“We here at Ronald McDonald House appreciate the support of every one of our volunteers and business partners. It may come as a surprise to some business owners that supporting a charity isn’t just for the big companies. More small and medium businesses are getting involved as a cost-effective means to market and advertise themselves. “
What is corporate volunteering and what is the value of it?
It may sound a bit like a buzzword but corporate volunteering (otherwise known as employee volunteer programs) is a best described by Volunteering Australia who describe it as, ‘new trend in volunteering, in which businesses support their employees to undertake volunteering work in the community.’ (Volunteering Australia, 2007)
Of course, there are the obvious benefits to the community. Business support for Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland (RMHSEQ) enables us to provide accommodation and support programs to seriously ill-children and their families.
There are also benefits for businesses. Volunteering Victoria (2016) has identified these benefits as:
- increased employee retention,
- increased employee engagement and productivity,
- increased employee professional growth,
- and improved employee communication and leadership skills.
We know that our partnerships provide businesses with:
- influencing consumer decision making by tapping into the growing consumer preference for a company with an association and commitment to a cause,
- increasing online presence and engagement with consumers through our social media channels (this very blog is a case in point),
- and improving networks with other businesses and the community.
Finding the right charity partner
Of course, we might be a bit biased, but we know that for corporate volunteering to work., you need the right charity partner. You know you’ve found the one when a charity’s values align with yours, inspires confidence through clear outcomes, and is involved with the community (Cuthbert, 2011)
Ronald McDonald House charities has a proven history of successfully working with partners to provide tangible results and we tailor our partnerships to create shared value. This benefits your business and the children and families we support.
How to do it right
Volunteering Australia (2016) offers advice on how best to implement Corporate volunteering in your business, suggesting:
- consult with your staff,
- understand what motivates staff to get involved,
- identify the business and staff outcomes,
- ensuring that involvement is not mandated,
- and your business recognises staff for involvement (RMHC does some of this through our social media profiles!).
June 15 is @dosomethingday. Corporate Volunteering is a 2 way street. See https://pr359.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/first-blog-post/ to maximise value. #businessbrisbane #RMHC