Earlier this month we participated in a Webinar with BlackBaud, Strategies for Increasing Employee Engagement with Volunteering, where we addressed several pressing questions. Are you struggling with employee participation and engagement with your volunteer events? Are you unsure what the future of volunteering can look like for your company? Read below our recap from this webinar and how companies are leveraging the new age of Virtual Volunteering to drive employee engagement through a better employee experience to increase impact where needed in local communities and beyond.
If you’re sensing your volunteers aren’t connecting with the cause and aren’t feeling passionate about volunteering as they used to, fear not – there is a way to re-engage volunteers! Incorporate empathy.When volunteers begin to understand the challenges of those they are helping, it gives their volunteer experience a whole new meaning. There are several ways to bring more “understanding or empathy” into a volunteer event.
Skills-based volunteering is when volunteers use their job skills or even skills acquired through hobbies and personal interests -- to help nonprofits in need of those skills.Companies of all sizes have experts in a number of areas. Sharing those skills can have a phenomenal impact for a nonprofit, such as improved efficiency, cost savings, increased revenue, a more user-friendly website, etc.More companies are including skills-based volunteering in their CSR strategy because research and studies show that:
If you want to launch a volunteer program or reinvigorate your current program, the task can seem overwhelming. A great place to start is thinking about the purpose of your business and how you can align your volunteer program with that mission. With a defined focus and alignment, the entire company can rally around a common goal and create greater impact. You can touch more lives more significantly when your employees understand the how and why of your CSR program and everyone is rowing in the same direction. Besides aligning your CSR strategy with your business purpose, include your employees in the process. Find out what they are passionate about, what motivates them, what their skills and interests are, and how they may want to use them to better their community. Include your Employee Resource Groups, Leaders, and other stakeholders in the conversation as well. Even though not all ideas can be incorporated, by including your employees, they’ll know their opinions are valued; they’ll likely be more supportive of the program and take more of an ownership role.Be thoughtful about how you want to start, what you want to focus on, your goals, and the type of impact you want to make. It will take a little time, but it will be worth it!Consider including a recognition program. Track the results and report them to your employees on a regular basis. Highlight stories. Most importantly, ensure senior leadership is onboard and committed to making corporate social responsibility a priority. And while you’re at it, ask for a budget so you can support the efforts and ensure significant impact.