Who will organise the program?
As with any new initiative, careful business planning and the establishment of simple, clear internal policies, procedures and recording processes are vital to the success of a corporate volunteering program. Undertaking detailed planning at the outset will ensure that successful outcomes are achieved. Often the most effective approach is to form a small committee to take on this task. One of the responsibilities of the committee would be to detail and seek management approval of suggested policies and procedures.
Next: Is corporate volunteering a good fit for your business?
Is corporate volunteering a good fit for your business?
To be valuable and meaningful to a business as a whole, an employee volunteering program must be in alignment with the mission, values and goals of the business. Positive engagement and support for the program needs to be sought from all levels of business (not just management) before the decision is made to proceed with implementation. Widespread employee acceptance will be gained if the benefits of implementation of the program are actively promoted from the top and if there is leadership by example, with executives and management engaging with their teams in volunteering projects.
Next: How much volunteering will you do?
How much volunteering will you do?
Understanding the capacity of the business to allocate one or more days of volunteering per employee per year and deciding how this will be recorded is important to the success and sustainability of the volunteering program. Decisions will also be required on how the absence of employees while they are volunteering will be managed in the workplace.
Next: What are your employee's interests?
What are your employee's interests?
Consultation with staff is recommended to ascertain which area, organisation or cause they wish to support through volunteering and whether this will be on a one-off or on an ongoing basis. Alternatively staff and the business may decide to support a number of areas or a different organisation on each of their volunteering days.
Next: How will you measure success?
How will you measure success?
A decision should also be made in regard to the type of qualitative and quantitative data and documentation that will be required to enable effective measurement and analysis of the program. Some businesses choose to undertake an internal audit of a volunteering engagement prior to implementation for the purpose of gathering baseline data to use in evaluation.
Next: Is it worth having external help?
Is it worth having external help?
If a business does not have the capacity to internally coordinate, manage and evaluate the program, consider outsourcing the facilitation and management of volunteering activities. National, State and Territory Peak Bodies for Volunteering, some Volunteer Resource Centres and organisations that offer specialist corporate volunteering programs have extensive experience in employee volunteering program planning and management and would be pleased to work with any business in need of assistance.
Next: How will you promote the program?
How will you promote the program?
Once established, the success of the program and outcomes achieved should be communicated to internal and external stakeholders. Providing regular information on employee volunteering activities in newsletters, at team meetings, on noticeboards, and on internal and external web pages assists in building momentum for the volunteering program.