April 12, 2022
As a corporate volunteer leader, you may find yourself searching for the best ways to support your people in finding a sense of purpose, connection and impact. We’re here to help!
Everyone has a different volunteering journey, motivated by the unique passions that inspire their purpose. They’re seeking hyper-personalized experiences that suit their interests. And they may have varying levels of comfort with volunteering in-person versus remotely. Expanding your volunteer program to offer more relevant choices and encompass everyday actions — big or small — can drive your corporate purpose and be a force of good for your people and your communities.
Tip: Start with the Goodness Calendar
The Benevity Goodness Calendar includes over 100 cause-focused awareness dates throughout the year to help you plan your volunteering campaigns ahead of time.
Follow these 12 tips for your volunteer campaigns:
1. Regularly create volunteer opportunities for your people.
Adding volunteer opportunities to corporate purpose programs increases overall participation by 67%.
2. Encourage and enable employees to create volunteer opportunities for issues they care about.
Each person’s volunteer journey is unique, and your people will be more likely to get involved if they see opportunities that mean something to them. Inviting your team to create volunteer opportunities will also help if you’re strapped for time and need help generating content.
Client Spotlight: How Allscripts used volunteer rewards to incentivize volunteering and giving
When Allscripts, a U.S.-based healthcare company, launched its GiveBack program, they transformed their usual one-day event into a five-week global impact campaign to maximize employee engagement. They incentivized volunteers by rewarding them with $5 for every hour of their volunteer time, and the five-week campaign generated 30% of their total annual volunteer hours.
3. Build a culture of service at your workplace.
Set the tone for Goodness! Leading by example will help you build a culture of employees who want to do good. For instance, you could give your people paid time off to volunteer or encourage your leadership to volunteer or sponsor an event.
4. Expand your program’s definition of volunteering.
Consider including small Acts of Goodness in your definition of volunteering. For example, picking up groceries for a neighbor or writing a card to a senior. This allows your people to track their time as they do good for others and their communities, no matter the size of the act. You can also reward these activities the same way as you reward traditional volunteering.
5. Meet your people where they are (regardless of location).
To make volunteering easy and accessible, empower your people to join in on the go with the Benevity app. They can discover and sign up for opportunities, log volunteer hours and keep track of their positive actions in real time. They can even get social with their volunteer experiences by uploading and sharing photos.
Client Spotlight: How Atlassian volunteers found a deep connection through skills-based volunteering
Atlassian, an Australian-based technology company with more than 8,000 employees in over 27 countries, wanted their volunteer program to inspire their people and create a sense of community. They launched a four-month pilot that saw 50 skills-based projects completed by 290 volunteers who logged 1,300 hours.
A whopping 88% of participants reported feeling a deeper connection to Atlassian and the causes they helped. Over 80% said they gained valuable new skills, while 96% said they would recommend skills-based volunteering to a colleague.
6. Combine giving with volunteering.
Among employees who volunteer, 70% also donate money through their workplace giving programs. And when they do donate, they give twice as much as those who don’t volunteer.
7. Reward volunteers for their time, no matter how long or short.
Offer rewards — like Dollars for Doers — to recognize your people’s contributions and provide them with financial incentives they can direct to a nonprofit of their choice. A study from Benevity Impact Labs found that offering rewards is one of the most powerful drivers to increase employee engagement and program participation.
8. Help your people easily identify and find virtual opportunities.
Whenever you communicate your volunteer opportunities, identify if the event is virtual or remote to help your people easily find what’s accessible for them. Benevity’s integration with the VolunteerMatch Open Network provides access to millions of virtual volunteer opportunities. For tips and best practices for your volunteer program, check out our Virtual Volunteering Guide.
9. Include safe, in-person volunteering options.
With vaccination rates increasing and restrictions lifting in many regions, more in-person volunteer opportunities are happening again. Be sure to follow your jurisdiction’s current safety guidelines and recommendations. If you want to rally your people for a week of volunteering, check out the National Volunteer Week Activation Kit. It contains templates you can use to engage your people for a week and throughout the year.
10. Empower your employee resource groups to inform, educate and engage.
Employee resource groups (ERGs) are grassroots groups focused on building inclusive workplace cultures. Leverage their unique insights to educate and engage your people in important causes and expand their social impact.
11. Integrate Missions with your volunteer program.
Missions empower and motivate your people to do better through gamified and easy-to-complete activities. Consider integrating Benevity’s Missions module with your volunteer program to allow more employees to take part in positive actions.
12. Make use of your local champions!
No one will be more in touch with local nonprofits and employees than your champions. They can research and partner with organizations who need volunteers and encourage them to create volunteer opportunities your people can get involved with.
Need more information about building a champion or ambassador program at your company?
Or maybe you’re looking for ways to improve your existing one. Check out the Ambassador Network Guide and the Growing Global Employee Engagement Programs webinar.
Client Spotlight: How RBC leveraged Missions to celebrate Earth Day and National Volunteer Week
In 2021, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), a global financial institution with over 88,000 employees, ran a three-week global Earth Day and National Volunteer Week challenge. They encouraged their employees to learn about the needs in their communities and take action by giving time, talent and donations — and then share their personal stories to inspire others.
For every Learn, Act or Share Mission an employee completed, RBC added $50 in reward dollars to their Giving Account, where they could access funds deposited by RBC or add funds of their own, similar to a bank account — up to a total of $150. They could then donate that money to a nonprofit of their choice.
By leveraging Missions content, more than 10,500 RBCers from 16 countries completed over 45,600 activities and unlocked over $1 million to support eligible nonprofits of their choice.
Want to see Benevity’s volunteer solution in action? Request a demo.