Business Forum, Member Connections Newsletter

After Hours: Encouraging Employees to Volunteer

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Philanthropic initiatives are proven to keep employees engaged, reinforce company pride and, of course, help those in need. Since there are only so many hours in the work week that realistically can be devoted to volunteering, it’s all about after hours and encouraging employees to volunteer on their own time.

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Here are some suggestions for motivating your employees to give back after work or on weekends: 

Offer Incentives & Recognition
Some larger companies reward employees who volunteer with comp-time and paid days off. Although this may be difficult for a small company, allowing someone to leave an hour or two early for volunteer work should be manageable. And, recognizing employees’ good deeds through company emails, newsletters and press releases provides the encouragement and acknowledgement necessary to continue making a difference.

Roundup Resources
Make it easy and convenient for employees to donate their time and talents by providing them with the proper resources. This could include a list of established partnerships the company may already have with any charitable organizations, a directory of local and national nonprofits whose missions align with the company’s or a calendar of upcoming community events where volunteers are needed.

Lead By Example
As a business leader, you know the importance of setting a good example for your staff. Share stories about your own after-hours volunteering. If others see how much you enjoy being generous with your free time, it will inspire them to do some giving back of their own, too.

Networking Benefits
Explain to employees that by getting involved and volunteering new opportunities open up to meet people beyond one’s office, neighborhood or industry – another added bonus of volunteering – while expanding their networks through new connections that can enhance and increase their personal and business success.

We want to hear from you! How do you encourage your employees to give back after hours? What good deeds do you do that inspire your employees?

Please leave your comments below and be sure to take our poll. When you’re done, keep the conversation going on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest!


What happened in October? Find out now! Visit last month’s Business Forum – Ready… Set… Refresh – Time Off Is Essential to Job Performance – and our poll where we asked you which form of “time off” is most beneficial to your job performance. The results are quite interesting!

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Megan Bozzuto

9 Comments

  1. Carol Epstein
    November 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    My company, AAA, gives 24 hours paid time off for volunteerism. I use that PTO for travel time to Hawaii where I participate in Team In Training’s Triathlon – Lavaman. It is a benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I have to fundraise over $4500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and in exchange for my fundraising, I get expert coaching in swimming, cycling and running. I’ve been volunteering with Team In training for over 7 years and have raised over $40,000 so far. Additionally, AAA has just instituted a Sabbatical Program. Our Sr. VP took her sabbatical to climb Mt. Everest while raising money for clean water for those less fortunate. I have yet to take the Sabbatical leave due to my job demands in sales but it is nice to know it’s there.

  2. Courtney Schumacher
    November 5, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    I have a very low governmental position right now, which I seek to get out of, and they don’t offer us menial slaves a chance to donate through them, with what THEY pay, so I donate on my own.

  3. Twymeni Purchase
    November 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Very proud to work at ADP. A great organization that gives each associate 8 hours of volunteer time per calendar year. From building houses, to organizing local food banks, to painting and cleaning local women and children shelters, to adopting classrooms, to participating in FAFSA nights, ADP associates continue to make an impact in the community for which we live in and drive through. Each Monday morning I share with my team my weekend volunteer experiences and them seem to look forward to hearing my ventures – singing/reading to senior citizens, high school students self-awareness sessions, and civic and social clubs.

  4. Evy
    November 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Outside of the workplace I volunteer for the Cancer Hope Foundation (CHF)! I inspire others who are cancer patients to give back to the CHF when they become well. Cancer survivors help cancer patients strive through their treatment and post treatment, too.

  5. Laurie
    November 6, 2014 at 6:18 am

    I work with amazing people at an amazing job, these guys seriously light up my life and provide me a great day away from home!! Them as well as myself would do anything in the world to help
    Someone in need and I’m proud that I have that in my heart to be that type of person. Not enough of us in the world!!

  6. Mrs. Barbara Fields
    November 6, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I am very active in our church functions. Once a month we give out food to those who are in need. At the end it feel very rewarding to actually be involve in this project. And then again, i am involve in the HBCU Networking Organization . We have a bookbag drive one a year for the one’s who are less fortunate. To be involve in this project. The best part, I love the fact, it make me free as if we are doing somthing worth while.

  7. Barbara
    November 7, 2014 at 12:23 am

    I spent a year and a half working with Superstorm Sandy survivors, providing information, support and organizing events to bring organizations and state departments closer to those who needed them. There’s a sense of loyalty and belonging that develops when you have seen people at their lowest point. Now back into my own business, I continue to co-lead the support group, offer continuing resources for anyone who is still in need, and helped to organize a 2nd anniversary set of events in Tuckerton, NJ.

  8. Julia Zaher
    November 10, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    In the midst of the Great Recession, I found a new job in Flint, Michigan of all places (microcosm of every economic downturn) because of my history of volunteering. I was working at a local newspaper making very little while doing my job search. For many years I had also spent most Saturdays at a local soup kitchen. My boss at the newspaper knew this and when she saw an opening for Director of Volunteer Services at a local nonprofit, she passed the opportunity on to me. I got the job and it has added numerous new skills to my professional toolbox. I’d love to get back to working in communications full time and am grateful that volunteering led to a job when I needed it. I also got a daughter from volunteering at a tutoring center in Minneapolis some 14 years ago. She needed me and I needed her! So you never know what you’ll get when you volunteer especially long term.

  9. Gloria Amaral
    November 13, 2014 at 12:06 am

    I’m grateful that I am self employed and can take time when I want to volunteer.
    I work with Building Futures in San Leandro that provides various shelters for women
    ranging from homeless shelters to high risk (domestic abuse) shelters.
    It’s so fulfilling to see how our little grain of sand can cause some positive changes in women’s self esteem.

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