Champion the power of employee volunteering…

In the build up to Give & Gain Day 2015 Agathe Suzanne, Senior Employee Volunteering Manager at Business in the Community offers some hints and tips to employees who are keen for their employer to be part of the movement of organisations supporting their local communities.

Give & Gain day supporting local communities

Over the last 6 years I have worked with a number of employers to help them establish and develop their employee volunteering programmes and whilst the scale and impact of these programmes may have varied one thing that hasn’t is the willingness and commitment of those involved to support their local community.

Since 2008 over 105,000 people across the globe have taken part in Give & Gain Day. For many individuals it’s provided their first experience of volunteering but for others it’s a continuation of their personal lives, dedicating time and commitment to local causes and schools.

How can you get involved?

Regardless of your employers size, sector or stage in its responsible business journey why not encourage them to be part of this movement? Here are 5 useful tips to help you in making the case to your employer…

1. Get to know your community…

Rarely do community organisations and business get to talk. This means that businesses often don’t know what challenges communities are facing and the type of help they need, and community organisations don’t know what support business is willing and able to offer. Give & Gain Day brings thousands of business people and hundreds of community organisations together, creating a unique opportunity to talk. That’s why this year we’re focusing on the simple power of conversation.

2. It’s what consumers are looking for…

Research from CSV* demonstrates that 88% of consumers are more likely to buy from a business that visibly supports and engages in activities to improve society. In 2014 Give & Gain Day coverage reached over five million people with 4215 mentions of #giveandgain in the week leading up to the big day.

3. Think about your skills…

Consider the skills you will be developing through volunteering, which improve your performance at work. In a YOUGOV survey**, 96% of managers believe that workplace skills can be gained from volunteering, 57% of managers feel that skills gained from volunteering can help fill gaps in the workplace. From developing your project management skills through being a team leader to providing an opportunity for colleagues in different teams to work together choose a project that helps to address any skill gaps.

4. Be prepared!

Browse our list of local opportunities and pick one that will match your “skill gap” and your company’s CSR objective. If the environment is one of the priorities, you can help regenerate a park.

5. Open the Dialogue… 

Now you have the stats, project and business case for getting involved open a conversation with your HR or CSR team about your employer’s involvement. Remember Business in the Community offers a variety of support and advice throughout the planning process so you’re not taking this on alone.

If you are interested in joining this celebration of employee volunteering register your interest or contact your local employee volunteering team.

CSV, ‘Employee Volunteering: Who is benefitting now?’ (2013)

** YOUGOV, ‘Volunteering is the Business: Employers’ and employees’ attitudes to workplace based volunteering (December 2010)