How Your Nonprofit Can Benefit From Corporate Volunteerism
Corporate volunteer programs are growing in popularity due to increasing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
CSR programs offer nonprofit organizations a great opportunity to bring in a new team of enthusiastic and committed volunteers from a local company. In fact, almost 60% of companies offer paid time off for employees to volunteer. Imagine how much good could be done with that time!
Yet, you’re not likely to make the most of CSR programs if you don’t have specific strategies in place to do so. This article will offer insight into how your nonprofit can benefit from corporate volunteering as well as how to leverage the full potential of these programs.
We’ll discuss the following:
- Increased volunteer workforce
- Potential for volunteer grants
- Long-term corporate partnerships
Ready to learn more about how corporate volunteerism can have an impact on your organization? Let’s get started.
1. Increased volunteer workforce
Recruiting and retaining volunteers are often considered top priorities for nonprofit organizations, both of which can require a lot of effort and a significant portion of your budget. This makes looking for new ways to bring in motivated and committed volunteers of strategic importance for most nonprofits. And corporate volunteering programs come to save the day!
According to America’s Charities Snapshot Employee Research, “71% of employees surveyed say it’s imperative or very important to work where culture is supportive of giving and volunteering.” This indicates that offering an employee volunteer program can be a great way to engage and retain staff while giving nonprofits the opportunity to bring in a new volunteer workforce.
Partnering with a number of local companies that offer corporate volunteer programs means your nonprofit gets access to a pool of motivated professionals who are looking to contribute to their community in meaningful ways. These individuals are not only highly skilled but many are offered paid time off specifically to volunteer, making them more reliable and motivated to do great work for an organization they believe in.
To get started, reach out to a few local companies that run corporate volunteer programs. When you offer their employees an easy way to view and sign up for volunteer opportunities and shifts, you can recruit volunteer groups and individuals, thus boosting your nonprofit’s total volunteer workforce.
2. Potential for volunteer grants
Another type of CSR, or corporate philanthropy, comes specifically through volunteer grants. These programs typically encourage volunteerism in the communities where employees work or live and often provide monetary grants to nonprofits and charities where employees volunteer their time.
Typically, the grant amount is based on the total number of hours an employee volunteers for a specific nonprofit. For example, if an employee volunteers for 20 hours and their employer offers 10 dollars per hour volunteered, your nonprofit will receive a total of $200.
These grants provide a tremendous amount of value to a nonprofit because they encourage employee volunteers to make a more significant impact on your cause.
Since most volunteer grants are based on the total number of hours volunteered by an employee, volunteer time tracking is a must for nonprofit organizations to participate. Luckily, this can be easily done using volunteer management software to track activity and provide your organization with rich volunteer data to use to secure these grants.
Use this Toolkit to Write the Perfect Grant Proposal
We designed this FREE toolkit to help you organize your grant application and write a compelling proposal. We also included a guide to help you familiarize yourself with grantmakers.
3. Long-term corporate partnerships
Partnerships between nonprofits and corporations are mutually beneficial, meaning both parties receive and provide value to each other through their relationship.
Here are tips for fostering a long-term corporate partnership
- Ensure Aligning Values – Does the corporate embody the same values as your nonprofit? The greater the alignment in values and practices, the better chance for a long-term partnership.
- Set Clear Goals – Make sure to define what each party is looking to get out of the partnership and how you will work together in order to achieve those goals.
- Keep Communications Open – Ensure that there is a clear and open line of communication between organizations. This is important for planning, fundraising, and other mutually beneficial opportunities.
- Track Metrics – In order to measure the success of the partnership, it is important to track key metrics as the number of volunteer hours worked, the amount of money raised, and the employee retention rate. This data will allow both parties to continue to evaluate and improve year over year.
A corporate partnership may start out as a simple corporate volunteerism opportunity. Over time, it might evolve into fundraising event sponsorships or in-kind donations. The possibilities are endless!
There are many advantages of corporate volunteerism for both nonprofits and corporations. These initiatives enrich the lives of employees by allowing them to work towards a cause they believe in. At the same time, nonprofits receive skilled and engaged volunteers to join their workforce, helping them deliver more service to the community.
As these initiatives become more common worldwide, consider the opportunities for nonprofits to capitalize on to make an even bigger impact on their cause. Good luck!
About the Author:
Cassandra Smallman, Head of Marketing at InitLive
Cassandra is a passionate content creator dedicated to fostering positive impact through thought leadership in both the Nonprofit sector and live events industry. You can find her work at www.initlive.com or on Linkedin and Twitter.