Beyond traditional gym memberships and health benefits, Employee Volunteering Programs (or EVPs) are a powerful way for organizations to develop a culture of social responsibility, employee engagement, and community impact. These programs not only contribute to meaningful social change but also boost camaraderie among teams and provide employees with opportunities to give back to the communities where they live and work. 

In this blog, we’ll provide the key steps and considerations involved in establishing a successful EVP—one that aligns with your company's values, engages employees, and makes a positive and long-term impact.  

How to create a top-notch Employee Volunteer Program 

Giving is as rewarding for the giver as it is for the recipient. Incorporate this understanding into your corporate wellness strategy by establishing an EVP.  

The primary goal of an EVP is to provide employees with opportunities to give back to the community, support charitable causes, and contribute positively to society. These programs are also designed to align with the organization's values, corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, and overall mission. EVPs not only benefit volunteers and recipients but also contribute positively to the workplace and community. 

Regardless of your company's size, you can create a culture of giving back with EVPs. Here’s how: 

  • Designate workdays for volunteering 

  • Offer charitable donation match programs 

  • Focus on different charities throughout the year 

  • Drive participation through team challenges 

Make time to give by designating workdays for volunteering 

Employees often struggle to find time for volunteering alongside their existing commitments. Set aside company-wide volunteer days, allowing employees to temporarily step away from their roles to make a meaningful impact. By offering this opportunity within working hours, you increase initial participation and cultivate a culture of giving. 

Foster personal connections by offering charitable donation match programs 

Your employees likely have causes they deeply care about. Show your commitment to these causes by instituting an annual charitable donation matching program. This not only financially supports your employees' chosen causes but also provides insight into their interests for future charitable initiatives. 

Diversify causes by focusing on different charities throughout the year 

The abundance of causes can be overwhelming, making it hard for employees to decide where to give back. Help by spotlighting different causes on a monthly or quarterly basis. For example:  

  • January: Host a coat drive to help unhoused communities during cold winter months 

  • February: Create and send heartfelt cards to seniors in nursing homes 

  • March: Encourage employees to do a spring clean/declutter and donate items to charity 

  • And so on 

Organize educational events featuring representatives from non-profit organizations, encourage offsite volunteering, and hold donation drives to benefit the highlighted charity.  

Ignite friendly competition by driving participation through team challenges 

Tap into your employees’ competitive spirits by fostering friendly rivalries among departments or teams. Encourage collective efforts to achieve charitable goals, whether through clothing drives, food collections, financial contributions, or volunteer hours.  

As businesses embrace employee volunteer programs, the benefits are clear: increased goodwill, trust, and pride among employees. In a time when corporate wellness continues to evolve, the act of giving back proves to be a win-win for everyone involved. 

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