Your company is balancing business needs with employee desires to do good during this uncertain time. Here’s why virtual volunteering should be part of your COVID-19 response.
The COVID-19 pandemic is requiring companies to reevaluate daily operations while balancing employee morale and engagement. Most organizations that can are switching to remote work and canceling in-person gatherings, including volunteer activities. While keeping safe physical distance might discourage hands-on and group volunteering, there is still opportunity to provide nonprofits with support.
Companies need to invest in people and purpose right now. Companies that invested in employee engagement during the recession of 2008-2009 not only survived the downturn, but significantly outperformed their peers. Building trust and strength in the eyes of your stakeholders will serve you well beyond the time of crisis.
With virtual, skilled-based volunteering, you can enable employees to continue to serve. Rather than allow social isolation, connect your employees with a global community of nonprofits that are providing vital services.
These eight facts demonstrate the importance of corporate volunteer programs, even and especially during challenging times:
Featured Photo: A Collective Response to COVID-19 by Puerto Rico Community Foundation
1. Traditional corporate volunteer hours are currently on the decline.
Due primarily to COVID-19, corporate volunteer hours fell by 58% versus the same period of the previous year, as tracked by employee engagement platform Bright Funds.
2. Skilled volunteering is even more valuable for nonprofits than traditional hands-on volunteering.
U.S. volunteering as a whole, which is represented by mostly hands-on activities, has an estimated value of $25 per volunteer hour. Meanwhile, Taproot estimates the average value of pro bono or skilled volunteering to be $195 per hour.
3. Volunteer Time Off (VTO) is growing in popularity as an employee benefit.
Nearly one in four companies now offer paid time off for their employees to volunteer. Participating employers most often provide between one to five days of VTO.
4. Volunteering can improve your health.
Altruism is good for your employees’ health. Volunteering can improve your employees’ mental health by reducing stress and combating depression. And studies show volunteering correlates with a 24% lower risk of early death.
5. Volunteering can double as professional development to grow employee skills.
According to a study conducted by Deloitte, 92% of human resource executives agree that volunteering increases leadership skills among employees. Providing more accessibility for employees to volunteer can be both an impactful and meaningful investment in professional development.
6. Virtual volunteering is not just for your employees with technology-related skills.
In fact, approximately 50% of online volunteer assignments do not require technology-specific skill sets. Nonprofits can benefit from a wide range of volunteer skills such as translation, copywriting, research, and fundraising strategy. Nonprofits like Taproot and PYXERA Global offer volunteer opportunities that require these diverse skill sets.
7. Volunteering promotes workplace engagement.
Employee volunteering is linked to greater workplace satisfaction and engagement, according to research from the University of Georgia. The study found that employees who volunteered “gave more time and effort to their jobs, were more willing to help their colleagues, and talked more positively about their companies.”
8. Volunteers are needed year round.
April is National Volunteer Month in the United States—but that is not the only time to participate in volunteering opportunities. Our calendars are full of international days of awareness for particular subjects and causes. The opportunity to get employees excited to participate in volunteering is year round!