According to a Snapshot Report by America’s Charities, Employee Volunteer Programs (EVPs) are becoming more popular as at least 60% of organizations offer paid time off for their employees to volunteer. The report also reveals that 82% of its respondents agree that employees want the chance to volunteer with their colleagues in a corporate-backed event.
Most employees involved in EVPs derive a sense of satisfaction from volunteering, which in turn boosts their respective companies’ retention rates while positively impacting new hires and communities at large. Despite these benefits, planning employee volunteer days requires maximum participation and adherence to certain best practices.
- Plan Several Months Ahead
The earlier companies plan their volunteer days, the better. Early planning helps avoid last-minute hitches and ensures everyone is involved in agreeing on a mutually convenient date.
- Avoid Corporate Scheduling Conflicts
To get the most participants and avoid scheduling conflicts, companies should consider their corporate events and schedule their volunteer day in the “slow season” of the year.
- Get Buy-In from High-Level Managers
Employees often follow the lead of upper-level corporate executives and their managers. Convincing high-level managers to take part in the volunteer day will make recruiting other employees a lot easier.
- Find a Suitable Nonprofit
Companies should ask their employees for suggestions when uncertain about the best charitable organization to partner with for a successful volunteer day. Top-level managers should then double-check these suggestions to ensure that they align with the company’s corporate standards and objectives. This will help avoid making last-minute changes should the top-level managers reject the prospective charitable organization.
- Send Frequent Reminders to Encourage Participation
After settling on a charitable organization, dates, and other event details, companies should start promoting their volunteer day. Sending periodic updates and emails concerning the volunteer day to all employees will help keep prospective volunteers aware of the event and any possible changes. Besides sending emails, including important information about the event in corporate newsletters will help keep everyone in the know.
- Set Clear Lines of Communication
On the days leading up to the event, companies must set clear communication lines to ensure all the volunteers know what is required of them during the event. This may entail providing information such as the expected attire, time and venue of the event, the required safety equipment, and details about refreshments.