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What is employer-sponsored volunteerism?

Employer-sponsored volunteerism is defined as organizational support, often in the form of paid leave or sponsorship, for employees pursuing volunteer opportunities or performing community services. Many organizations, from large Fortune 500 companies to small local businesses, encourage their employees to volunteer in their communities, boosting not only employee morale and personal satisfaction but the businesses' bottom lines as well. According to a study by United Healthcare, employees who volunteer through work report feeling better about their employer and strengthened bonds with co-workers.

Company support can range from simple strategies such as providing information and resources for volunteer activities, to offering paid time off and other recognition for employees who volunteer their time and skills to assist in the community. Many employers encourage employees to volunteer and even allow employees to take time off during their work day without loss of pay. According to SHRM's 2019 Employee Benefits Survey, 26% of employers offer paid time off for volunteering.

Sponsorship of volunteer programs is also recognized as a recruitment strategy, as younger generations indicate that volunteer programs are important. 

When developing and administering an employer-sponsored volunteerism program, clear policies and guidelines are critical and should include elements such as:

  • Who is eligible to participate.
  • What types of activities are appropriate.
  • Whether time off during work hours will be approved.


See Sample Volunteerism Policy



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