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One of the hottest buzzwords circulating in philanthropy today is “corporate volunteerism.” At first glance, it just sounds like another attempt for businesses to better themselves in the public eye without actually affecting any real change. However, corporate volunteerism is redefining the way we look at both nonprofit giving and the power of businesses to make a difference.

What it is.

Corporate volunteerism, also commonly known as EVPs or Employee Volunteer Programs, is a way for companies to leverage their potential when it comes to trying better the communities where they do business and in which they generally operate. Corporate volunteerism proffers corporations and employees alike the opportunity to experience the good they can do firsthand and how their efforts can impact the lives of others in their own communities. It also allows for corporations to make a difference and inspire change at a much lower cost to the business than traditional philanthropy practices of donating large sums of money. EVPs can also double as excellent team building activities to help encourage cohesion within your company or office and build relationships that will translate into more effective company practices.

Why it can help your business.

  • Corporate volunteering programs increase employee engagement.

As a company, if you want your employees to look at your business as more than just the 9 to 5 grind, you’re going to need to find a way to to engage them with the company outside of work in a way to which they’ll be responsive. Corporate volunteerism offers your employees a chance to be involved with programs and initiatives that lend a sense of meaning and purpose to their work outside of earning a paycheck. This is not only more likely to attract employees to the business, but can also help you retain valuable employees longer. Volunteering opportunities also give you, as a business manager, a platform where you can help foster an development leadership skills in your employees.  

  • The millennial generation wants to give back.

As a whole, the Millennial generation likes to make decisions and choices based on the positive impact that they will bring about. According to a Fortune article, Millennials are far more likely to voice their opinion about the importance of businesses in America to give back to society than either of the two generations preceding them. As the millennial generation fully enters the workforce, it brings the largest living generation, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers with 75.4 million, and if you want to take full advantage of the potential they bring with them, you need to engage with them in a manner to which they’ll be responsive — corporate volunteerism is a great way to achieve that goal.