literacy, and increase in confidence and self-esteem. These outcomes indicate what you hope your tutoring and mentoring program may accomplish and can be jointly decided upon with your nonprofit partners.

In order to determine the success of the outcomes, program administrators determine performance indicators, these are the measurements of your outcomes.  Referring to our example of a mentoring and tutoring program, here are some sample performance indicators:

  • 75% of students improved standardized test scores
  • 89% of students surveyed revealed they had more self-confidence in school
  • 63% of students improved their computer literacy

Imagine how powerful your CSR reports will be with statistics that indicate the effectiveness of your programs. Your nonprofit partners will more accurately understand the impact of your partnership, your leadership and board will recognize the importance of your CSR programs, and your company’s programs will more clearly indicate positive transformation within your communities.

For any corporate group that wants to move the needle on their CSR reporting, we suggest you work with your nonprofit partners to determine the outcomes you hope to achieve with your programs. No one doubts the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility in increasingly troubling times; however, it’s important to move beyond the vanity metrics and report upon real and sustainable change.

3 Secrets to Unlocking Your Giving Program’s Potential

In an earlier post, we explored how easy it is to get started with a workplace giving program.  More and more small to mid-sized businesses are launching giving programs, and they are seeing the benefits, from happier and more engaged employees to brand recognition in their local communities. To read more about how to get started, check out our post on Starting an Employee Giving Program in 4 Easy Steps. Now, let’s take a deeper look into how to better engage your employees through those workplace giving programs.   

The millennial workforce has made their voice heard about wanting giving options in the workplace.  This trend is even more relevant with recent changes in administration and heated political climate.   Corporate philanthropy is on the rise.  In fact, overall corporate giving has increased by 4.7% in 2017, and it is expected to continue to rise in 2018.  So how to make sure you stay ahead of the curve with this rising trend?  The answer is to listen to your employees and engage them in every aspect of your giving programs.  In this post, we’ve outlined 3 key tips to unlocking your giving program’s potential.  

Tip 1: Make Giving an Integral Part of Your Culture  

Employees want a culture of giving that reflects the values and mission that attracted them to your company. Additionally, employees want the opportunity to give back in a way that reflects their own personal choice and passions. Think about what makes your company stand out?  How can you incorporate your own uniqueness into your giving programs?  While having support for corporate philanthropy needs to come from leaders, seeking feedback from your employees on how they want to be engaged and what causes they are interested in supporting is critical to your success.

Start by soliciting input and feedback into potential giving programs.  Remember that, as the saying goes, ‘charity starts at home,’ meaning your employees likely have causes that they care about already.  Let them volunteer their favorite causes as potential recipients of your workplace giving programs.  Encourage your employees to donate  and/or volunteer for causes they personally care about and demonstrate this commitment through senior leadership’s own commitment to charity.  If your company is new to corporate giving, the following are examples of how to get the ball rolling:

  • Ask your employees to nominate a favorite community cause or campaign.  Eliminate those that don’t fit with your brand, and hold a vote on which ones to support.
  • Create a strategy to support your giving program and ensure it fits with your existing operations and resources.
  • Get your CEO to make a big splash for a cause and showcase it to your employees.
  • Create a matching gift program that shows a tangible commitment from the company.  You give, we give, let’s all give.
  • Make your program a priority. Workplace giving should be just as important as  your mandated sessions on health care or retirement planning.

If your employees feel ownership for your giving program and leadership embeds giving into your culture, you will create higher levels of engagement and participation.

A giving program that your employees have a sense of ownership in and embedded into everyday culture at your workplace will create higher levels of engagement and participation.  

Tip 2: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Be ready and expect questions. You will need to communicate the alignment between your giving program’s goals and your company’s values and the importance of participation.You will need to  communicate how your giving program aligns with your company’s values and goals and why it is important for all to get involved.  

A caveat: employee participation should always be voluntary, and pains should be taken to ensure that no employee feels he or she is being pressured into giving or volunteering. To be successful in integrating your giving programs into your culture you will need to communicate with all  your key stakeholders and create buy in.  

The #1 reason employees don’t give? They weren’t asked.  The #2 reason: nobody told them how.  Be sure to communicate early and often about the program and how they can participate.  Repeat as necessary.  Your communication plan will be a marathon and not a sprint, so get ready for a long term commitment.  Don’t forget that your efforts to educate, encourage, and solicit employee participation are done through face to face interactions in addition to online channels.  

Tip 3: Measure Impact and Share  

Your workplace giving program is only as effective as your actual knowledge about its outcomes.  It is incredibly important to have a system in place that allows for accurate tracking and reporting.  Even if you don’t have the resources to invest in infrastructure to support your giving program at this stage, start planning for when you might.  In the meantime, track metrics that include things such as employee participation rates, dollars raised, and time donated.  Showing your story of impact will attract more employee support.   The more employees feel they can create change, the more motivated they will be.  We have seen success when companies support and reward their employees in personal volunteer activities or encourage employees to recognize each other for good social impact work.  

The benefits to workplace giving are numerous, but if you are able to embrace it as part of your company culture, effectively communicate the desired outcomes of the program and steps for involvement,  and show your collective impact, you will take an important step in unlocking your giving program’s potential.  

Stay tuned to our upcoming blogs for more effective workplace giving tips and secrets.  Learn more about us at www.gooddonegreat.com .

Starting an Employee Giving Program in 4 Easy Steps

To keep up with today’s competitive market, companies, big and small, recognize that doing good is good for business. Why? Because there’s significant data that connects successful workplace giving programs with higher levels of employee engagement. And companies with high employee engagement consistently outperform on financial measures. Whether you call it Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), workplace giving or employee engagement, it’s here to stay. And, to make your brand stand out, attract and retain top candidates, and appeal to prospects and customers, you’re ready to jump in.  

But where to begin? As part of a continuing series on doing good, great, we’ll begin here with a few keys to getting started.

  1. Seek Employee Feedback

Ask employees for their opinions about what they want when it comes to charitable giving or volunteering in the workplace. Why? Because in a study conducted by America’s Charities, when charitable choice is given, employee participation increases. (Source: America’s Charities 2013 Snapshot).  

Introduce the survey with a letter from your CEO stating the company’s commitment to giving back and encouraging employees to weigh in on what’s important to them. The more sense of ownership you create, the more successful your giving program will be.  Include questions about perceptions on any current corporate philanthropy, causes and issues they care about and support, what types of programs would they be more willing to participate in, and what options would make them more willing to participate.   

  1. Create a Budget

While launching an employee giving campaign might seem like a stretch on your budget, the investment is worth it knowing that happier and engaged employees lead to a more productive workforce and a happier, more productive team ultimately leads to a happier, more loyal customer base. Your initial program doesn’t have to be all fireworks and big world-changing initiatives. Companies can start small and still experience the associated benefits and rewards.

To get started, take inventory of all the good work your company is already doing. For example, how many hours have your employees volunteered so far this year, what company donations and sponsorships have you made, and what products or services have you donated back to the community? Use this as a starting point and then evaluate additional resources you might be able to contribute. Setting a budget will allow you to shift from reactively responding to charitable requests to a more strategic, thoughtful approach.

Also, consider whether you can allocate part of the budget to a matching gift program. Everyone loves to double their impact. For example, let’s say you discover in the budgeting process that you gave $5,000 through various charitable requests, we suggest you put that $5,000 into a matching gift program. If your employees collectively give $5,000 that you match dollar for dollar, everybody wins. The employee doubled their impact, the company doubled their impact, and some really great charities will get the funds to carry out their missions. Make your matching gift program as open and flexible as possible while still aligning to your core values. Employees like choice and will be more motivated to participate when they can support charities they care about and also receive a generous company match.  

  1.  Have fun with a launch!

A great way to start your employee giving program and rally the team is with a kick off party. Employee participation is going to be a key success factor to your giving program, so why not have a little fun to encourage involvement. Use it as an opportunity to provide information about the causes you’re supporting and to begin enrollment. Even better, invite someone with a local charity you wish to support and have a lunch and learn session or volunteer fair during the launch. All it takes is a little creativity! In addition to a company-wide kick off event, you could encourage a little interdepartmental competition to add to the festivities. Giving is social in today’s world, so make it fun, build in some recognition, and celebrate!   

  1. Keep them Engaged  

Your giving program succeeds when employees stay engaged. The best way to keep up  momentum after the launch is to communicate progress. Be sure to:

  • capture and share success stories big and small
  • share images, videos, stories as they occur, be it through a company social media page, your giving platform, or a newsletter
  • celebrate milestones achieved (dollars raised, hours volunteered)

Stay tuned to our upcoming blogs providing further guidance, tips on program ideas, ways to keep employees engagement, measuring your impact, and more.  And learn more about us at www.gooddonegreat.com.

 

Volunteerism Knows No Bounds

Every day, all over the world, tens of thousands of corporate employees volunteer their time, talent and energy to make a difference in the world. The practice of offering corporate volunteer programs has grown from a “nice-to- do” community relations effort into a globally recognized strategic asset that benefits society, the employees who volunteer, and the companies that encourage and support their work.

A 2015 study conducted by America’s Charities revealed that volunteerism is the core around which companies are building employee engagement strategies and programs. Volunteerism has become the onramp to full employee engagement and is highly valued by today’s senior corporate leaders.

Companies see the tangible benefits that volunteer programs bring such as increased commitment, stronger teamwork, higher employee morale, and stronger corporate brand and reputation. Recognizing the benefits of corporate volunteer programs, companies are looking for ideas and opportunities to take them to employees at all locations throughout the world.

While there are unique challenges to conducting an international volunteer program, the benefits far exceed the challenges. Many companies are overcoming the challenges and implementing effective global volunteer programs. Today, I want to offer some practical ideas to engage international employees in volunteer efforts.

Think Global, Volunteer Local

There are many opportunities to engage global employees in volunteer activities. The key is to think global but volunteer local. Adapt what you are currently doing within the U.S. to locations around the world. Be aware of cultural differences but keep in mind, most programs will resonate globally.

Here are some examples of what companies are doing to take their programs beyond borders and around the globe.

Establish local committees in key locations

around the world to identify and support volunteer projects. Employees act as ambassadors by encouraging other employees to participate. Use existing employee organizations such as affinity groups to help identify volunteer projects. Many of these groups already engage in volunteerism in their particular area of interest. Use these groups to provide a leadership structure and communications network to assist in promoting volunteerism.

International Volunteerism Good Done Great

Implement Global Days of Service

– these are becoming more common. Companies will designate time where employees unite with their colleagues in a company-wide initiative. These events can be one day or spread out over a week or a month. It is best for global companies to support a longer period of time where employees can engage to allow for flexibility and to accommodate the needs and culture of the local offices. According to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) about 30 percent of companies offer a company-wide Day of Service internationally.

General Mills conducts a global service initiative around Earth Day. The initiative focuses on hunger, nutrition and sustainability, and environmental community projects. In 2015, more than 2,000 General Mills employees from 60 locations around the world volunteered more than 10,000 hours in their communities.

Use volunteer activities to support corporate philanthropic focus areas.

Ashland has a giving pillar around education. In Latin America, Ashland employees partner with a local school to provide mentors, tutors, and other volunteers. In China, a similar program exists where employees are teamed with migrant and other schools to support classrooms and innovation labs. Ashland has found that global employees like having an opportunity to be involved and feel they are making a difference by tying their volunteer service back to the company and its core focus areas.

Do virtual or onsite volunteer projects.

Partner with a local NGO to identify a specific project such as building hygiene or birthing kits that could be done at the workplace.

Utilize technology

as a key component of global volunteer programs. Make sure your platform is robust and supports the identification and promotion of employee volunteer projects. It is also a good idea to create online opportunities for employees to share their personal stories about volunteer opportunities. Technology can also help recognize and reward employees for their team and individual volunteer efforts.

International volunteering is on the rise which means additional opportunities to make an impact beyond just the giving of dollars. Companies need it, employees want it and NGOs welcome it.

Good Done Great Launches Doing it Great Volunteer Initiative

Good Done Great has always had a culture focused on giving back. As a Benefit Corporation, we are held responsible for upholding environmental, social, and governance standards. We report our efforts to the nonprofit B Lab as they measure our impact against standards. As a company that provides technology for the greater good, our status as a B Corporation reflects who we are to our stakeholders and demonstrates our commitment to our clients.

This past month, in recognition of National Volunteer Month, Good Done Great expanded our give back culture and formally launched our volunteer program, Doing it Great. In order to determine cause areas, we distributed a survey to our employees to collect information on the cause areas closest to their hearts. After analyzing the data, we uncovered our top four cause areas: animal welfare, environmental stewardship, hunger relief, and education/mentoring. A fourth program (Volunteering Done Great) allows our employees to log hours not associated with any of these cause areas.

As part of our National Volunteer Month launch, we set a high bar of 100% participation across all three offices (Charleston, South Carolina, Tacoma, Washington, and Stuart, Florida.) Each office (including a remote employee based in Maine) completed at least one volunteer activity spanning two of our core focus areas: environmental stewardship and education and mentoring.

Here’s a recap of our volunteer events:

Clean Birth Kit Good Done Great

The Charleston office assembled 950 Clean Birth Kits for Global Health Charities, a nonprofit organization that provides healthcare for underserved markets in Southeast Asia and Nigeria. Their clean birth kit project provides pregnant mothers with a clean surface to give birth, helping to decrease the chance of infection. Check out our Facebook page for more photos of this event

Stuart Beach Clean Up Good Done Great

Several members of the Stuart office spent a beautiful Sunday morning collecting trash on Stuart Beach with Keep Martin Beautiful. They collected 11 bags of trash, amounting to seven pounds.

Oyster Reef Build Good Done Great

In addition to the Clean Birth Kit Assembly event, the Charleston office also participated in an oyster reef build on Gold Bug Island. In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and Charleston Waterkeeper, the GDG team in addition to other volunteer groups constructed over 200 feet of new living shoreline oyster reef. This reef is an expansion of work started in 2011, which will help the oyster populations and reduce the effects of coastal erosion.

Earth Day Cleanup Good Done Great

In recognition of Earth Day, Joan, a Product Manager at Good Done Great, spent a cold day in Maine volunteering with the Island Heritage Trust. She and her volunteer group collected seven bags of trash along the local highway.

Tacoma Pajama Bowl Good Done Great

Our Tacoma office participated in the Pajama Bowl, an event which raises money to support foster children. Our team raised $270 for Treehouse Seattle, a nonprofit that supports ongoing education for foster children.

In total, we had 65% of Good Done Great Charleston, Tacoma, and Stuart employees participate in a month-long volunteer effort which supported foster children, the environment, and mothers in developing nations. Our impact demonstrates that no matter your company size, you can still make a difference!

Follow our volunteer journey with #DoingitGreat. You can view more volunteer photos on our Facebook page.

Inspiring and Celebrating Volunteers this National Volunteer Week

Every April we celebrate National Volunteer Week in recognition of the thousands of people who are giving back to their communities and reaching out to help those who might be in need. Initially conceived by Points of Light Foundation, this week is about inspiring, recognizing, and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. I hope to contribute to the inspiration and celebration that is taking place this week.

During this one week and throughout the month of April, hundreds of companies and literally thousands of employees put aside their daily jobs and get into the community to “do good things.” The miracle is that volunteering doesn’t only occur during April or National Volunteer Week, it is happening 365 days each year. While we call attention to volunteering in April, it is the countless acts of service, often going unnoticed, that makes volunteering the powerhouse that is doing good in our communities every day. There are thousands of unsung heroes working throughout the year to make a difference. Comedian Erma Bombeck said it best when she wrote,“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”

It is estimated that more than 62 million people in the United States volunteered in 2015. While the number is down slightly from 2014, the truth is volunteering is part of the American culture. With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer but as Elizabeth Andrews has said, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

The whole idea behind volunteering is to bring some moments of happiness into someone else’s life without asking for anything in return. Yet, volunteers agree that their work is always rewarded.

Good Done Great National Volunteer Week

“Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need,” said Gillian Anderson.

Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Research also shows that people who volunteer often live longer.

“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you,” writes an unnamed source.

Anyone can volunteer. Martin Luther King said it this way, “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve…You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

My personal favorite volunteer quote comes from Winston Churchill who said, “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”

Good Done Great National Volunteer Week

Albert Schweitzer talks about our responsibility to volunteer. He says,“Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.”

As Aesop has said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Rather than be pessimistic because the number of volunteers is down from previous years, I would rather be optimistic and celebrate all the good that is being done by volunteers around the globe. Collectively, we are an army that is making a difference one person or one project at a time. As Oscar Wilde once said, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”

Let’s celebrate before we go to our next volunteer project.

Silicon Harbor Magazine Features VolunteerMatch Partnership

Silicon Harbor Magazine featured our new partnership with VolunteerMatch. Read the article here.

Good Done Great and VolunteerMatch Partner to Connect More Corporate Employees to Volunteer Opportunities

San Francisco – March 1, 2016 – Good Done Great, a company offering the only cloud-based, unified corporate social responsibility platform, and VolunteerMatch, the world’s largest online volunteer engagement network, officially announced their partnership today. The partnership provides employees of Good Done Great’s Fortune 1000 clients with access to VolunteerMatch’s network of over 95,000 volunteer opportunities from more than 100,000 nonprofits.

Earlier this year, Good Done Great released GDG 2.0, a cloud-based platform that enables Fortune 1000 companies to execute engaging employee giving, volunteer and corporate grant programs and initiatives through one platform. Within the Good Done Great system, employees can also coordinate volunteer events, log their volunteer hours and request volunteer service program rewards. The partnership with VolunteerMatch takes this platform to a whole new level by allowing employees to search for volunteer opportunities in their communities and respond to local needs.

“Our focus at Good Done Great is figuring out innovative ways to engage more and more people in volunteerism and charitable giving with the ultimate goal of greater social impact,” says Good Done Great CEO, David Barach. “Our partnership with VolunteerMatch makes our technology platform even more efficient and engaging.”

This partnership is part of VolunteerMatch’s new Network Access Provider program, launched at the end of 2015. “By partnering with like-minded enterprises such as Good Done Great, we can better serve the 100,000+ nonprofits in our network by getting their opportunities in front of hundreds of thousands of employees,” says Greg Baldwin, President of VolunteerMatch. “As a nonprofit ourselves, we are driven by this mission of connecting nonprofits with the volunteers they need.”

For more information, visit gooddonegreat.com. To learn how to integrate the VolunteerMatch network into your own platform, visit: solutions.volunteermatch.org/solutions/integrations

About Good Done Great

Good Done Great and VolunteerMatchGood Done Great revolutionizes the way corporations and individuals give back to the communities and causes they care about. Through our unified CSR software solution and our bench of CSR strategists, the Good Done Great team helps more than 75 Fortune 500 and other companies maximize their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. Launched in 2009 and headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina (with offices in Tacoma, Washington, Denver, Colorado, and Stuart, Florida), Good Done Great was certified as a groundbreaking B Corps (Benefit Corporation) in 2012 and incorporated as one of South Carolina’s initial B Corporations in 2014. Good Done Great customizes employee engagement and corporate philanthropy platforms for global brands, delivering targeted and measurable impact. More than 2.5 million employees have access to GDG’s innovative tools and more than 65,000 domestic and international nonprofits benefit from Good Done Great’s broad philanthropic reach. Learn more about Good Done Great by visiting gooddonegreat.com

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch believes everyone should have the chance to make a difference. As the Web’s largest Good Done Great and VolunteerMatchvolunteer engagement network, serving 100,000 participating nonprofits, 150 network partners and 13 million annual visitors, VolunteerMatch offers unique, award-winning solutions for individuals, nonprofits and companies to make this vision a reality. Since its launch in 1998, VolunteerMatch has helped the social sector attract more than $6.8 billion worth of volunteer services.

Learn more about VolunteerMatch at www.volunteermatch.org.

Media Contacts:

Christina Bowen

Good Done Great

Christina@gooddonegreat.com

 

Bree von Faith

VolunteerMatch

news@volunteermatch.org

CSR Programs: Importance and Value of Motivating and Engaging Employees

There have been many blogs and articles written about the value and importance of having a strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Companies of all sizes are recognizing that CSR helps set them apart from their competition, attract top-notch talent, and publicly demonstrate their commitment to their employees, communities, sustainability, and more.

MillennialsThis blog hopes to add to the ongoing conversation of Why Do We Care by looking specifically at CSR and how companies are aligning the goals and values of the company with the personal interests of employees. Companies recognize the value of CSR to motivate and engage today’s changing workforce and the value that comes from sponsoring a wide range of opportunities for employees to be a part of a company’s broader CSR strategies. This is particularly important in an era where a majority of Millennials and other young professionals are seeking employment with companies that care about more than just the bottom line.

AmeriGives Consulting, now a part of Good Done Great, conducted a CSR benchmark survey late last year. From the findings we learn that employee engagement programs are playing a larger and more significant role in addressing employee expectations. Indeed these employee programs have become the foundation of most CSR programs with companies indicating that employee giving and volunteer programs were among the top priorities for their company’s CSR strategies.

We gain further insight into why companies view employee engagement programs as critical to their CSR efforts from a report by America’s Charities and released in December 2015. The research found that 86% of companies said employees expect them to provide opportunities to engage in the community and 87% believe their employees expect them to support causes and issues that matter to those employees.

America's Charities Snapshot 2015

The America’s Charities study also documents the thinking that CSR activities are important tools to attract talented and qualified employees by revealing that nearly 90% agree that effective employee engagement programs help attract and retain employees.

Employees bring their values and passions to the workplace. These employees are motivated by having programs that allow them to connect with peers, support their favorite causes and personal philanthropic interests and do something worthwhile all at the same time. Working for a company that provides them with these opportunities is important and serves as a motivator in helping build the company and its brand.

Companies know that providing volunteer opportunities is not only an important way to engage their employees but they encourage team work, provide a mechanism to connect with peers and colleagues, promotes brand recognition and helps set them apart as being a good neighbor.

Employee Volunteers

Employee Engagement programs become a key intersection of corporate and employee social responsibility goals and objectives. For this reason, giving and volunteering at the workplace is alive and well. Of course, they are evolving to meet the changing needs but for now and into the future these programs will be a strong foundation upon which companies build stronger social responsibility strategies.

Engaging employees can have transformative value on the employees, their colleagues and in the communities where they live and work. Workplace giving and volunteering are no longer viewed as expectations but rather they have become expressions of who we are. Mutual benefits occur to the company, its employees and the community when all stakeholders are aligned and unified in addressing the social and environmental needs of our society.