In case you missed last week’s special edition of our monthly nonprofit newsletter, it had a special theme: Business & Volunteering. To ensure none of our loyal Engaging Volunteers readers miss out on this important topic, we’ve recreated the feature article here, with the added bonus of some cool charts.
According to a special report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, volunteering rates in the U.S. have, on average, stayed approximately at the same level since 2006.
However, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, U.S. volunteering rates generally fall during recessions. So while our initial instinct may be to bemoan the lack of improvement in our current cycle, this could be a case where “flat” is actually “up.”
One factor where the trend line is much clearer is in the contribution of U.S. businesses to the voluntary sector. Over the past ten years or so companies have become some of the biggest supporters of volunteering, investing increasingly more money and resources into employee volunteering programs and community engagement projects. Indeed, volunteering has been steadily moving towards the center of many corporations’ corporate social responsibility initiatives.
For the past decade, VolunteerMatch has been focused on helping this trend to grow, developing an infrastructure for employee volunteering in our network and designing tools to help managers energize their employees to connect with you. Today that includes systems we host for more than 140 companies like Target, Google, Coca-Cola and Gap, Inc. We automatically stream in your organization’s opportunity listings so hundreds of thousands of corporate employees can find them during their searches.
In 2009, around 30% of the volunteer referrals tracked by VolunteerMatch came from these corporate sites, while 70% happened on the public site. In 2010, 45% of volunteers signed up on a corporate site. This impressive jump is further evidence of the growing importance of employee volunteering to the sector.
Companies like those in the VolunteerMatch network are committed to supporting nonprofits during and beyond the tough economic climate. By posting your listings with VolunteerMatch, you’re also recruiting volunteers from over 100 of the country’s top companies.