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Business Growth
Jan 3, 2022

How Corporate Volunteering Makes Our Community a Better Place

Sponsored Content provided by Alesha Edison Westbrook - Director of Communications, Cape Fear Literacy Council

As our world becomes increasingly connected, many businesses enjoy the benefits of nearly limitless access to potential clients. In turn, this connectivity gives people the opportunity to learn a lot about companies when deciding where they want to spend money and where they want to work. A survey conducted by IBM in 2020 found that 71% of Americans consider it essential for businesses to be socially responsible – from protecting the environment to fair treatment of their workers. Consumers and potential employees also increasingly seek companies that prioritize giving back to the community. At the start of a new year, when people are looking for ways to make positive changes in their personal lives, many companies turn to corporate volunteering initiatives to fulfill the philanthropic interests of their staff and make a lasting impact on the communities they serve.
 
What is corporate volunteering?
 
Corporate volunteering, also known as employer-supported volunteering, is a business initiative that benefits companies and their personnel, which allows them to better engage with their communities. Companies that intentionally connect employee volunteerism to their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies are regarded most highly by consumers. According to the 2019 Employee Benefits Survey, administered by the Society for Human Resource Management, one-fourth of US businesses offer workers either a volunteer program or incentives for participating in community service, including a reported 90% of Fortune 500 companies.
 
Wondering what effect a corporate volunteering initiative will have on your bottom line? Consider these factors for your ROI (return on investment), compiled by GoEco, when contemplating employee volunteering programs:

  • A fun and meaningful change of environment can help enhance workplace communication skills and relieve work-related stress while contributing to the welfare of underserved communities.
  • 57% of employees put more effort into their work, strengthening their gratitude and commitment to their companies.
  • Company culture is improved as employees share meaningful experiences.
  • Staff members who volunteer on teams can learn more about their coworkers - regardless of roles - and appreciate new perspectives.
  • Personnel from different departments can collaborate, increasing trust and cooperation across organizational boundaries.

Employees find corporate volunteering the most rewarding when they can participate in charitable activity and have a tangible impact on causes that they care about. Some corporations offer employees volunteer time off (VTO), allowing them to earn paid leave for volunteering. In contrast, others organize service days for groups or teams to work on projects that take employees out of the workplace and into the community. Whatever the approach, investing in engaging CSR strategies can offer lasting rewards, including employee retention, the opportunity to build meaningful relationships within the community, increased brand awareness, and consumer loyalty.
 
How Do Businesses Partner with Nonprofits?
 
“Do what you do best, and partner for the rest.”
 
A partnership happens when two or more entities join to pool common interests, resources, and skills to promote larger goals and outcomes for the group’s benefit and to achieve social change [CSUN PPT report]. The best way for companies to get corporate volunteering programs started or revive existing initiatives is to establish volunteer opportunities for employees to participate in. Partnering with a local nonprofit organization is a significant first step to getting your program going. 
 
After identifying a nonprofit that is a good fit for your business, it is essential to establish guidelines for how to execute your partnership:
  • Set clear expectations.
  • Allocate time for relationship building.
  • Identify roles.
  • Communicate regularly.
  • Assign project leaders.
Partner with the Cape Fear Literacy Council, Today!
 
High-impact nonprofits, like the Cape Fear Literacy Council (CFLC), depend on corporate and community partnerships to expand our reach and help us fulfill our mission to provide personalized education so adults can transform their lives and contribute to a stronger community. In our 36-year history, CFLC has partnered with many local businesses and organizations to serve adults with low and functional levels of literacy in the Wilmington area. From tutoring and on-site service days to staffing events and stuffing envelopes, the Literacy Council has multiple opportunities for corporate teams to get involved and give back.
 
“Your organization is so supportive, and this work is so important ...
I am excited to be a part of it; I feel rediscovered.”
[CFLC Volunteer Tutor, 2021]
 
Our literacy programs rely on volunteer power to make a difference in the lives of adult learners in the Cape Fear region. Volunteering at Cape Fear Literacy Council is rewarding work. Ready to learn more about corporate volunteering at CFLC or sign up for our upcoming tutor training workshops? Contact us at (910) 251-0911 or visit us at www.cfliteracy.org.
 

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