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20 Unique Corporate Volunteer Programs Examples

With customer, community, and employee interest in how businesses impact society rising, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming more critical than ever. Every organization, large or small, can benefit from finding ways to give back to society and engage in CSR activities beyond employment creation and revenue generation. One of these ways is through volunteer programs.

 

 

Corporate volunteerism is a workplace-supported initiative that enables and encourages employees to participate in and volunteer their time and resources to give back to the community. The organization can design and implement its own activities and urge willing employees to participate. Employees can also offer paid volunteer time offs (VTOs) and work with community nonprofits, charities, fundraisers, or other initiatives.

Apart from helping the community, corporate volunteer programs allow organizations to reap the benefits of employee engagement like better productivity, low employee turnover, improved morale, and reduced truancy.

Are you wondering how to get started with corporate volunteerism for your organization? This article will explore several corporate volunteer programs examples from various companies to inspire your programs.

Corporate Volunteer Programs Examples:

  1. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  2. Patagonia
  3. Frontiers
  4. PwC
  5. Colgate-Palmolive
  6. Tom’s of Maine
  7. BNP Paribas
  8. Holman
  9. Salesforce
  10. 3M
  11. Solstice
  12. NVIDIA
  13. Miami Marlins
  14. Optimizely
  15. Home Depot
  16. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  17. Hasbro
  18. TransUnion
  19. AppDynamics
  20. Boston Celtics

 

1. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Established in 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recognizes the need for helping and improving people's lives by encouraging its employees to take action at the community level. It supports various charities, including emergency response, Polio, Global Libraries, family planning, global delivery programs, nutrition, newborn and child health, and coronavirus, among others.

Just like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, your organization can make a difference by empowering employees through:

  • 3:1 matching for employee charitable giving and donations
  • Paid time for volunteering
  • Community grantmaking
  • Annual charitable events
  • Board service matching
  • Grantee site visits

2. Patagonia

This company is well-known for its environmental activism and corporate social responsibility. Patagonia offers the opportunity for employees to support grassroots environmental organizations through its Employee Internship Program. Through the internship program, Patagonia employees can volunteer for up to two months with an organization of their choice while receiving their usual benefits and compensation.

3. Frontiers

Frontiers' employees were already participating in CSR activities even before the company established an official corporate volunteerism program. They would organize spontaneous volunteering events, prompting the company to officialize the concept.

Today, the company's volunteer program:

  • Provides employees a central place to find volunteer opportunities
  • Boosts employee engagement and teamwork. Employees can see what their peers do and support them by taking part
  • Makes it possible to track their impact on the community

With an official and corporate volunteer program, your organization can encourage more employees to volunteer. Company-sponsored volunteer programs can boost charitable donations, employee engagement, and even productivity.

4. PwC

Everyone employee matters. PwC recognizes this, and that's why the company organizes an annual team-building activity for its interns. This multinational also has a Charitable Foundation whose aim is to give and connect with communities through crowdfunding to support colleagues and personal purposes.

The PwC charitable foundation focuses on:

  • Supporting people of PwC during unprecedented hardships while funding and working with charities where employees can volunteer.
  • Humanitarianism by responding with urgency and sensitivity during disasters and building more resilient communities through innovation that enhances preparedness and recovery capabilities.
  • Education by investing in innovative programs and working with like-minded organizations and businesses.

PwC also works with nonprofits to develop solutions to help them help others. For instance, in 2020, interns from 14 of PwC's offices were charged with developing solutions for five nonprofits. PwC connected better with the nonprofits, creating more impactful partnerships with them, while the charitable organizations enjoyed new solutions.

Involving employees at all levels, including interns and support staff, can only make your corporate volunteer programs more effective.

5. Colgate-Palmolive

Caring is one of Colgate's core values. The company offers its employees various platforms to give back to their communities. Colgate hosts a Colgate Cares Day where employees globally help make the world healthier and happier by participating in community programs and in-service projects.  

Other corporate volunteer programs by Colgate include:

  • Colgate Bright Smile, Bright Futures offers children free dental screenings and oral health education.
  • Clean Hands, Good Health encourages children to wash their hands.
  • Free education coupled with preventive and restorative care to children without access to dental care.

Keep in mind that educational and other types of volunteer-based support are equivalent to financial or in-kind donations. Your corporate volunteer program can benefit from well-rounded programming involving causes like sports programs, tutoring, and animal welfare.

6. Tom's of Maine

Tom’s of Maine believes in sharing their “time and profits to help support healthy communities.” Their Giving for Goodness program encourages employees to use up to 12 days of their paid time per year volunteering for the causes they are passionate about. Employees get to choose where and when they volunteer. This flexibility is sure to keep employees happy and engaged.

How does the company manage its employee volunteers and track the program’s impact? Tom’s uses Get Connected, a specialized volunteer management product designed especially for corporate volunteer programs.

7. BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a global force for good. It provides volunteer opportunities that align with employees' interests and values and the group's priority target.

BNB Paribas' employee volunteer program comprises:

  • Field volunteering
  • Monetary donations
  • Virtual volunteering
  • Pro bono volunteering

Introducing an inclusive and comprehensive employee volunteer program can boost your employees' engagement, as is evident in BNP Paribas' case.

8. Holman

Holman’s Volunteer Program reflects its larger corporate social responsibility mission, a multi-pronged approach to giving back. From community grants that support local organizations to employee volunteering initiatives, the volunteer program works with nonprofit partners who align with the company’s values: supporting low-income families in their community.

Fun fact: Holman relies on Get Connected volunteer management software to seamlessly connect its employees with community partners.

9. Salesforce

Salesforce’s Citizen Philanthropy empowers employees to become citizen philanthropists. The program’s goal is to leverage the workforce’s skills to strengthen their communities.

Each year, Salesforce employees are offered a week of volunteer time to engage in pro bono opportunities. Employees can also maximize their impact through the company’s employee-inspired giving program, in which the company will give up to $5,000 to the causes their employees care about. This gift matching is incentivized and tied to employee volunteering milestones.

10. 3M

With its core in science, technology, creativity, and innovation, 3M empowers employees through volunteer programs to increase student interest in STEM and business. Employees have the chance to offer in-person demonstrations and hands-on experiments to students. 3M also facilitates and funds community programs like recycling initiatives to help enhance sustainability.

Empowering your employees to share their industry-specific hands-on knowledge is an excellent way to give back to the community while molding future leaders.

11. Kin + Carta

Kin + Carta is committed to being a triple bottom line company. Employees at Kin + Carta enjoy a Ferris Bueller's Day Off, an extra Paid Time Off (PTO) day, which allows them to "play hooky" together, provided they participate in philanthropic work to serve the people of Chicago and beyond. Solstice also gives its employees $5,000 each year for training to help the community more effectively.

Kin + Carta proves that volunteering can be fun! The company's innovative approach results in an employee volunteer base engaged and committed to its cause.

12. NVIDIA

Named the #1 place to work by Glassdoor, this tech giant is among the world's most philanthropic organizations. Together with its employees, NVIDIA donated almost $4.4 million and over 9,000 volunteer hours in one year.

Monetary donations and direct volunteering remain key to any corporate volunteer program. The NVIDIA Foundation implements CSR initiatives like grants and donations for cancer research, better cancer patient care, AI-focused youth education initiative, and volunteer programs matching employees' interests and skillsets.

NVIDIA also provides each employee with a $2,500 grant a year to distribute via matches and volunteer hours. These grants come at $25 per hour employees volunteer in 15-minutes increments.

13. Miami Marlins

This Major League Baseball team is about more than just the game. The company offers quarterly volunteer opportunities for its staff. Their volunteering initiatives include:

  • The Slugger Schoolhouse program supports local schools by distributing resources year-round
  • Impact Week focused on youth baseball events, food distribution, and beautification projects
  • An annual Neighborhood Holiday Celebration bringing gifts, treats, and games to underserved children in the community
  • A partnership with Feeding South Florida in which employees work with the nonprofit to build food security in the area

The Miami Marlins is just one example of a highly visible organization leveraging its brand for good.

14. Optimizely

Optimizely boasts impressive participation in its employee volunteering program; 85% of its employees engage in company-led volunteering. What’s the company’s secret? It’s all about creating a workplace culture of caring. This culture is built starting from the top. Optimizely’s executives volunteer and endorse its social impact program.

15. Home Depot

Home Depot uses Get Connected employee volunteer management software, a comprehensive online volunteer platform to connect employees with causes they’ll love. Employees can view their impact and browse opportunities that match their skills and passions, resulting in a highly engaged group of volunteers. You can view their employee volunteer platform here!

Home Depot partners with several nonprofit organizations, including United Way and Habitat for Humanity, to bring its employees a variety of vetted volunteering opportunities.

16. Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory supports causes aligned with its core competencies. The company has partnered with state-wide volunteer programs, like Volunteer East Tennessee, to address critical issues in the state.

Employees can volunteer together in the community to support the nonprofits they choose. ORNL provides opportunities for communications, funding, and other assistance to foster staff-led community projects. The company will also match employee contributions to nonprofits.

17. Hasbro

Hasbro’s Global Philanthropy and Social Impact program is a huge part of its identity as a socially responsible enterprise. Fittingly, the initiative is focused on advocating for children. In addition to toy donations and philanthropic giving, Hasbro employees volunteer thousands of hours each year.

Employees are given four hours of paid time each month to volunteer with organizations that benefit children. In addition, the company hosts sponsored volunteer projects throughout the year, allowing employees to serve their communities and hone their team-building skills.

18. TransUnion

As one of Forbes’ best-regarded companies, there’s a reason customers and employees are happy. TransUnion has adopted metrics based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These goals address climate action, gender equality, reduced inequalities, and more.

One important component of its extensive sustainable development program is its volunteer time off policy. Employees are encouraged to volunteer their time outside of the office to help a cause of their choosing. TransUnion also offers a matching gift program in support of employee donations made to nonprofit organizations.

19. AppDynamics

AppDynamics’ employee volunteer program seeks to address three key impact areas: children, education, and health. These impact areas provide alignment and direction for the employee volunteer program, AppD Cares.

AppD Cares began as a grassroots movement started by several passionate AppDynamics employees. Today, the company can match up to $10,000 per year in addition to giving one week of volunteer paid time off.

The company also encourages colleagues to volunteer together, providing valuable team-building experiences.

20. Boston Celtics

The Celtics CommUNITY Crew aims to provide volunteer opportunities for all members of the “Celtics family,” deliver high-impact service to the neediest segments of our community and encourage civic engagement from all Boston Celtics stakeholders.

Volunteer opportunities range from large-scale school renovations to serving at local soup kitchens.

The Bottom Line

Corporate volunteerism is one of the best ways to support your company's CSR goals while allowing employees to give back to the community, as evidenced by these corporate volunteer programs examples. It's a win-win situation where the community, employees, and company benefits.

Want to learn how to boost employee satisfaction and fulfill your company's mission, all while making an impact in your community? Read our comprehensive guide on corporate volunteerism.

Author: Addison Waters