How to Increase Employee Participation in Volunteer Programs

This article on Corporate Social Responsibility first appeared on October 9th, 2019, and was updated with new information on Employee Giving Programs and Corporate Social Responsibility on January 10th, 2021. 

One of the greatest benefits of offering volunteer programs is their ability to engage your employees through meaningful and valuable experiences that give back to the world. Even better,  71% of surveyed employees say it is imperative or very important to work where the culture supports giving and volunteering.

At CyberGrants, we know employees want to volunteer, so getting them to participate in company-wide volunteer programs doesn’t have to involve twisting their arms! We have a few suggestions on jumpstarting participation in corporate volunteer programs.  

Offer Paid Volunteer Time-Off 

Volunteer time off is a form of PTO that allows employees to give their time to causes that matter most. While many employers already offer paid time off to their employees, volunteer time off is becoming increasingly popular as an additional benefit.

How can you take advantage? Gather your team to expand your benefits and come up with a few options. You can have an open policy that allows employees to contribute to the organizations and causes that are most important to them, or you can specify which organizations they can volunteer for to count towards the time off, focusing on those that your company prefers to support. Once you’ve mapped out the policy your organization prefers, communicate this information to your employees and watch them jump at the opportunity.

Read On: Agile Social Impact- How to Change the World Faster and Better.

Company-Wide Day of Service

Most companies encourage employees to give back and contribute to making their community a better place. Some may already do so by donating money or their own free time to local organizations. But by initiating a company-wide day of service, employees can give back without the worry of taking time off. Opportunities like this increase appreciation for their employer and help them feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves!

Fast Facts on how this benefits your company:

  • 90% of Gen Z believe companies must act to help social and environmental issues, and 75% will research to see if a company is being honest when it takes a stand.
  • Companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147%.
  • The three most commonly offered PTO volunteer hours were 8 hours (36%), 16 hours (23%), and 40 hours (11%).
Did you know 90% of Gen Z believe companies must act to help social and environmental issues? Check out @CyberGrants latest article here: Click to Tweet

Leaders can maximize the benefits of service days to give their staff an opportunity for growth and leadership development. Days-of service also increases engagement, which is vital as it helps drive efficient operations. Aside from being highly successful in driving participation, days of service offer leaders the opportunity to have their staff help organize tasks, lead teams, and develop skills outside their usual role.

Skills-based Work

There is a growing trend towards skill-based volunteerism that can play off the workforce’s strengths. Companies are starting to see the value, strategically and socially, in adapting their programs to utilize the skills of their people! 

Not only is this approach highly efficient from a business standpoint, but it does wonders for employee engagement and development.

Skills-based volunteerism allows people to use their professional skills to offer support in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Mentoring youth or underprivileged  to achieve their career goals
  • Translating documents for a nonprofit
  • Preparing communicational documents such as newsletters or marketing materials
  • Conducting an IT audit for a local charity
  • And so much more

Offering up skills for a cause bigger than themselves gives employees a sense of meaning and fulfillment. Your community is rewarded, and the individual has the opportunity to strengthen their own skill sets— a win-win! They may even have the chance to explore new outlets and learn new skills which are of great value to your company. 

Offering up skills for a bigger cause gives employees a sense of employment. Read here to see how people can use their skills for volunteer activities here: Click to Tweet

Let’s get to work

There are no right or wrong ways to incorporate volunteer programs. Your employees want to give back, they just need the opportunity. Giving back to your community positively impacts the workforce, increases employee happiness, and in turn, helps your business thrive. What could be better than that?

Let the CyberGrant’s team help you with your CSR goals! Book a demo today to see what we can do for you! 


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