Employee Volunteer Programs Have Been Weathering the Economic Storm According to Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

A recent survey produced by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and The Hitachi Foundation shows that employee volunteering programs are weathering the economic storm exceptionally well.

“Weathering The Storm: The State of Corporate Citizenship in the United States 2009” is the fourth biennial survey of executive-level attitudes and actions across businesses of all sizes with regards to corporate citizenship.

Past research, conducted in 2003, 2005, and 2007, showed that executive aspirations outpaced actions regarding CSR. The 2009 survey explores on a deeper level the challenges of synthesizing CSR in core business practices and how the economy has impacted these efforts.

According to the report, corporations are finding that continued support of employee engagement and service programs are helping them “stay the course” in terms of values, mission and overall CSR program. As Barbara Dyer, president and CEO of The Hitachi Foundation writes, “The hopeful message in our data is that, despite the extreme turbulence, most businesses are committed to being good corporate citizens.”

Other key findings of the survey reveal that:

  • 83% of large corporations state that their support of employee volunteering in the community was not affected adversely by the economy.
  • The three reasons for supporting EVPs are to “improve public relations, brand and reputation” (55%), “improve job satisfaction and retention (42%), and “support team building” (35%).
  • Three out of four CEOs currently lead their corporation’s CSR agenda, demonstrating increased appreciation and value of corporate citizenship.

The survey further touches on the business response to new public policy challenges and expectations for better regulation of its sector. Companies are finding that public opinion increasingly wants corporate leadership to effectively address local, national and social challenges. CSR, employee volunteerism and community involvement are core elements to a strong business strategy.

Did you read the report? Share your thoughts with us.

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