If the above quote is any indication, people have been thinking about volunteering in one way or another since ancient Greece. And as we begin our 20th year in business at vcfo, we couldn’t agree more with this bit of Aesop’s wisdom. Volunteering has been woven into the fabric of vcfo’s corporate culture since our founding in 1996. Even our leadership walks the talk, starting with our CEO Ellen Wood, who serves on the boards of several local organizations and regularly volunteers in the local community along with her entire family.
Over the course of our many years of volunteering, we’re still frequently surprised by the social value of the experiences.
Yes, we love giving back and seeing how volunteering helps our communities. We have also come to appreciate how volunteering helps to keep employees more engaged and satisfied–both professionally and personally.
That’s why as we juggle the constantly changing pressures in our jobs and busy lives that make it easy to push out “non-essential” tasks on our calendars, we strive to emphasize the importance of following through on our volunteering promises. To us, volunteering isn’t an obligation, it’s an opportunity to build camaraderie among employees and consultants and even recharge, in some sense. In fact, let’s take a closer look at three ways volunteering can provide value to your organization beyond simply doing good for your community.
1) Volunteer programs can help you attract good employees
When businesses are in tight competition for good employees, volunteer programs can make a difference in attracting top talent. Rather than focusing only on compensation and related benefits, many high-achieving people want opportunities to live their values. This is especially true with a majority of millennials, who expect their career paths to incorporate community volunteering opportunities and are overwhelmingly interested in working for companies with Corporate Social Responsibility Programs (CSRs).1
2) Volunteer programs can help increase employee loyalty and job satisfaction
In addition to attracting good people, a volunteer program can also help you keep them around. Surveys have shown that employees with opportunities to make a “social or environmental contribution through their jobs” are typically more satisfied with their jobs than those who don’t have similar opportunities.2
3) Volunteer programs can help the bottom line
You may also be interested to know that there are recognized correlations between volunteer programs and an improved bottom line. For example, positive media coverage and happier employees can help strengthen the brand and improve customer satisfaction, which ultimately contributes to higher revenue. Programs focused on core business functions can even help with professional development and team building, leading to a more highly skilled workforce.3
It’s our 20th anniversary, so we’re giving back
As part of our ongoing commitment to our employees and communities, vcfo is making volunteering the focus of our 20th anniversary year. We are planning fun volunteer programs and opportunities for our team members and consultants to participate in throughout the year, honoring the importance of our communities in our ongoing success.
We will also continue to explore our volunteer journey and the value of corporate volunteering in blog posts throughout the year. We couldn’t be more excited about kicking off the next chapter of our business journey with a continued focus on volunteering, and we hope to inspire a few other businesses along the way.
1 Why Volunteering is Good for Your Business, Huff Post, November 2012.
2 Talent Report: What Workers Want in 2012, Net Impact, May 2012.
3 The Benefits of Employee Volunteer Programs, JA Worldwide, 2009.