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A Publication of WTVP

When it comes to volunteerism, the good that one individual can do for another is rarely underestimated. But the good that many can do for an entire community is what makes corporate volunteerism such a valuable practice—for those who participate in the volunteer activities and those receiving the assistance.

Corporate volunteerism can be highly effective at building employee morale and skills because they’re helping generate community goodwill towards the company and providing a valuable resource that will help with community problem-solving. It’s just one way companies can demonstrate their commitment to social issues.

Not just a buzzword describing a passing fad, corporate community service and volunteer efforts are here to stay. And in quite a few cases, it’s time for them to grow. More and more businesses are realizing they can’t detach themselves from the communities in which they operate.

Many business leaders create environments that encourage their employees to become involved. Effective programs coordinate with company goals, include employee interests, and work with community leaders who know what help is needed. It’s all about having the tools and training in place.

If companies want to encourage employee volunteerism, policies and incentives must reflect this goal. Successful corporate volunteer programs include training and orientation that will make the efforts more effective. Corporate volunteerism is a great return on investment because it builds employee morale, creates company awareness, improves teamwork, and, of course, leads to more community involvement.

Corporate volunteerism isn’t just for large companies. Many smaller, growing companies can also reap the benefits of employee volunteer programs because it generates publicity.

Ideas to get started and to get your employees volunteering include partnerships with local schools or charitable foundations, expanding upon the volunteer efforts currently being undertaken by employees, starting small with a project that won’t require a lot of time, making sure your employees have a rewarding experience, and including families in the volunteer efforts. Through volunteer activities, families can enrich their relationships with one another and spend quality time together learning about their community and others in need. Plus, as a component of corporate volunteer efforts, it creates a family-friendly atmosphere at the company.

Volunteerism is one of our nation’s easiest and most effective ways of contributing to society. Democracy comes from the spirit of volunteerism and a commitment to possibilities and achievements. During National Volunteer Week, April 27 through May 3, look within your organization to maximize the power of volunteerism and build a stronger relationship with your community and the nonprofit sector. IBI

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