Registration Now Open for the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit!

Come Together at the 2015 VolunteerMatch SummitHow does that song go? Come together, right now, over… volunteering.

Well, not quite. But The Beatles would probably approve of the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit (appropriately themed “Come Together)’s mission:

To explore ways to work across sectors, harnessing knowledge, resources and passions of volunteers to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

So, who should attend this one-of-a-kind event?

If you manage your company’s employee volunteer program, this summit is for you. If you’re a CSR professional looking for better ways to work with nonprofits, this summit is for you. If you’re with a national nonprofit and are looking for better ways to work with corporate partners, this summit is also for you.

And if you’re looking for a place to network and learn from others doing similar work with employee volunteerism, and also hear from industry experts, this summit is for you.

Registration is now open, so reserve your spot today.

SB’15 Recap: The Employee Engagement and Volunteerism Perspective

14272922640_2e723abdc8_mCorporate social responsibility (CSR) requires a holistic strategy. Sustainability is just one piece of that strategy.

Sustainable Brands gets this. While it’s billed as a sustainability conference, it actually focuses on the whole picture: How all facets of CSR work together to improve both business practices and the communities in which companies operate.

And out of all the facets CSR, as a VolunteerMatch employee, I’m obviously most interested in employee volunteerism. It’s a win-win: It helps the communities in which employees serve, but it also helps companies in many ways – one of which is by increasing employee engagement.

This year, I was pleased to see an entire track at Sustainable Brands dedicated to employee engagement – much more than in past years. It’s great to see this benefit of employee volunteer programs brought more and more to light and take its rightful place next to other components of CSR strategy. Within the sessions in this track, some of the speakers touched on their employee volunteering initiatives, but as a whole the focus was more on engaging employees through CSR initiatives in general.

One idea that resonated with me is that we need redefine what “engagement” actually means to us. For a new program, identifying that your employees are engaged might mean a goal of 60% of employees participating in at least one project throughout the year. But once you’ve reached those goals, you need to redefine what engagement looks like to keep your programs growing and evolving.

Furthermore, something that I heard repeatedly in plenaries and breakout sessions alike was the concept of placing purpose at the center of your strategy. I couldn’t agree more! When your business has purpose and community in the center of strategy, it can’t help but become a part of employees’ day-to-day experiences.

I love attending Sustainable Brands, because it’s a place for CSR professionals, (even those who are really more focused on employee volunteering such as myself) to meet like-minded peers and hear about innovative ways that companies are placing purpose at the center of their business.

The VolunteerMatch Summit, happening this December in Oakland, CA offers a similar atmosphere for CSR professionals. However, it takes a deeper dive into one particular aspect of a holistic CSR approach: Community involvement and volunteering. Learn more.

Photo Credit: Michael Heiss

Upcoming Webinar: Changing Corporate Perspectives – Workplace Volunteer Programs

Changing Corporate Perspectives on Employee VolunteeringAre you eager to start a Workplace Volunteer Program, but wonder how you’ll get the rest of your company on board?

Luckily, the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is changing, and it’s becoming an easier sell to do good. Not only are nonprofit organizations becoming more savvy corporate partners, but companies are beginning to see a shared purpose in volunteer partnerships.

In this month’s Best Practice Network (BPN) Webinar, we’ll hear from Angela Parker and Chris Jarvis, co-founders of Realized Worth. Their years of experience in the corporate volunteerism field will lend to their discussion of the trends and challenges they’re seeing, recommendations on how to inspire employees to volunteer, and the corporation’s role in a higher calling. Their stories will energize you to launch the perfect workplace volunteer program for your company.

Reserve your complimentary spot today.
Thursday June 11, 2015
11pm – 11:45pm PT (2pm – 2:45pm ET)

Find content like this and more in VolunteerMatch’s new book Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World, out now! Parker and Jarvis are just 2 of the 35 volunteer engagement experts sharing their knowledge on what’s next. Details and purchase information here

“Come Together” at the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit

Come Together at the 2015 VolunteerMatch SummitAt VolunteerMatch, we believe everyone should have the chance to make a difference. And for over 15 years, we have been connecting companies with nonprofits through our easy technology.

Amazing things have taken place online – we’ve made over 9 million volunteer/ nonprofit connections! Now, we’re bringing our communities together offline for a one-of-a-kind event.

Always a Unique Space for Collaboration. Even Better in 2015.

The VolunteerMatch Summit is a place for like-minded professionals in the fields of employee engagement and corporate responsibility to get together, share best practices, and learn from industry experts. The previous 13 Summits have only been open to VolunteerMatch corporate clients.

This year, we’re going even bigger and have invited companies far and wide who are committed to community engagement. And we’re not stopping there. We’re also creating a collaborative place for national nonprofits to join the conversation.

This year, all attendees will “Come Together” to explore ways to work across sections, harnessing knowledge, resources and passions of volunteers to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Highlights of the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit include a plenary session from Derreck Kayongo, Founder of the Global Soap Project, as well as panels of experts, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities.

Save the Date: December 1 & 2, 2015 in Oakland, CA.

Registration opens June 2015. Learn more.

Upcoming Webinar: Volunteer Recognition Programs Your Employees Will Love

Business Woman Shouting I Won In Front of her LapTopEmployee volunteers who go above and beyond deserve recognition. Rewards and awards programs offer your employees incentive to get involved, fun competition with their coworkers, and a feeling of being appreciated.

But we think these volunteer champions deserve something more than a free t-shirt or a small grant to the nonprofit of their choice (to name a few typical rewards). In this month’s Best Practice Network (BPN) Webinar, we’ll hear from Nationwide and AT&T – companies that have or are working on creative employee recognition programs. They’ll inspire you to start your own unique reward practices for your stand-out employee volunteers.

Oh, and we’ll also be doing things a little differently this month in our BPN Webinar Series. We know you’re all busy professionals out there doing good in your communities… and who has time to sit through an hour-long webinar? That’s why we’re excited to announce what we’re calling “Bite-Sized BPNs”: The same great information packed into half the time. Pairs well with coffee, lunch, or snack breaks. Enjoy!

Reserve your complimentary spot today.
Thursday March 26, 2015
12pm – 12:30pm PT (3pm – 3:30pm ET)

 

Why GM and Apollo Education Group Say Volunteering is Transformational

Photo of Sabin Blake

Sabin Blake, General Motors

VolunteerMatch caught up with some of the speakers, sponsors and presenters from the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit and asked them what they thought about the event and about corporate volunteerism. We heard from General Motors, MGM Resorts International, and ConAgra Foods, to name a few.

Sabin Blake of General Motors said, “Volunteerism has been absolutely transformational for our organization… I think it’s really helpful to hear from other companies their perspective of the challenges they’ve gone through to create a program, to sustain a program.”

 

Picture of Lauren Keeler

Lauren Keeler, Apollo Education Group

Lauren Keeler of Apollo Education Group said, “Volunteering has been transformational for our company because it really gives our employees the chance to get to know another facet of our organization. They get to understand more about our community impact and our values. It provides them an opportunity to get to know each other on a different level when they’re not in the office.”

Find out what everyone else had to say. Watch the interviews.

 

Webinar Recap: Advocate for Your EVP (With Extra Insights from Appirio!)

Photo of man in suit explaining something.You know that your employee volunteer program is valuable. But how do you show this value to others in your company to get the budget, staff, tools, etc. you need to take your program to the next level?

On January 21, 2015, Debbie Donahey of OhioHealth and Rachel Tallant of Appirio joined VolunteerMatch and shared how they were able to gain internal support for their employee volunteer programs. We were impressed by the wealth of insights Debbie and Rachel offered, as well as the thoughtful questions from our attendees.

The discussion unfortunately had to end as our allotted time ran out, and a few questions went unanswered during the session. Below are Rachel’s post-webinar answers to your questions regarding Appirio’s Silver Lining Program.

Also, if you missed this webinar, don’t worry! You can watch full recording here.

Q: Can you provide specific examples of how executive sponsors support your program?

A: Our executive sponsors provide tangible budget and program strategy support. They’re focused on making the program an integral part of the employee experience by incorporating volunteering into large company events. They also support the program in intangible ways. Hearing that the CEO or head of HR has taken part in a volunteer activity, championed a pro bono project, or posted positive feedback in response to a Silver Lining activity speaks volumes to the rest of the team.

Q: Do you have any resources for “making the business case” that you would be willing to share?

A: We calculated the cost to manage our program’s events based on our past management technology vs. the cost to use VolunteerMatch Solutions. As your program grows, and you start to manage more and more employees, you need a sophisticated management system. In addition to the other benefits, it allows for great visibility into metrics.

For example, before VolunteerMatch, we could generate a report on the hours employees had volunteered, but not which nonprofits or locations they had volunteered for. VolunteerMatch helps us build stronger relationships with nonprofits around the globe that we support, as well as making the business case for our program.

Q: What are some of the outcomes you’re focused on?

A: A big win for us is ease of use. Employees want to give back, but sometimes they don’t have the time to search out their own opportunities to volunteer. The VolunteerMatch database streamlines the process by easily connecting employees with nonprofits in their location and cause area.

Thanks again, Rachel and Debbie!