Organizations are becoming more and more socially responsible. To meet their philanthropic initiatives, corporate volunteer programs are becoming increasingly popular. For example, nearly two-thirds of businesses provide their personnel with paid leave to volunteer.

"Nearly 60% of companies offer paid time off (PTO) for employees to volunteer, and an additional 21% plan to offer release time in the next two years." (America's Charities Snapshot Employer Research)

You should develop a solid strategy to make the most of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Here are 3 ways nonprofits will benefit from using corporate volunteering, and how to fully utilize these programs.

1. Increasing Your Volunteer Workforce

It can be costly and require a lot of work to source and hold onto volunteers for your nonprofit organization. Corporate volunteering programs can be a great solution to this problem.

According to America’s Charities, a large majority of employees surveyed believe it is essential to work in an organization that promotes giving and volunteering. This demonstrates that having an employee volunteer program is a great way to keep staff engaged and motivated while offering nonprofits the chance to recruit a new volunteer workforce.

"71% of surveyed employees say it is imperative or very important to work where culture is supportive of giving and volunteering." (America's Charities Snapshot Employer Research)

How is this done?

By partnering with local companies that provide corporate volunteer programs, your nonprofit organization can access a greater selection of passionate professionals who are eager to make a positive change in their community. Employer incentives make them more reliable and driven to make a difference for an organization they are passionate about.

Start by making contact with some local businesses that have corporate volunteer plans. Remove friction by providing their workers with a simple way to view and join volunteer roles and shifts. This way, you can recruit more volunteers, both as individuals and in groups, which will grow your non-profit's total volunteer staff.

Check in with your current volunteer pool to see if their employers have volunteer initiatives that align with your organization's goals. Oftentimes, people are unaware of what their companies offer. It helps just to ask!

2. Receiving Volunteer Grants

Volunteer grants are another form of CSR. These initiatives typically stimulate volunteerism in the areas where employees are based or reside, and often provide monetary contributions to charities and non-profits where employees give their time.

Generally, the grant amount is determined by the total number of hours an employee dedicates to a particular nonprofit. For instance, if an employee volunteers for 25 hours and their employer provides $5 per hour, the nonprofit will receive a $125 grant.

Nonprofits can benefit greatly from these grant programs because they motivate employees to contribute more to the organization's cause.

How is this done?

To be eligible for volunteer grants, nonprofits must track the total amount of volunteer hours. This can be done simply by utilizing volunteer management software, such as Civic Champs, to monitor activity and generate data that can be used to apply for grants. Track which programs are relevant to each volunteer and use customized messaging to encourage them to volunteer more.

3. Nurture Corporate Partnerships

Nonprofits and corporations can benefit from each other through partnerships, with both entities offering and receiving value in return.

“90% of businesses indicated that partnering with reputable nonprofits enhances their brands. 89% believe partnering leverages their ability to improve the community.” (America's Charities Snapshot Employer Research)

Think about these things when considering how to create and maintain a good corporate partnership.

  • Are you aligned? It is essential to ensure that the company has the same values as your nonprofit organization. The closer the alignment between values and practices, the more likely the two entities will form a lasting partnership.
  • What are your goals? Make sure to determine what each partner hopes to gain from the collaboration and how you will collaborate to accomplish those ambitions.
  • Who is the contact person? Establish clear communication between organizations in order to promote effective planning, fundraising, and other collaborative chances.
  • Did you reach our goals? It is essential to measure the success of the partnership by monitoring metrics such as volunteer hours, fundraising, and volunteer retention rate. Keeping track of these figures will help both sides assess and enhance their performance annually.

How is this done?

Stay consistent and keep good data to show the company you're working with how the partnership is benefitting your both. Initially, a corporate partnership may only involve corporate volunteering. However, it may blossom over time to include sponsorships of fundraising events or contributions of goods and services.

There are many possibilities with a corporate partnership! 

Working Together With Corporations

Corporate volunteerism is beneficial for both corporations and nonprofits. Employees gain a sense of fulfillment by participating in a cause that is meaningful to them. Nonprofits, in turn, get access to experienced and dedicated volunteers to further their mission and promote positive change.

With the increasing popularity of such projects around the world, nonprofits should use them as an opportunity to make a bigger impact in their community.

About the Author:
Geng Wang

As CEO of Civic Champs, I lead our team of passionate change leaders to create technology solutions to create a seamless and rewarding volunteering experience for both volunteers and service organizations.