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What are employee community engagement (ECE) programmes?

Employee community engagement (ECE) programmes enable organisations to support the communities in which they operate. ECE programmes cover a broad range of employee volunteering schemes and other activities (such as donations through payroll giving) that aim to benefit many different sectors of society.

In addition to the community, they also provide benefits for the business and the engaged employees.

What might an ECE programme involve?

Employees can donate to charities through payroll giving schemes, or they can share their time and skills through a company-supported programme, both of which can take place during office hours.

If activities happen outside office hours they need to have strong financial or organisational support from the employer to be considered employee volunteering.

To use the core skills of an organisation's workforce, employees can share their time and skills with community groups. This could be:

  • a one-off event

  • a long-term mentoring relationship

  • a pro bono (work for free) assignment treated as any commercial assignment.