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Inspiration Event
1 hour

Getting started with employer-supported volunteering!

Sep 19, 2023 10:00 AM
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How can we work with companies to create social impact?

More and more companies are offering employees the chance to volunteer. This is great news, but it is not without challenges. What is the best way to find the right match and how do you make this collaboration sustainable? In this session, we shared tips, tricks, and great practical examples specifically for CVSs, TSIs and volunteer centers.

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Levi Witbaard
CEO at Deedmob

Following the principle "alone you go faster, together you go further”, he combines the best of Marketing, Sales, Product and Customer Success to grow the impact for and with our partners. If he’s not trying to crack the case of how to create scalable impact worldwide, he enjoys life in the form of his family, business books, helping out a the food bank and 10k+ steps a day.

Gerbrand Holland
Growth Manager at Deedmob

Gerbrand offers a unique blend of perspectives that empowers our partners to reach their social impact goals. He focuses on expanding the impact ecosystem through extensive research on volunteering. Beyond his job commitments, he is active as Youth Ambassador for the UN SDGs, loves playing chess, running and cycling, and dreams of finishing the Marmotte.

Recap and Insights

In our latest Inspiration Session “Getting Started with Employer-Supported Volunteering”, Deedmob’s team aimed to help you start or take the next step with employer-supported volunteering (ESV) in your region. This recap features the highlights of the session.

The public and private sector face several challenges. On the one hand, inflation, cost-of-living crisis, polarisation and increased pressure on service delivery, paired with decreasing numbers of volunteers prove to be challenging for the public sector. Within the private sector, companies have their own respective challenges: employee engagement and retention, having to meet new standards and expectations to focus on DEI, climate change, inequality and much more. ESV might fill the need (and opportunity) for people and businesses to create and sustain more meaning and positive impact in today’s world.

ESV consists of different types of opportunities. While team(-building) activities are most prevalent, there is another way to volunteer as a volunteer: skills-based volunteering, such as pro bono work, community conversations, mentoring, advising, or fundraising.

ESV is on the rise, and there are multiple general and practical trends observable in the world of ESV. Companies that value social and environmental impact are generally preferred by consumers, skills-based volunteering has become a part in most corporate volunteering programmes, and technology has been crucial in reshaping how traditional (group-)volunteering opportunities have been organised.

However, many companies and nonprofits struggle with ESV. Companies often lack a network and understanding of social organisations, while nonprofits are often ill-prepared to deal with companies’ wishes. This is where infrastructure organisations can fill a gap.

Infrastructure organisations should inform and broker both parties and play an active role in supporting ESV in the region. In the session, numerous benefits and challenges, as well as useful impact examples from organisations throughout the UK were shared, as well as the biggest learnings from Deedmob’s corporate volunteering endeavours:

  • Practice what you preach. Get out there, experience ESV with your team and learn firsthand what the benefits and challenges are.
  • Quality over quantity, but be ready to report on your impact. Keep an eye on the balance between investment of time and effort vs. impact.
  • Even when you digitise and automate most of your recruitment and matching, ESV still requires support from experts to make it meaningful and lasting.
  • Infrastructure organisations are - by far - the most important bridge builders between the private- and public sector, although they have limited resources and expertise to deliver what’s needed

The session concluded with 5 practical steps to get started. These steps are:

1. Identify community needs and volunteer interests - Conduct a (social and environmental) needs assessment within your community and identify interests/skills of potential corporate volunteers. This is the foundation of your ESV journey.

2. Add a dedicated page on your website - include at least the following components:

  • What is ESV, and a call to action to get started
  • What benefits are there for companies and social organisations
  • What your role is in facilitating the perfect match
  • Success stories, videos, or more
  • A database of activities and/or organisations
  • Contact form
  • FAQ

3. Develop a database of voluntary organisations, their activities, and companies - you probably already have a database of nonprofit organisations, but expand these with corporates. You can find these corporates by visiting networking events, business associations, the Rotary, and contacting companies directly by going through a list of SMEs and companies in your region.

4. Facilitate meaningful connections - we offered three ideas to facilitate these connections

  • Self-service
  • Personal matching and advice
  • Volunteer fairs targeted at matching companies and nonprofits. 

5. Monitor, evaluate, and foster long-term engagement - when you’ve set up your ESV involvement, constantly monitor and evaluate your efforts. Collect stories, post them, update your database and strategy, and improve.

It concluded with practical tips and tricks to inform and support nonprofits and companies in your role as bridge builder. Nonprofits should first prepare their organisation for company volunteers, they should know which activities they can offer, and know that they can post it on your website. Companies should be educated about the needs of nonprofits, that volunteering isn’t free, and that if they want to offer ESV in their company, they should really support it by making it part of the onboarding process and allowing employees to determine their own ESV journey.

Want to know more? You can find the slides via the button below, and the recording on top of the page.