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Making the most of your volunteer program

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Smartbrief on Sustainability — tracks feedback from more than 17,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter. This week’s analysis is provided by Elaine Cohen, a sustainability reporter at Beyond Business.

Last week we asked: How does your company invest in the community?

  • A mix of all the above, 57%
  • Mainly through employee volunteering, 15%
  • We do not invest in the community, 14%
  • Mainly through cash donations to social and environmental causes, 8%
  • Mainly through in-kind donations of company products/services, 6%

More than 90% of Fortune 500 employers believe that employee volunteering develops business skills, according to a survey by Deloitte. And 97% of Gen Y-ers want their companies to offer volunteer programs. But this poll shows work needs to be done.  Less than 20% those responding say their companies use volunteering as the key vehicle for community investment and 57% include volunteering as part of a comprehensive program. But this means that over 25% of companies have yet to realize the opportunity to enhance business performance and employee attraction through volunteering in the community.