Volunteering over the years has become quite the trend for the corporate enterprise. From teams of employees working with select corporate partners, to individual contributors volunteering their time in ad hoc roles to make a difference.
In this post I will outline how the utilisation of volunteer hours can far exceed the amount of invested time. How the act of volunteering can go well beyond making a difference to the life of someone else. And how it can help your business to develop strong bonds with talent - one of the key business benefits of volunteering.
Volunteering time as an underlying principle is to help either individuals, organisations or even nations to survive or improve. The volunteer time comes in a host of forms from gardening work and building schools to pro-bono professional services or helping young people shape their careers.
Naturally, spending this time helping others is seen by many a good enough reason to volunteer. However, I do believe that not enough people or corporate enterprises take part in either individual or group volunteer efforts. A great place to start, is to pledge 1% - visit http://pledge1percent.org/ to see how you can make a difference.
Volunteering goes far beyond the benefits to the recipient. The time taken benefits the individual taking the time out. It benefits the sponsoring organisation. It benefits the organisation's customers. Fundamentally, in taking the time out of the rigours of day-to-day business life, you allow your employees to:
Allowing employees the opportunity to volunteer on company time offers the benefits discussed above, and more. But in addition to that, volunteering has the potential to impact directly on the bottom-line of the business. Although unlikely to be the original intention, business benefits of volunteer efforts can include:
In outlining the business benefits behind volunteer time, the hope is that more corporate enterprises become involved. The more we add value to organisations which need it the most, the better world we will live in.
So as a corporate initiative to see employees develop, why not arrange either a team volunteer event or allow employees time off to volunteer. It will be worth it!
Visit http://www.salesforce.org/ to find out about Salesforce's integrated philanthropy approach - bringing technology, people and resources to the people that need them most.