Creating Impact Through Volunteering – Part 1: The Corporate Connect Team Volunteering Journey
By: Gabrielle Kay, Corporate Partnerships Manager, United Way Australia
United Way has been running our Corporate Connect team volunteering program for ten years. Along the way we’ve learnt a few things that we think are worth sharing.
In a series of blogs I’ll explore the impact of corporate volunteering on three key stakeholders: employees as volunteers, the businesses that support their employees to volunteer and our partner community organisations. In the final blog I’ll explore how United Way has responded in order to increase employee and corporate engagement in the community - ultimately creating great community impact.
In 2012 United Way ran 195 projects, engaging 3, 000 corporate employees in their local communities. These volunteers helped over 16,000 people around Australia through a number of team volunteering projects including community BBQs, backyard blitz’s, resource making, vacation care and family fun days.
The results from over 500 volunteers who responded to the post project surveys in 2012 reinforce the value that corporate team volunteering programs can create – and it just isn’t pretty gardens and people being fed. Collectively over the last ten years United Way’s corporate team volunteering has created impacts beyond the sum of the individual days.
We know corporate employees value the volunteering experience highly. Consistently 99% of volunteers report they value the volunteering experience, they have increased their understanding of community issues (100%) and would recommend a Corporate Connect project (100%).
This volunteering experience isn’t just a feel good for employees like a day out bowling or playing paint ball with the team. The United Way corporate volunteering experience leaves employees wanting to volunteer again. Even more impressive is that 56% of these volunteers tell us they want to not only volunteer again but do more to make a greater impact and 42% want to volunteer again when there is another opportunity.
Clearly, the volunteering experience is igniting something more. When we ask corporate volunteers to tell us what motivated them to volunteer:
- 34% told us corporate team volunteering provides them with an opportunity to give back to the community,
- 32% said that they were supported by their company, and
- 22% volunteered as they had the opportunity to volunteer as a team
These results tell us that people are motivated by their own personal values, those of the company’s they work for and the social norms of the workplace. This alignment of personal and business values around giving back to our local communities is impacting employees, with many wanting to volunteer again and an impressive 56% wanting to make a greater contribution – to continue their volunteering journey.
In the next blog, I’ll explore further the volunteer’s journey outside of the workplace.