Does Volunteerism Fit Your Business Strategy?


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Corporate strategy often circles around income-producing activities and lowering the bottom line. However, this process often neglects one important detail: the humanity of the company’s employees. Volunteerism has often been the purview of Boy Scouts and nonprofit groups, but there’s no reason it should remain there. Recent studies have shown that corporations can benefit from organizing volunteer activities for their employees.

Attracts and Develops Great Talent

The 2007 IMPACT study conducted by Deloitte found that Generation Y heavily prefers to work for companies that connect them to nonprofit organizations. 62% of respondents agreed that was a compelling factor when evaluating their current and future workplaces.
According to the Points of Light Institute and the Handson Network Corporate Service Council in 2010, volunteerism is an effective strategy not only for recruiting great talent but also for maintaining and developing it, especially when employees use their work-related skills in the volunteering environment.

Greater Morale Creates Greater Productivity

For employees already working at a company, the chance to do good works together builds morale amongst teams who may already work together in the corporation. This is important for several reasons.
First, it builds relationships crucial for achieving business objectives. People who have volunteered together build a relationship outside of the office that will make them more cohesive as a team within the office. This history makes individuals more likely to support each other and go the extra mile for each other, which effectively makes them more likely to give extra effort to the company.
Secondly, this improves the perception that employees hold of the company. Employees appreciate the opportunity to work in the community, and this appreciation makes them more inclined to take on workloads with dedication.
Third, skills-based volunteerism offers employees the chance to refine the skills they use in their work while giving back to the community. For the company, this is a definite asset: they not only get the morale and community perception benefits but also the advantage of extra skill development for their employees.

Customer Perception

It is important not only to look at how the people inside the company respond to a company’s volunteerism but also to look at the customer’s perception. The Reputation Institute at Boston College finds that corporate involvement in the community is the number one driving factor for the public perception of a company. When a company builds good will in the community through volunteer work, their name becomes associated with positive results, which is ultimately what customers seek. This is linked to purchasing behavior and business association.

The bottom line is that it is good business sense for a company to get involved in volunteerism. The benefits to the company itself range from intangibles such as employee satisfaction and better cohesion within groups to outright financial gain. One might argue that it costs more not to engage in volunteer programs.

David Smith
David Smith does online promotion for the non-profit, volunteer match site, During the day hours he is dedicated to making the world a better place, but after hours he indulges in freelance writing, rooting for his Drexel Dragons, and dreaming of business startup ideas.


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