Meeting the Challenges of Global Employee Volunteerism

Meeting the Challenges of Global Employee VolunteerismThe trend toward taking employee volunteer programs global has been growing for years. And as we announced in April, VolunteerMatch is going global as well, piloting its employee engagement solutions outside the U.S. for the first time. The initiative will begin in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia and we are evaluating additional countries and regions.

As part of VolunteerMatch’s commitment to serve our clients with overseas locations, we were pleased to sponsor LBG Associates’ research on global employee engagement. For the report, “Global Employee Engagement: Challenges and Solutions,” LBG Associates interviewed 36 multinational corporations about the issues they encountered taking their programs overseas and the solutions that have worked for them.

LBG Associates determined that the three biggest challenges global companies face are:

  • Managing a global employee engagement program
  • Vetting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) outside the home country
  • Paying small, employee-directed grants

The report also identified challenges and solutions that are unique to specific employee engagement programs, such as volunteerism, workplace giving, Matching Gifts and Dollar for Doers programs.

With respect to volunteerism, one of the many challenges highlighted was the difficulty companies have finding appropriate NGOs to provide volunteer opportunities for employees. Although local employees can provide insight into different potential partners, the company still has to vet an NGO to make sure it is what it claims to be.

A potential solution, according to the report, is to use third parties like VolunteerMatch to source volunteer projects. To quote the report, “Third parties can be extremely useful, as they likely know the community, the issues and the nonprofits better than the company. They aren’t driven by personal passions, family relationships, political leanings or other factors that can skew employee-sourced volunteer projects.”

Another important point from the research is that companies have to make sure that NGOs are actually ready to host volunteers. In some countries, nonprofits are unfamiliar with the concept of employee volunteers and don’t understand what volunteers can do for them. The report has a handy checklist to assess NGO readiness.

The highlights of the report will be presented at a webinar on July 16, 2014 at 1 PM Eastern.

You can register for the webinar or get the full report at www.lbg-associates.com or by calling LBG Associates at 203-325-3154.

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Why Smart Companies Volunteer

Why Smart Companies VolunteerWhy do so many smart companies have workplace volunteer programs? Well, if recent research is right, it might not be the reason you expected.

VolunteerMatch works with some of the best workplace volunteering programs in the world. And when we ask them why they believe volunteering is good for business, they are quick to point out that it: attracts and keeps talented employees; improves community relations; strengthens brand value; improves customer relations; demonstrates corporate values; builds teamwork; amplifies leadership; and when done well, expands an organization’s capacity to impact the issues most relevant to its long-term success.

These are all great reasons, and they reflect a changing business environment in which doing good and doing well are increasingly aligned. Smart companies have realized that dedicating themselves to big ideas with a clear sense of purpose has become a fundamental ingredient of success.

Take Google as an example…

Read the rest of Greg Baldwin’s post about how research shows that good business and good purpose are linked in unexpected ways.

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What’s Your Giving in Numbers?

If your company has revenue of more than $2 billion, you can participate in this year's CECP Giving in Numbers survey.How does your company’s giving stack up against others? CECP’s annual Giving in Numbers report helps answer that question, and each year the insight becomes more valuable as more data is collected from more companies. This year, we’re helping spread the word to companies who can participate in the survey.

The source for the most comprehensive look at corporate giving trends year to year, CECP, in association with The Conference Board, has opened its 13th annual Giving in Numbers survey. This is the only rigorous study of corporate societal engagement available for public download at no cost. The data is gathered through a survey of approximately 250 of the largest companies in the world, and will capture information on total giving, program areas, employee engagement, predictions for 2014, and more.

Not only does the survey allow for year-over-year tracking of key industry giving benchmarks, but this year will also include new perspectives on key trends such as:

  • Societal impact measurement
  • Global giving, including questions on total giving using the CECP Global Guide valuation guidance and giving data by country
  • Employee engagement and company gift-matching programs

CECP's annual Giving in Numbers report.All companies with $2 billion or more in revenue are invited to join the free benchmarking project by contacting CECP. The submission deadline for inclusion in the analysis is April 1, 2014. CECP will provide an exclusive look at the findings from the survey to its affiliated companies at the CECP Summit on May 20, 2014 in New York City and will share results with the media later that day.

If your company has revenue of $2 billion or more, contact CECP to participate in the 2014 Giving in Numbers survey!

 

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Mapping the DNA of Effective Employee Volunteer Programs

The 2012 VolunteerMatch EVP Client Insights Survey

At VolunteerMatch, we help our corporate partners manage, track and report on community engagement activities and program outputs. We live and breathe data tracking so our partners can benchmark program success over time. And in result, we’ve seen our partners outperform industry-wide benchmarks time and time again.

One thing we’ve never taken a data-driven approach to is the program inputs of these elite programs – such as budget, staffing and program attributes. In the fall of 2012, we set out to determine the inputs that make a successful employee volunteer program (EVP) by surveying our family of corporate partners. The results of the 2012 VolunteerMatch EVP Client Insights Survey provide a first-ever look at what strong programs look like, and offers best practices for all companies looking to build an effective program.

A few highlights from the survey include:

Large Program, Lean Staff

Large Program, Lean Staff: The survey found that for every 32,000 employees eligible to take part in an EVP, there is only 1 full-time-equivalent (FTE) program manager. That means there is one person trying to connect thousands of employees to volunteer opportunities, in addition to organizing events, driving engagement and reporting results. This highlights the importance of EVP partners that make it easier for this one manager to connect employees with active volunteer opportunities and tracking participation (like VolunteerMatch) or event vendors that ease the pressure of planning large days, weeks or months of service.

Volunteer Committees/Councils Popular

Volunteer Committees/Councils Popular: Along with evidence of lean program staffing, we found that most (71%) programs have build volunteer committees or councils to help support the program manager and localize volunteer activities. Many of these committees are self-selecting groups of employees who are highly engaged in the EVP, and looking for additional ways to play a leadership role. Allowing – and empowering – employees to take this advanced position is not only a way to help ease the pressure from the program manager, but also builds participation by having many “program champions” showcasing their enthusiasm and passion for service.

Skilled and Pro Bono are Untapped Opportunities

Skilled and Pro Bono are Untapped Opportunities: One surprise from the survey is the low rate of skilled (13%) and pro bono (4%) volunteering reported by participants. While this isn’t necessarily a negative finding, we do see these low rates as an untapped opportunity for companies to grow within their program over time. Particularly with initiatives such as the A Billion + Change pledge and the launch of the Taproot Foundation’s new service to help nonprofits define their pro bono needs – we predict the barriers for companies to participate in these types of service will lessen, and more will begin to take part.

For more findings from the 2012 VolunteerMatch EVP Client Insights Survey, download the full fact sheet, or watch a recording of our January webinar where Casey Brennan discusses the findings and shares tips for program success.

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Proof That Doing Good Helps You Be Well

From the editor: Sometimes providing paid time off and company-sponsored events just isn’t enough to get your employees to volunteer – and so it’s important to find other ways to motivate and inspire them. The post below presents concrete proof that volunteering is good for one’s health. Share it with your colleagues at work and urge them to join in the health craze by signing up to volunteer.

Inspire your employees to do good and be well.

Inspire your employees to do good and be well.

Guest post by Candace Bergam

Let’s face it: There are probably a lot of things in life that we plan on doing, but put off even though most of those things offer some benefit to our health, our life or to others. Volunteering is a perfect example of one of those things.

It is difficult to find the time to volunteer when you have a full schedule of work, family, school, holiday deals and the season finale of your favorite show. But, if you have ever taken the time to volunteer, you know that you felt great after you finished. You might have even felt similar to the way you feel after you have completed a workout. Studies show that volunteering does, in fact, offer health benefits to participants.

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