Celebrating Corporate Contributions: A Sneak Peek at the 2011 VolunteerMatch Client Summit

It's In the Air: 2011 VolunteerMatch Client SummitThere’s a heightened air of excitement in the VolunteerMatch office these days, as we prepare for our 10th annual Client Summit on May 12th-13th. In less than two weeks we’ll be headed to Chicago for this special event that we host to celebrate the work of our corporate partners and their volunteer programs.

It’s also a time for us to recognize and cultivate these companies’ commitments to engaging their employees in support of organizations like yours across the country. As we’ve reported previously, over the past decade corporate volunteering has become an increasingly important player in the volunteering space.

Even within the last year there’s been a marked jump in the percentage of volunteer referrals to your organizations that come from corporate employee volunteer programs. This makes events like the VolunteerMatch Client Summit a great way for nonprofits to learn about the companies that are working hard to support your work.

VolunteerMatch corporate clients are companies with thousands of employees contributing their skills to community organizations.  They range from companies like Google, with employees from 60 offices in 27 countries participating, to UnitedHealth Group, whose employees volunteered over 200,000 hours in 2010 with an estimated value of $4.1 million. We’re looking forward to seeing many of our partners at the Summit that have run campaigns to help you recruit volunteers, such as the National Football League’s “Play 60” campaign and Discovery Communications’ “Discover Your Impact.”

There will be some other people making an appearance at the Summit this year that work in the nonprofit/corporate consulting space, a field that helps guide companies in their employee engagement efforts and improves how they work with nonprofits. We’ll be seeing folks from Taproot Foundation, Mission Measurement, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, GlobalGiving, Professor Kellie McElhaney from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and more.

Of course, no VolunteerMatch event would be complete without a volunteer service project. Our corporate clients will be joining us to decorate plastic pencil boxes and canvas lunch bages for Chicago-based, education and youth focused nonprofits. We’ll be donating these supplies to school-aged kids served by nonprofits such as Project Education Plus, Christopher House, and the Carole Robertson Center for Learning.

As if the Summit wasn’t exciting enough, on May 12th in Chicago we’ll be announcing the winners of the 2011 VolunteerMatch Corporate Awards, honoring excellence in serving nonprofits. The finalists and winners of these Awards are members of the VolunteerMatch corporate community who have shown extraordinary commitment and achievement in working with nonprofits and engaging their employees in doing so.

Stay tuned for news about the Awards and to hear stories from the Summit. If you’re interest in learning more about the work we do with corporations around employee volunteer engagement, check out the Volunteering is CSR blog.