Corporate Social Responsibility Food For Thought

CSR Food for ThoughtThe “Food for Thought” series is a roundup of recent CSR-related news, presented to you in one bite-sized post.

Millennials Respond Better to Peers than Bosses When Asked to Give
From The Chronicle of Philanthropy:
New research in the form of The 2015 Millennial Impact Report shows co-worker relationships are very important to millennials.

(Also, check out our blog post inspired by this report: Why More Companies Should Offer Skilled Group Volunteer Opportunities)

Global Report Sheds Light on Employee Engagement Practices in Five Countries
From CSRWire: Check out the new report from Silicon Valley Community Foundation on how global companies are expanding their CSR around the world- and how your company can follow suit.

JetBlue’s CSR Report Proves It’s a Leader in the Industry
From Triple Pundit: Read about JetBlue’s 2014 CSR successes, and learn why VolunteerMatch is proud to have them as a client.

Three Ways Companies Build Better Leaders with Global Pro Bono
From New Global Citizen: Find out why some top companies are sending their top staff abroad – and what benefits they’re seeing.

Effective CSR Communication: What Tactic and When?
From Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship: CSR professionals need to work with all departments in a company to design, implement and grow their programs. Review these best practices for the marketing/ communication collaboration.

(On a similar topic, I recently wrote about 4 Simple Language Changes to Grow Your Employee Volunteer Program.)

Hope you enjoyed this Food for Thought! Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

Why More Companies Should Offer Skilled Group Volunteer Opportunities

Evidence from Cause, Influence & the Next Generation Workforce: The 2015 Millennial Impact Report.

Yes, I am a millennial. Not only that, but after reading the recently-released 2015 Millennial Impact Report, I realized: I am the spitting image of a typical millennial.

Tess Srebro

Spitting image of a typical millennial.

And I’m here to tell you what I –and my generational peers- want from our corporate volunteering.

But first, let me take you back. In 2008, I eagerly accepted my first full-time, non-summer-break job, in a field only vaguely related to what I studied in school.

The job itself was high pressure, leading to many sleepless nights. The hours were long: 50+ office hours per week; tied to the blackberry 24/7. However, I had the most amazing group of co-workers, whom I loved dearly and who made my day fun.

Yes, I had the constant, nagging feeling that I wanted to do something else, something… more meaningful. But I ended up staying at that job for 3 years, before finally seeking out that meaningfulness.

Why? My awesome co-workers, that’s why.

 “Bonds with co-workers was one of the biggest factors that made Millennials want to stay at their company for more than three years.”- The 2015 Millennial Impact Report

Co-worker BFFs_1

Me with my co-worker BFFs.

The report goes on to show that the influence of co-workers might be deeper than we once thought. Check out these surprising stats:

  • “27% of millennial employees said they are more likely to donate to a cause if their supervisor does; while 46% of employees are likely to donate if a co-worker asks them to.
  • 77% of millennial employees prefer to volunteer with groups of fellow employees, rather than doing cause work on their own.”

The report goes on to say that during its studies; it found that “Co-worker relationships not only influenced cause participation, but that these relationships also contributed to long-term happiness at work.”

The report also backs up what many of us have been saying for some time: Corporate volunteers want to use their specialized skills to make a difference.

I was recently speaking with a friend, who works for a successful tech company, about his company’s volunteerism. “It’s a waste to have people who are making $50 an hour spend their time packing boxes at a food bank,” he says. “If we could find a way to donate our skills to an organization, everyone gets more value out of the interaction,” he says.

While that may be true, I’ve also heard from others at this same company that doing team activities like food bank sorting offers valuable team-building and bonding opportunities.

How do employers reconcile this push for skilled volunteer opportunities with the parallel desire for group and team-building opportunities?

It’s actually very simple. Group volunteer projects that use your employees’ specialized skills.

There are plenty of opportunities for group volunteer activities that involve skills. If they don’t already exist, you can create them. For example, skilled-volunteer employees at Appirio complete pro bono tech projects. And employees at MUFG Union Bank venture out together to teach financial literacy.

If you’re struggling to find your company’s fit, start by offering variety. Offer volunteer time off so that employees can choose their own ways to get involved with their skills. Offer company-led group volunteer outings to get people’s minds off work for the afternoon, even if it’s not skills-based. Most importantly, listen to employees. Find out how they want to get involved, and make that possible.

Remember, co-worker bonds lead to employee happiness and retention. Both the Millennial Impact Report and my personal experience show this. So why wouldn’t you take advantage of this easy way to build co-worker relationships?

Learn how VolunteerMatch Solutions can support your company’s group volunteerism.

CSR Food For Thought: From Transactional to Transformative

VolunteerMatch's CSR Food for Thought SeriesThe CSR Food for Thought series is a roundup of relevant news from around the web that you may have missed last week, presented to you in one bite-sized post.

Time to Rethink Your Approach to Employee Giving
Transactional employee volunteering is nice. Transformative employee volunteering is, well, transformational. This post from America’s Charities explains how to take your employee volunteering to a new level of engagement, complete with video from corporate volunteering expert Chris Jarvis of Realized Worth. (Oh, and if you want to hear more from Chris Jarvis, sign up for our upcoming free webinar.)

Walmart Adopts Groundbreaking Animal Welfare Policy
When their customers spoke, Walmart listened. After a campaign against Walmart’s practices of obtaining its meat from less-than-reputable sources, Walmart responded with a comprehensive new policy that affects every stage of its supply chain. Get the details of this “groundbreaking” policy in this Triple Pundit article. And join me in applauding Walmart for this big step forward.

Excerpt From Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World
In this post, New Global Citizen offers an excerpt from our favorite new book on the future of volunteerism. What’s this excerpt about? The current state of pro bono volunteerism, with a look at how IBM saw incredible benefits from engaging employees in this form of volunteerism.

How Volunteering Will Lift Your Firm’s Performance
We all know how corporate volunteerism increases employee retention, employee engagement, and company image. But what about the soft skills? This post from Chartered Management Institute (written by FedEx Express’ UK Human Resources Manager)  looks at the often-overlooked benefits of employee volunteerism.

Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

CSR Food For Thought: Corporate Volunteerism Done Right

Image of wheat growing in the sun.

The CSR Food for Thought series is a roundup of relevant news from around the web that you may have missed last week, presented to you in one bite-sized post.

The Power of Corporate Volunteerism
In response to a recent Boston Globe article that framed corporate volunteerism as a “burden for nonprofits,” Danielle Holly of Common Impact published this LinkedIn post explaining why this isn’t the case – if corporate volunteering is done right. And there are so many companies doing it right.

The Impact of Skills-Based Volunteering
This article from America’s Charities is full of great stats. For example, did you know it can cost a company $2000 per year for each employee not engaged with their company? The solution? Skills-based corporate volunteerism. An example comes from our client NetSuite, who runs the employee volunteer program SuiteVolunteers. Find out how this program has successfully improved their employee engagement.

Volunteerism and Community Engagement Tops Climate Change in 3BL Media Study of Most-Read CSR Content
This press release from 3BL Media shows an interesting trend: Out of all the topics on their CSR news distribution site, “volunteerism and community engagement” has the highest readership. Why? As 3BL Media’s CMO puts it, “It’s clear that corporations are proud of the volunteer work their employees are doing in the communities where they do business.”

Ten Characteristics of the World’s Best Corporate Sustainability Programs
CSR has been around long enough now that we can finally start to see some real trends. This CSRwire post looks at what companies that are doing it right have in common. Whether it’s ramping up CSR transparency, rewarding internal CSR champions, or one of the other eight commonalities, you just might find a new strategy to take back to your own company.

Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

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.


CSR Food For Thought: Recycling Pays Off Thanks to Sprint

Image of wheat growing in the sun.The CSR Food for Thought series is a weekly roundup of relevant news from around the Web, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

Sprint Offers $5K to Students Who Find Innovative Ways to Recycle Smartphones
Most of us know that electronic waste (e-waste) is a huge problem. But what most of us don’t know is what we can do about it. This article from Triple Pundit explains how Sprint is giving motivation for college students to tackle a segment of e-waste problem – by coming up with new ways to recycle their old smartphones.

Groupon Logs 14,355 Volunteer Hours
How does a company increase its employee volunteer hours by nearly 500%? In this post, Groupon explains how they were able to accomplish this awe-inspiring feat in 2014. From carefully crafted partnerships to some friendly competition, Groupon’s employee volunteer program really took off in 2014. And in 2015, they’re reaching even higher.

2015: The Year of Hyper-Transparency in Global Business
The Guardian predicts a fast increase in the number of global companies practicing full transparency. Why? The benefits, of course – benefits that span from better purchasing decisions to more growth capacity. Read this article for more details on what to expect in the coming years.

The Chocolate and Peanut Butter of Volunteerism
LinkedIn for Good doesn’t just encourage their own employees’ volunteerism. With their huge network of professionals across industries and across the world, they have the ability to encourage virtually every employees’ volunteerism. And that’s exactly where they’re heading with their announcement of taking their volunteer marketplace internationally.  And remember, nonprofit posts on VolunteerMatch automatically get pushed through to LinkedIn, making us the chocolate to LinkedIn’s peanut butter – yum!

Hey, Over Here! The Best Place to Discuss Volunteering & CSR

We might be biased. But we LOVE our blog. Volunteering is CSR is a challenge to companies to include volunteerism as a prominent part of their corporate social responsibility – because it pays off in so many ways.

But you know what Screenshot of Volunteering & Corporate Social Responsibility LinkedIn Groupelse we love? Lively conversation about best practices, news, and events around volunteering and CSR. Join the LinkedIn group exclusively for CSR professionals like you – people interested in the role volunteerism plays in a robust CSR program.

Don’t miss out! Dive into the discussion with fellow CSR professionals and thought leaders today. See you there – we can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

(While you’re at it, follow VM Solutions’ LinkedIn page for event announcements, CSR stories, white papers, and more.)