Announcing Our Newest Services for Companies: VolunteerMatch Consulting

This week we’re proud to announce that VolunteerMatch is now offering pure consulting services as part of the VolunteerMatch Solutions portfolio of services and tools. For the first time, we’re able to help companies of all sizes to successfully engage volunteers – regardless of whether they are using our hosted solutions or not.

We thought we’d take a few minutes here to explain why we’re offering this new service and how it fits in with our overall mission as an organization.

Bridging The Gap

We started working with our first corporate partner, Gap, Inc., back in 1999. At the time, the big problem we were trying to solve was how to help Gap’s employees get access to our network of nonprofits and volunteer opportunities using the Internet. It was a technology challenge, but one fully aligned with our mission: Could we work with leading companies to empower employees to take real world actions that benefit the community?

Today VolunteerMatch has made this a reality, with a technology solution used by over 140 companies to connect their employees and consumers with thousands of nonprofits to address unmet social needs. And the social impact these clients are making is huge: In 2010, some 45% of all volunteer referral activity in our network was driven by our hosted system for VolunteerMatch Solutions clients.

Spreading the Knowledge

Over the years we’ve learned a tremendous amount about what works in corporate volunteer engagement, what doesn’t, and how companies can best leverage their investment of time, money, and human resources. Today we make much of the data, best practices and success stories we hear available to the greater community through our CSR-focused webinars, blogs, client trainings, and newsletters. We also include some of this as strategic support during client launches.

At the 2011 Client Summit, we spoke with some of our clients and heard not only about their growing need for strategic advice in a broad range of employee volunteer engagement program activities, but also their growing regard for our approach to community involvement overall.  We came back from Chicago energized and inspired, and immediately started working with several industry leading companies in a pilot phase of this new VolunteerMatch practice.

What we’ve learned is that by helping VolunteerMatch Consulting clients succeed, we’re helping to create a larger network of engaged volunteers and companies, we’re supporting a community of nonprofits who may one day choose to join our network as well, and we’re developing new paths to financial sustainability as an organization. Our hope is that this will lay the groundwork for a large portion of our future growth as an organization.

How It Works

The purpose of VolunteerMatch Consulting is to address each customer’s unique needs and opportunities around corporate volunteer engagement. For example:

  • Which national nonprofits should you partner with in order to differentiate your employee or consumer volunteer program?
  • Where does real cause alignment with your corporate values or brand come from, and how do you get there?
  • How can you best motivate and engage employees to volunteer, track hours, and share stories?
  • What are the best practices for organizing employee groups for increased engagement?
  • How should you standardize and scale your volunteering program in order to make it national or global?
  • How can you increase the SROI for your volunteering program, capture the impact of your investment, and then communicate the results?

We begin by building a statement of work based on your specific need. Two Senior Client Relations Managers conduct initial discovery meetings to scope the statement of work and identify, with the client, key individuals and groups to interview.  Depending on the scope of the work, the two CRMs will spend one to two days onsite to conduct interviews and focus groups.

Afterwards, VolunteerMatch will provide a report and present findings including actionable recommendations.

Enroll Your Company in VolunteerMatch Consulting Services

Is your company looking to improve how you engage employees in volunteering and service? As we move forward with our pilot phase, we’re looking for a couple more clients who would like to participate – and we’re offering a discount to qualifying companies. It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the knowledge and insights of our team!

If you’d like to learn more, email us at solutions@volunteermatch.org and we’ll be sure to get back to you shortly.

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