The Power of Corporate Volunteering for Voluntary Organisations. Part 1: Benefits and Challenges

In this blog series, we discuss the voluntary organisation side of corporate volunteering. This time: benefits and challenges!

The Power of Corporate Volunteering for Voluntary Organisations. Part 1: Benefits and Challenges

Corporate volunteering, also known as employer-supported volunteering (ESV), is becoming an increasingly important pillar of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes all over the world. We discussed in an earlier article that corporate volunteering has emerged as a valuable solution that not only benefits businesses but also contributes to positive societal impact. The numerous benefits of corporate volunteering, such as enhanced employer branding, increased volunteer engagement, the opportunity for purpose marketing, and several health benefits make it an effective strategy to recruit and retain new employees. 

As we now understand some of the benefits of corporate volunteering for companies, this series of articles explores all the ins and outs of why corporate volunteering is immensely valuable for voluntary organisations. In this 4-part series, we will discuss…

  1. Benefits and challenges for voluntary organisations who want to engage with corporate volunteers.
  2. Who are corporate volunteers and how are they different from regular volunteers?
  3. How to attract and engage volunteers
    a. How to prepare you organisation for corporate volunteers
    b. How to offer the right kind of opportunities
    c. Where to find corporate volunteers
  4. Impact examples

When you harness the power of corporate volunteering, you can create a more sustainable and better world, while simultaneously fulfilling your own objectives. Let’s get started with part 1: Benefits and challenges for nonprofits who want to engage with corporate volunteers.

Benefits and challenges

Corporate volunteering can be a game-changer for nonprofits. Through collaborations with companies and their volunteers, your organisation can tap into a wealth of resources, expertise, and networks that propel your missions forward. The combination of specialised skills and fresh perspectives from corporate volunteers fosters innovation and growth, while also raising awareness about your causes. Long-term partnerships and positive social impact become achievable goals through these collaborations.

Aside from the benefits, there are also challenges to consider when setting up a corporate volunteering program. We'll take a closer look at financial challenges, potential reputation risks, and the importance of attracting qualified volunteers. By addressing these challenges and embracing the opportunities, your organisation can make the most of corporate volunteering and drive positive change in their communities. Let's dive in and discover the power of corporate volunteering together.


Engaging with corporate can give many benefits for your organisation. We listed some of them below!

  1. Increased Human Resources. Corporate volunteering provides nonprofits with access to a pool of skilled and motivated volunteers, expanding their available human resources for various projects and initiatives (Samuel, Wolf & Schilling, 2023). This research distinguishes two types of enhanced human resources:
    a. Assignment of physical and mental labour. With the additional support of corporate volunteers, nonprofits can enhance their organisational capacity to deliver services and programs more efficiently and effectively. Volunteers can assist with administrative tasks, event planning, fundraising, and program implementation. Simply put: more personnel to further your cause, and a different/specialised mindset for greater ideas. Corporate volunteers can also bring fresh perspectives and diverse ideas to the table. They can offer innovative solutions to challenges faced by nonprofits, helping them evolve and adapt to changing circumstances.
    b. Short-term creation of human resources for unessential work. Nonprofits often have a lot of unessential work laying around that does not get done but nonetheless is important to further your cause by an incremental amount. Corporate volunteers can take up these tasks as well if you make them fun.
  2. Transfer of knowledge. Kind of linked to the above, but corporate volunteers often possess specialised skills and expertise (Samuel, Wolf & Schilling, 2023) that can greatly benefit nonprofits. They can provide valuable knowledge in areas such as marketing, finance, technology, or project management. 
  3. Extended Reach and Networks. Nonprofits can tap into the vast network and connections of corporate volunteers, enabling them to expand their reach, establish new partnerships, and raise awareness about their cause among different communities. Don’t forget that companies often have a far larger reach in untapped communities, and that every single employee also possesses their own network. And we already know that using the personal network of volunteers helps with recruiting and retaining volunteers, so why would that be different with corporate volunteers? 
  4. Positively influencing company behaviour. The goal of a nonprofit organisation is to further your cause or mission, which ultimately benefits a target group, the environment, society, or other domains. Either way, you are advocating a mission to do good. Companies often have a profit focus and have only relatively recently started focusing on their social responsibility. Corporate volunteering gives you an excellent chance to exchange values and visions to better understand each other. Furthermore, collaborating closely with companies might give you the opportunity to change company behaviour or attitude. So, with a positive attitude and the right attention, you can further your goals outside of your organisation as well!
  5. Long-term partnership potential. Engaging in corporate volunteering can foster long-term partnerships between nonprofits and corporations. These partnerships can extend beyond volunteering, leading to additional collaborations, financial support, and shared resources. For example, corporate volunteers can contribute to the fundraising efforts of your organisation. They can help secure sponsorships, organise fundraising events, or assist with grant writing, expanding the organisation's access to financial resources. These partnerships have the potential to reduce your costs, while securing more funds to reach your goals.
  6. Positive social impact. Ultimately, corporate volunteering benefits your organisation by enabling you to create a larger positive social impact. Through the combined efforts of volunteers and nonprofit staff, more people can be reached, more lives can be improved, and more significant change can be achieved.


Apart from these benefits, there are also some challenges you should address and consider while setting up your corporate volunteering programme. Keep these in mind, as we also give some tips how to overcome these challenges.

  1. Financial challenges. Financial challenges can be distinguished in two dimensions: the cost dimension, and the dependency dimension.
    a. Costs. While partnerships can accrue extra resources and financial support for your organisation, there are also costs involved for organising (especially group) activities. For example, you might not have enough equipment at hand, which you might need to rent or buy. Think about these costs beforehand and dare to ask a company for a financial reimbursement, even if it goes against your nature.
    b. Financial dependency. It is good to get some extra resources in, but make sure you are not dependent on these resources to survive or reach your goals. Financial dependency can lead to power imbalances (Haski-Leventhal, Meijs & Hustinx, 2009), which take away the autonomy you have over your own organisation. Therefore, make sure to use corporate volunteering as an addition to your organisation, don’t depend on it.
  2. Social-/greenwashing. There is a potential risk to your organisation’s reputation when partnering with a for-profit company. A for-profit company might use cooperation with a nonprofit to unjustfully improve their reputation for itself (Samuel, Wolf & Schilling, 2023). So, make sure to do your due diligence and get well-acquainted with the company before they start volunteering at your organisation. Find a stable balance of interests among your organisation and the company. This way, you can maximise your partnership potential.
  3. Unqualified volunteers. Yes, you read it well. Although company volunteers might provide skills that are useful to some organisations, they might not be the skills required for your organisation. They might not be familiar with the tasks, or if they don’t possess the right skills, they will have to do more generic tasks, which they might not be too motivated for. And you know how frustrating it can be to have unmotivated volunteers: they only take energy while not giving back, right? So, make sure you clearly describe who you are looking for and communicate this well to the interested company. 

In conclusion, corporate volunteering can make a real difference for voluntary organisations. When you team up with companies and your volunteers, you get access to valuable resources, expertise, and networks that boost your missions. The fresh ideas and specialised skills from these volunteers drive innovation and growth, while also spreading awareness about your causes. Long-term partnerships and positive social impact are definite game-changers too. However, you need to approach corporate volunteering thoughtfully, considering financial challenges and maintaining a balanced partnership to avoid dependence. Choosing the right volunteers and aligning their skills with the organisation's needs are key to getting the most out of corporate volunteering. In the next article, we'll dive into who these corporate volunteers are and how they are different from regular volunteers.


Deedmob, (2022). Corporate volunteering: a win-win for the world and your organisation.

Deedmob (2023). 4 Ways to Build Community for Your Organisation’s Volunteers.

Haski-Leventhal, D., Meijs, L. C., & Hustinx, L. (2010). The third-party model: Enhancing volunteering through governments, corporations and educational institutes. Journal of Social Policy, 39(1), 139-158.

Samuel, O., Wolf, P., & Schilling, A. (2013). Corporate volunteering: Benefits and challenges for nonprofits. Nonprofit management and leadership, 24(2), 163-179.

Some highlights of 5 years at Deedmob

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Gerbrand Holland

Growth Manager

Gerbrand Holland is Growth Manager at Deedmob