Home » Dollars for Doers: Rewarding Socially-Minded Corporate Volunteers
Dollars for Doers is ranked as one of the most successful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs in America, so it’s important that both nonprofits and corporations are familiar with it. Here, we explore Dollars for Doers programs and how companies and nonprofits can take advantage of them to promote goodwill in your community. Plus, we have included guidelines for companies and nonprofits to create a corporate volunteer grant program that benefits businesses, their employees, and the charities they support.
According to Forbes, 90% of the largest companies are filing sustainability reports and 80% of “mainstream investors” consider the environmental and social impact of companies before making investment decisions. But what kinds of social responsibility initiatives are companies choosing to participate in? Corporations are finding ways to diversify their giving strategy. According to the Points of Light 2018 Civic 50 Report, 44% of Civic 50 companies are making multi-faceted investments to support their Corporate Social Responsibility model. This means that, in addition to donating a one-time chunk of their profits, companies are also donating in-kind services, setting up recurring pledges, and establishing employee volunteer programs like Dollars for Doers.
Dollars for Doers is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative that encourages their employees to volunteer with charities of their choosing. In turn, the company will donate cash grants to these charities based on the number of volunteer hours each employee contributes. This program allows companies to support the causes that matter most to its employees.
In addition to “Dollars for Doers,” companies with volunteer grant programs may also refer to them as Volunteer Grants, Dollar For Hour, or Grants for Time.
Companies large and small can affect real change in their communities. The following examples of volunteer grant companies make some of the largest contributions in the United States, offering generous grants to community nonprofits when their employees volunteer:
When managed effectively, Dollars for Doers programs can be mutually beneficial to businesses and nonprofits.
According to a 2016 report from the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), Dollars for Doers is the “second most frequently offered” employee volunteer program for American businesses. This program is a popular way for companies to give back to their communities, and they frequently report high success rates with such programs. In fact, 45% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grant programs. Companies that match volunteer hours benefit because they demonstrate authentic support for causes that matter to their employees. Here are more reasons companies–and their employees–win when they participate in a well-managed employee volunteer program:
Corporate giving to charities increased to over $20 billion in 2018 and 82% of businesses say their employees want the opportunity to volunteer in a corporate-supported environment. There is no doubt that corporations and their employees are interested in making meaningful contributions to nonprofits like yours:
How do employee volunteer grant programs work? Here are some Dollars for Doers guidelines to help your company establish an effective, thoughtful program:
In addition to the internal guidelines, companies should establish a Dollars for Doers policy before implementing the program. This policy should be made available to all grant recipients, including the employees who wish to participate in the program and the organizations they serve.
While corporations are largely responsible for organizing their own volunteer grant programs, nonprofits can certainly leverage the relationships with local companies and their employees to make the most of the program.
Typically, nonprofits and corporations will need to agree on a partnership process. The following suggested process is designed to ensure the nonprofit, the volunteer participant, and the business know what to expect in terms of responsibilities:
Companies should also provide additional instructions for volunteers and the nonprofit to ensure each party is following protocol for the distribution of funds.
Businesses can become one of the largest contributors to community charities. Dollars for Doers offers a powerful solution for corporations wanting to improve their social responsibility, reward their hard-working employees, and positively impact the nonprofits they support.
Author: Annelise Ferry
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