Live from Las Vegas: Plugging in the Corporate Volunteering Community

I’m writing this post from Las Vegas, host city for our 2010 Client Summit. We’ve brought more than 90 guests from our corporate volunteering business, which we call VolunteerMatch Solutions, to learn, network, and hear from experts on new strategies for volunteer engagement.

VolunteerMatch is best known for our public Web service, www.volunteermatch.org, which has helped to generate more than 4.7 million volunteer referrals to our opportunities since 1998. But in many ways the folks in this room represent a program area for us that is equally important.

Today anywhere from 20-30% of the activity in our network comes from our work to help corporate volunteers get connected to you. Across the room I see attendees from companies large and small. Insurance, high-tech, manufacturing, professional services, media, restaurants and utilities are all represented. Each one is from a VolunteerMatch client who is investing in your mission in some small way.

Some are working to inspire employees to serve your organization, some are working to engage consumers in volunteering for your cause. Some are from schools. All are focused on improving their work so that the impact they make will grow. (You can track today’s summit on Twitter using hashtag #vmsummit10.)

What’s unique about our community of clients is the belief that many share that the best role for them is to encourage volunteering that speaks to the personal passions of individuals. Some volunteers want to protect our oceans, others want to mentor kids, still others are interested in management services to help nonprofits. There are a million ways to help — as many ways as you can think of, dear volunteer manager — and our corporate recognizes that connecting their audiences to your opportunities is the best role they can play.

So next time a volunteer comes in your door, ask how they found you. It may be that you have friends in the corporate office.

Do you already work with corporate volunteers? How are companies getting involved at your nonprofit? Share your story below.