Written by Sarah Johnston, Head of Customer Engagement
Occasionally when I speak to businesses who want to be more purposeful about their community impact, they ask “Can we do employee volunteering ourselves, and wouldn’t it cost us nothing?”.
My very simple answer to this question is – of course you can arrange your own employee volunteering programme…so why aren’t you? The most common answer is “I don’t have time”. I don’t really need to ask this question as I already know that this is going to be their answer. Why ask it then? Because this is one of the main reasons we set up Social Good Connect – to make life easier for employees, employers and the people who are tasked with implementing employee volunteering and community impact.
Social Good Connect was developed to solve a problem for businesses who want to do good in the community and offer employee volunteering, but who don’t have one go-to place to find these opportunities.
With SMEs, finding charities to support and securing volunteering opportunities is often an add-on to somebody’s existing (and already busy) role, meaning social impact programmes often become an afterthought.
Working with a partner such as Social Good Connect allows these individuals to focus on the job they were hired to do, without causing disruption and distraction to the day-to-day running of the business and to the achievement of their goals.
It can be a little tricky to find a ‘one-stop shop’ of opportunities that will have enough variety for a diverse team of people. How do you find multiple volunteering opportunities that suits the individual interests of all your team? With a managed service like ours, you don’t need to spend time trying to figure out what everyone can get behind – you give the choice back to them.
With larger organisations or corporates, who often have an in-house CSR role dedicated to social and
“But we’ve given our employees paid volunteering days and the uptake is low, why should we try again?”, I hear you ask.
Usually the story here is that the team have said that whilst they want to volunteer, they don’t have time to look for charities to support, don’t know which charities are needing support right now or don’t know where to look.
There’s also a misconception that volunteering is going to take them away from their job for a half or full day – not true (unless of course this is what they want to do). The majority of opportunities play out in bite-size chunks, i.e. one to two hours every few weeks. Don’t get us wrong, we love the idea that people might be spending whole days out volunteering, it’s simply not something we see in practice, or it’s something that happens when it’s a group opportunity.
Finding charities and volunteering opportunities yourself takes time – we know this as we have a full-time member of staff who does this – and therefore costs money.
Working with an employee volunteering partner can help free up time, both for the person who has been tasked with finding volunteering opportunities for an entire company, or for the employees who want to give back, but lack the time to look for charities to support that fits with their needs and wants.
If you want more time to focus on the business and the achievement of your goals, whilst also contributing to solving real social needs, then a managed service might be for you.
If finding charities to support and securing volunteering opportunities is an additional part of someone’s role (i.e. they were hired to carry out a different role and finding volunteering opportunities is in addition to this role), or if employees are given volunteering days and need to find the opportunities themselves, but you’re not getting a good uptake, then we would say yes – it is something you should consider!
If you want to learn more about how Social Good Connect can help your volunteering programme (or help you start one), then why not speak to us today? Or contact us here if you’d like to enquire about signing up.
Caroline has made it her life’s work to help people make more meaningful decisions to support their communities and she’s learned some golden nuggets along the way!
So, join Caroline each week for her ‘Thursday Thoughts’ on all things people, planet, philanthropy or purpose all served with sprinkle of fun (but unfortunately no prosecco) to inspire you.