Giving can come in many forms. Some choose to give money to charitable organizations while others may give tangible gifts. Still more people give the gift of their time, which in many ways holds as much or more value than financial support can provide.
In the past decade, corporations across America have adapted to a new, more altruistic generation of consumers, shareholders and prospective employees that has high expectations when it comes to community and responsibility. In response, many companies have increased their commitment to social responsibility, in part by trying to incorporate volunteerism and philanthropy into their company cultures.
Contributing Is Important
According to a recent blog posting on the Harvard Business Review, data produced by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) finds that 91 percent of Gen X women and 76 percent of Gen X men, along with 90 percent of female and 79 percent of male baby boomers, feel it is important to contribute to their community or the wider world through their work.
In addition to being a way to measure the value that a company places on social responsibility, volunteerism is also proving to be a factor in employee recruitment and retention.
According to the Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey released in 2011, 71 percent of employees are somewhat or very likely to choose one job over another—assuming all other factors are equal—based on the company’s commitment to the community.
Another 51 percent of respondents said that it is important that employee volunteer efforts benefit them professionally. More than half of those surveyed indicated that they participate in employee volunteer efforts offered by their company at least sometimes.
Growing In Importance
With these statistics in mind, companies like VolunteerMatch.org, the Web’s largest volunteer engagement network, are growing in importance as they help corporations establish solid volunteer programs.
Such programs are something that companies often present to employees and prospective employees as an example of how they are different from other companies. At the same time, it can highlight the company’s civic involvement to customers and potential customers.
A Way To Target Giving
Corporations such as Target and Coca-Cola use VolunteerMatch to bolster their social responsibility programs, as does Aflac, the leading provider of supplemental insurance in America.
The company most known for its boisterous spokesduck has recently launched an online platform through VolunteerMatch connecting employees and sales agents-and anyone, for that matter-across the nation with opportunities to serve with nonprofit organizations in their communities. The company sees it as a great way to target its giving in ways that are aligned with its philanthropy and business models.
Aflac.volunteermatch.org targets people most interested in serving in the area of children’s cancer, which is the company’s primary philanthropic cause. Since 1995, the company has raised and contributed more than $75 million to research and treat childhood cancer, a disease that sees an average of 12,000 children diagnosed each year. To learn more, go to http://Aflac.volunteermatch.org.