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.

CSR Food For Thought: Is Shared Value Really the New CSR?

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.

Can Shared Value Surpass the Promise of CSR?
Is shared valued doomed to become just another buzz word? Or is it on its way to becoming a groundbreaking concept that changes business everywhere? This article from New Global Citizen (co-written by John Holm and Volunteer Engagement 2.0 contributor Deirdre White) eloquently, thoughtfully, and realistically reflects on these questions and more, borrowing from the recent Shared Value Leadership Summit.

Deloitte Kicks Off Year-Round Citizenship Commitment with 16th Annual Nationwide Day of Service
Deloitte sees Impact Day, their annual day of service, as a celebration. Why? Impact Day is just a small part of the volunteerism Deloitte employees do year-round. On Impact Day, which coincides with the start of their fiscal year, they take time to celebrate the accomplishments of the previous year, and get excited for the coming year’s activities. All while spending the day giving back. We love this model of employee volunteerism, don’t you? Let us know what you think by tweeting to us @VM_Solutions.

Volkswagen Puts Forests on the Ledger
We all know that cars aren’t exactly good for the environment. However, for right now at least, people still need cars. So, what’s a car company to do? If you’re Volkswagen, you take steps to offset the carbon emissions of your vehicles. Check out this Triple Pundit article for the full details on this large CSR undertaking from Volkswagen, and the partnerships that are making it possible.

Do Corporate Mega Mergers Inhibit Social Responsibility?
“Frequent mega mergers are the antithesis of strong, sustainable corporate culture,” boldly states this article from The Guardian. Using a case study of Coca-Cola vs. PepsiCo to back up its claims, it looks at how mergers can distract, leading to both major mishaps and lack of focus on CSR strategy. Without multiple examples, it’s hard to tell if mergers and weak CSR are actually linked. What do you think? Share your thoughts by tweeting to @VM_Soltuions.

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.

 

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.)

CSR Food For Thought: How an Employee Volunteer Program Saves You Money

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.

The Business Case for Employee Volunteer & Skills Giving Programs
In this post from Charities@Work, Sarah Ford dives deep into how employee volunteer programs (EVPs) can boost employee retention. She touches on the top 10 reasons people leave their jobs and explains how employee volunteerism can help with each one. But she doesn’t stop there – she’s got the numbers to back it up. This post is well researched, and well worth the read.

What is the REAL Employee Engagement Definition? [Video]
Entrepreneur and author Kevin Kruse wants to make sure “everyone is on the same page” when it comes to an employee engagement definition. He starts by explaining what employee engagement is NOT – it’s not just satisfaction and it’s not just happiness. Well then, what is it? Find out in this short video.

CEOs Sign OIWC Pledge to Advance Women’s Leadership in the Outdoor Industry
Change often starts at the top, according to this article from SocialEarth. That’s why the CEO of REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), along with 13 other CEOs of outdoor companies, signed a pledge to promote women’s leadership. The REI Foundation went a step further by granting $1.5 million to OIWC (Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition) for mentorship and entrepreneurship programs.

How Can Brands Build a Culture of Responsibility?
This CSRwire post advocates for a shared CSR vision between employees, shareholders, and customers. It suggests that companies shift their values from consumerism to citizenship, and perhaps shift their focus from corporate social responsibility (CSR) to creating shared value (CSV). Don’t let the acronyms intimidate you – this post includes some interesting perspectives on what it means to be a company in our changing world.

3 Ways to Honor Martin Luther King’s Legacy of Service and Social Justice

Guest post by Ann Saylor

Photo of Martin Luther King, Jr.Once in a while, a seemingly ordinary person rises up to be a hero, changing culture forever. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of those men, and we now recognize him as a renowned American civil rights leader. He was hugely influential on American culture through his campaigns to end racial segregation and promote racial equality. To honor his legacy, the third Monday of January has been named a federal holiday. This year, it falls on January 19th.

Though many people have the day off from work or school, national service organizations have adopted the slogan A Day On, Not a Day Off to challenge Americans to rally together in service. Here are three ways your company can continue Dr. King’s legacy on Martin Luther King Day or throughout the year:

  1. Serve together. King said:

    “Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve… You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

    Where can you and your employees share a little love in your community?  If you don’t already have a nonprofit partner in your corporate social responsibility plan, then find a daycare center, an animal shelter, a nursing home, or a community center (to name a few). Ask them how your employees can help, and make plans to serve.

  2. Work together to empower your community. Dr. King wisely believed:

    “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

    Study a community issue that is a fit with your company, such as homelessness, illiteracy, or hunger. Identify one of the root causes and develop a targeted action plan that will inspire change and strengthen impoverished areas of your community.

  3. Seek justice through advocacy. Rally your employees to speak up about community issues and challenge others to take action. Ponder Dr. King’s words in this quote:

    “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”

    Identify a cause and a message that is important to your employees. Craft a plan for how you will spread your message and start speaking up – even if it’s uncomfortable.

Want more information on the strategies above? Get a free copy of the Seasons of Service Curriculum complete with three half-day experiences for leading an MLK Day event. It also has 12 highly interactive lessons plans to explore ways to use your individual gifts and talents to change the world. Finally, it outlines 11 half-day engaging and empowering service-learning experiences to introduce youth to meaningful service.  Request your copy by emailing cad@TheAssetEdge.net.

Ann Saylor is a nationally recognized trainer in positive youth development, service-learning, and play with purpose. She is also the co-author of 7 books including her latest, Groups, Troops, Clubs & Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth, (published in September 2014 by Search Institute Press). Learn more through her website and her blog, or reach her at cad@TheAssetEdge.net or on Twitter @TheAssetEdge.

The Cloud’s Silver Lining

Picture of Appirio employee volunteers

Appirio employees volunteer with the East Bay Youth Consortium.

To use the company’s time, talents and technology for social good.

That’s the straightforward mission of Appirio Silver Lining, the corporate responsibility arm of the global cloud services provider Appirio. VolunteerMatch is thrilled to welcome Appirio as a partner; they are aiming for the sky, and they are reaching it: Since its launch in 2010, the Silver Lining program’s employee participants have donated over 15,000 hours, $350,000, and helped over 400 different nonprofits. How do they do this? Three things…


Read the rest of Appirio’s Volunteer Spotlight
 to learn the three things Appirio does to make this magic happen, and the amazing things they have in store for #GivingTuesday.