National Volunteer Week, April 23 to 29, 2017—Let’s Celebrate150 Years of Canadian Volunteering!

Volunteering comes in many forms and is as diverse as Canada itself. The benefits of volunteering can be far-reaching for employers and employees alike. Research has shown that 80 percent of employer-supported volunteers feel that group volunteering strengthens their relationships with colleagues, while companies that support employee volunteering efforts experience lower staff turnover rates.

A study conducted by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) revealed that employers gain upwards of $2,400 in value for every employee participating in a volunteer program. The value results from the bolster to employee engagement that comes with decreased turnover costs and improved employee performance, yet only 55 percent of employees who volunteer feel  that they receive any form of formal employer support.

Workplaces that choose to develop employee volunteer programs and who align these programs with their core business goals improve their bottom line when they recruit and retain more engaged employees and enhance the quality of life in the communities in which they operate.

Still not convinced of the benefits of employer-sponsored volunteering? Consider the following:

  • Employees who volunteer are some of the most engaged employees and gain such benefits as improved communication skills, lower staff turnover, and decreased absenteeism.
  • Young professionals aged 18 to 24 who frequently participate in their company’s employee volunteer activities are twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive.
  • Companies with engaged employees see 26 percent higher revenue per employee, 13 percent higher total returns to shareholders, and a 50 percent higher market premium.
  • Almost three-quarters of executives believe corporate citizenship produces a tangible contribution to a company’s bottom line, with direct bottom-line benefits from employer-supported volunteer programs.
  • 86 percent of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business interests

Not sure where to start? Below is a link to the Canadian Code for Employer-Supported Volunteering. It provides both guiding principles and standards of practice to help employers establish an employer-sponsored volunteer program that will stand the test of time.

To celebrate volunteers nationwide and to promote the volunteering spirit, Volunteer Canada will release a series of crossword puzzles during National Volunteer Week that will highlight the impacts, benefits, and diverse ways that Canadians get involved in communities. While some answers may be obvious, others may cause you to stop and say “volunteering, eh?”

Canadian Coded for Employer-Supported Volunteering: An Informative PDF from volunteer.ca

The Canada 150 for 150 Volunteer Challenge

The National Volunteering Week website