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Employee Volunteerism. Adrian Durbin, Theresa Finn, Mike Pearce, Emily Poague, Joe Seavey MBA 292-C1 March 14, 2007. What is Employee Volunteerism?.

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employee volunteerism

Employee Volunteerism

Adrian Durbin, Theresa Finn, Mike Pearce, Emily Poague, Joe Seavey

MBA 292-C1

March 14, 2007

what is employee volunteerism
What is Employee Volunteerism?
  • Corporations supporting communities and non-profit organizations by establishing systems that facilitate and encourage their employees to volunteer.
    • Employer-driven
    • Employee-driven
  • In either case, a corporation is donating its employees’ time and labor to a particular cause.
employee volunteerism is growing
Employee Volunteerism is Growing
  • Until recently, employee volunteer programs were viewed as an extension of corporate philanthropy. Like much CSR, they were conducted because they were “the right thing to do.”
  • Today, successful programs are designed to meet – or at least complement – core business goals and address issues that affect a company’s ability to operate
  • Today more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies have employee volunteer programs to leverage the power of service and volunteering in the corporate sector.
trends in employee volunteerism
Trends in Employee Volunteerism
  • Skill-based
  • Rebranded
  • Disaster Response
  • Diversity-Focused
  • Cause Leadership
  • Long-term Involvement
  • Institutionalization of Paid Time Off for EV
  • Well-Measured

Sources: Points of Light Foundation, BSR

what do these trends mean
What do these trends mean?
  • Employee volunteerism is being integrated with business objectives
    • The concept of aligning EV programs with business objectives is not new, but it continues to gain steam.
    • Volunteers of America and The Center for Corporate Citizenship believe employee volunteer programs are likely to expand as organizations move to integrate and align employee volunteer programs into the larger corporate citizenship strategies of their organizations.
benefits of aligning ev with business strategy
Benefits Of Aligning EV With Business Strategy

Internal Benefits

  • Develop relevant leadership and work skills
  • Encourage teamwork
  • Employee retention

External Benefits

  • Enhance corporate reputation
  • Rapid response to local crises
  • Leverage philanthropic resources (donate money and time)
employee volunteerism challenges risks
Employee Volunteerism: Challenges & Risks
  • Window Dressing
    • Risk that program is implemented, but not supported on the ground level.
  • Potential inability for a corporation to control its employees
    • A corporation must look at all of the risks that are inherent
  • Litigation
    • Some volunteer issues can be controversial (sex offenders, abortion, etc.).
    • Companies must ensure that there is proper coverage of employees who suffer injuries sustained during volunteer activities.
employee volunteerism challenges risks8
Employee Volunteerism: Challenges & Risks
  • Not everyone’s personal needs can be accommodated
    • Some employees may not want to volunteer for a particular cause, or at all.
    • Should companies accommodate employees that choose to volunteer their time to political or religious organizations?
  • Miscommunication
    • Need to be clear in communicating with non-profits about the expectations for how employees are to contribute.
employee volunteerism standards
Employee Volunteerism Standards
  • Growth in the EV arena has led to development of both evaluation and reporting standards
  • Standards created by third-parties nonprofits, including Point of Light Foundation and Bay Area Corporate Volunteer Council
  • Standards aim to:
    • Establish baseline for benchmarking
    • Generate more effective programs
    • Generate more interest in establishing programs
    • Improve internal dialog on programs
  • Like most CSR standards, all are voluntary
evaluation standards
Evaluation Standards
  • Many existing standards focus more generally on CSR or community investment
  • Point of Light, a U.S. based nonprofit developed a series of standards exclusively around “Excellence in Corporate Community Service”
  • Criteria serve as basis for yearly awards granted to corporations with outstanding volunteer programs
    • Past winners include Accenture, Cisco, KPMG, Timberland, and Wells Fargo
  • Criteria are applicable to wide-range of volunteer programs, regardless of structure
point of light criteria for excellence
Point of Light Criteria for Excellence
  • Acknowledge that the company’s EV program helps support and achieve business goals
    • Included in the company mission
    • Communicated to internal and external stakeholders
  • Commitment to “establish, support, and promote”
    • Allocate resources to the program, including senior mgmt
    • Manage effectively with a business plan
    • Establish policies that encourage participation
    • Align with skills of employees
  • Target programs to serious community issues
    • Establish evaluations to determine efficacy of program against target social issue
reporting standards
Reporting Standards
  • Corporate Community Involvement Summit, a coalition of nonprofits, development a set of reporting guidelines designed to:
    • Track trends
    • Benchmark effectiveness of EV programs
    • Encourage better EV programs and share best practices
  • Standards are extremely high level but aim to give guidance on
    • How to calculate hours
    • What organizations are acceptable to support
    • Whose volunteering time should be counted
types of programs
Types of Programs
  • Formal vs. Informal Policies
  • Types of Formal Programs
    • Work Release
    • Matching Time
    • Social Service Leave
  • How to implement a formal policy
    • Outline eligibility requirements
    • Communicate policy to employees through senior management
    • Enlist middle management support
star company examples
Star Company Examples
  • UPS Global Volunteer Week
    • In 2005, thousands of employees in 45 countries volunteered nearly 48,000 hours
  • Fannie Mae Community Service Release Time
    • Since 1992, all full-time employees who are in "good standing" receive 10 hours of paid time off to volunteer per month
    • 3 percent of employees use paid release time each month, and 10 percent of employees use it at some point during the year.
  • Cisco Leadership Fellows Program
    • Leaders serve as volunteer project manager at a nonprofit for a strategic project that adds value to a nonprofit partners’ sustainability and long-term success
    • The project is one person, full-time, for 6 – 12 months in duration, compensated and provided benefits by Cisco
    • Outcomes:
      • Insures leaders have a clear understanding of the community
      • Integrates awareness of community issues
      • Provides opportunities for current and future leaders
ev issues going forward
EV Issues – Going Forward
  • Better reporting
    • Reporting standards, benchmark programs, best practices
  • Baby boomers
    • Demographic shifts – harnessing the talent and skill of retirees…new class of employee/advisor
  • Continued linkage with business bottom line
    • Utilizing business skills of employees
    • Volunteer projects directly related to business objectives
ev recommendations
EV – Recommendations
  • When doing EV, treat it as a critical component of the organization
    • As important, and worthy of similar resources
    • Aligned with business objectives
  • Depending on scale, consider partnering with other companies to provide better impact
    • Again, the potential to build business relationships
  • Enlist middle management on implementation
    • Include volunteerism as part of performance reviews/formal objectives
  • http://www.pointsoflight.org
  • http://www.socialfunds.com/news/release.cgi?sfArticleId=4690
  • http://www.bcccc.net/
  • http://www.socialfunds.com/news/release.cgi?sfArticleId=7036
  • http://www.pointsoflight.org/downloads/pdf/networks/business/BACVC_CVRS_v2wletter.pdf
  • http://www.communitybuilders.nsw.gov.au/download/VolunteeringGuide.pdf
  • http://www.uwmb.org/documents/cv_Legalities_Corp_Vol.pdf
  • http://www.nonprofitrisk.org/nwsltr/archive/volunteer01021999-p.htm
  • www.cisco.com
  • www.fanniemae.com
  • www.worldvolunteerweb.org
  • http://www.cvctc.org/news/articles/01_august.htm#trends
  • http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org/ageing/news/baby_boom_generation

Corporate Volunteer Reporting Standards v2.0

The Corporate Volunteer Reporting Standards are to be used in their entirety

for reporting the activities of a company’s Employee Volunteer Program.1


Volunteer Activities

• A Volunteer Activity must benefit a Not-For-Profit Organization and include at least

one Employee Volunteer.

• A Volunteer Activity and the hours associated with it are reported if it is Company Supported.2

• Volunteer Activities are reported by Employee Volunteers or others through the Employee Volunteer Program.

Employee Volunteers

• An Employee Volunteer is an individual employee who participates in at least one

Volunteer Activity in a 12-month period.

• An employee is defined as a person on the company’s payroll.


Volunteer Hours

• Hours are reported as whole numbers.

• Volunteer Hours are reported for each individual Employee Volunteer.

• Volunteer Hours are reported by Employee Volunteers or others through the Employee Volunteer Program.

Dollar Value of Volunteer Hours

• Total number of Volunteer Hours multiplied by the industry standard value of a volunteer

hour as set by Independent Sector.

Not-For-Profit Organizations

• Organizations must serve the public good

• Examples of such organizations are 501(c)(3), Schools, Hospitals, NGOs, etc.

• Organizations are counted once in a 12-month period if they host a Volunteer Activity.

Total Employees

•Total number of employees on the company’s global payroll at year-end.



1Employee Volunteer Program

As defined by Points of Light Foundation, an Employee Volunteer Program is a planned, managed effort that

seeks to motivate and enable employees to effectively volunteer under the leadership of the employer.

2Company Supported is defined by any of the following:

• Staff time is spent planning, promoting and/or managing Volunteer Activities

• Dollars are spent in any of the following areas to support Employee Volunteers’ involvement in

Volunteer Activities:

1. Volunteer Activity supplies (trash bags, paint brushes, etc.)

2. Promotion (posters, fliers, volunteer management software/website, etc.)

3. Recognition (t-shirts, cups, plaques, etc.)

4. Employee Volunteer support (food, sunscreen, transportation, etc.)

5. Cash Grant given to a Not-For-Profit Organization in conjunction with a Volunteer