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6 Tips For An Effective Corporate Volunteerism Program with Groundswell

For companies seeking to streamline their giving and volunteering in one place, Groundswell has a number of volunteer features designed to easily track, reward, and engage employees. We have been extremely thoughtful about the volunteerism features we’ve built - with an eye towards being value-add for companies that may need some support with their volunteerism initiatives, and want to streamline their giving and volunteering programs in one place - from design to execution to reporting. 

6 Tips For An Effective Corporate Volunteerism Program

1. Set your goals:

When designing a volunteer program, it’s important to start by defining your goals, whether you’re focused on participation numbers, team-building, or the ability to provide additional support to a nonprofit that is already a recipient of corporate funding. None of these are mutually exclusive, but how you approach volunteerism, and the ways in which you execute it, may help advance certain goals more than others.

2. Identify internal champions:

A volunteer program is rarely successful unless there are internal champions that can provide peer-to-peer encouragement, or geographic-specific coordination. While Groundswell's volunteer platform provides important tools to facilitate and help execute volunteer programs, some of the most successful companies have internal champions or volunteer “ambassadors” who can engage and motivate their fellow employees to participate, as well as build critical relationships with nonprofits. For companies with different geographic hubs, having champions to spearhead volunteering events can help drive meaningful employee engagement at a more local level. 

3. Create community across groups and locations:

Leverage regional champions and/or Employee Resource Group leads to help spearhead events that bring employees together across geographies and other affinity groups. Groundswell’s Volunteer Event Management tool enables companies to schedule and manage registration for larger events, as well as empower teams based in different regional hubs to schedule and track participation in their own volunteer events..A best practice is to designate a specific time of year for volunteer activation - whether a day of service, week or full month - so that employees can feel motivated and inspired to participate when the entire company is focused on volunteerism and service.

4. Align your Giving and Volunteering Program Through Dollars for Doers:

Groundswell’s Volunteer Matching feature - also known as Dollars for Doers - provides another way for employees to show their support for the causes that matter most to them. Through Volunteer Matching, an employee logs volunteer hours and then receives funds into their Groundswell account, to then be donated.  And it also recognizes that some employees may have time to give, but not money to donate – and rewards them for that. You can set up a Volunteer Match program as a stand-alone, or combine with an existing donation matching program. 

5. Design a program that includes remote or hybrid workers:

Many companies are eager to revive larger, in-person events. But not everyone may be based at the headquarters, and the “new normal” of hybrid work schedules may make it difficult for larger groups to come together. Groundswell’s volunteer platform can be customized to allow employees to volunteer their time even if they aren’t able to be at an event in-person. The Volunteer Hours Tracking Tool enables employees to log those individual volunteer hours, so that the company can capture their participation even if it is not with a larger group volunteer event.


6. Leverage Data for Internal Feedback and External Storytelling:

Groundswell’s streamlined reporting dashboard allows companies to easily access key metrics around volunteer hours, participation levels, and number of events. By integrating across giving and volunteering programs, companies can have a holistic view of their impact for ongoing or annual reporting requirements. The data is also an important tool for internal reporting and engagement - highlighting regions that may be particularly active in their giving and volunteering, and inspire more engagement for future events.

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