A Guide to Employee Volunteer Programs

Mar 21, 2022

by Holly Martinez

For many corporations, company culture is top of mind, especially as the world recovers from the ongoing pandemic and office culture has morphed into something new with fully remote and hybrid work situations becoming more and more commonplace. The pandemic also put community needs at the forefront of many minds, prompting a surge of philanthropy and volunteerism.

Looking for a way to improve your organization’s culture and make a difference in your community? A great way to do both at the same time is to implement employee volunteer programs, such as the corporate engagement opportunities created by United Way of the National Capital Area. Below, find out more details on what a great employee volunteer program looks like.

What is an Employee Volunteer Program?

An employee volunteer program is a planned, managed effort that seeks to motivate and enable employees to effectively serve community needs through the leadership of the employer.

Often, employee volunteer programs include corporations partnering up with local nonprofit organizations to meet the needs of their community and to help coordinate volunteer events for their employees.

How to Start an Employee Volunteer Program

The easiest way to start a corporate volunteer program at a business or organization is to partner with a local nonprofit whose mission aligns with your company’s values. Although each nonprofit organization has a different approach when it comes to partnering with corporations, we break down how United Way NCA develops relationships with corporate partners to incorporate corporate volunteer programs below.

Step-by-Step Process for Creating a Corporate Volunteer Program

To create a corporate volunteer program with United Way NCA, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Contact United Way NCA

The first step in establishing a corporate volunteer program with United Way NCA is to gather information and details on how your organization can help United Way NCA in its mission to improve the health, education and economic opportunity of all community members. The easiest way to get started is to contact us to discuss corporate engagement opportunities.

Step 2: Launch a Workplace Campaign

A United Way NCA workplace campaign provides life-saving support for the children and families who need it most in our community. Through a workplace campaign, corporations and their staff learn more about United Way NCA and its nonprofit partners’ work, fundraise through campaign pledges, promote philanthropy in the workplace and coordinate staff volunteer events to benefit United Way NCA programs.

Step 3: Coordinate a Volunteer Event

When you become a corporate partner with United Way NCA, our Resource Development team will work hand in hand with your workplace campaign coordinator to assist in planning, implementing and evaluating all aspects of your campaign, including setting up volunteer events for your employees. To learn more and to get started, contact us today.

Alternatively, corporations may also reach out to us to coordinate volunteer events without holding workplace campaigns, and can also become corporate sponsors to support United Way NCA programs like Thrive United 365, the Weekend Hunger Backpack Program, Financial Empowerment Centers and much more.

Benefits of Employee Volunteer Program

Through employee volunteer programs, employees can give back to their community at a local or national level while developing and enhancing their professional leadership skills.

These types of programs also improve corporate image and relationships with stakeholders and are great bonding tools for co-workers to spend time together to build stronger team dynamics. Plus, they are just plain fun!

Tips for Successful Employee Volunteer Programs

To ensure an employee volunteer program is successful, it is important for corporations to:

  • Ensure the volunteer events align with company values.
  • Schedule volunteer events at times that work best for their employees.
  • Promote the volunteer events during the weeks and days leading up to the opportunity.
  • Seek out partnership opportunities with local nonprofits.
  • Create a corporate gift-matching program to encourage further workplace philanthropy by giving monetarily to local nonprofits.

Local Employee Volunteer Programs in the Washington, DC Area

Here you will find available volunteer opportunities near the DC area and surrounding regions organized by United Way NCA. We offer ways to get involved both individually and with groups (like corporations and workplaces) by creating notecards, packing kits for those in need, assisting with one of our economic opportunity programs and much more. Whether you have volunteered with United Way NCA in the past, are a new volunteer or are interested in corporate volunteer opportunities, we encourage you to join us at an upcoming volunteer event. When none are ignored, all will thrive.

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