In November, Benefacto brought together a panel of CSR experts to discuss the knotty issue of corporate volunteering: what works, what doesn’t and how charities and companies can work better together. In the context of David Cameron’s nascent plans for mandatory corporate volunteering, there is much discussion across the sector on the issue and it was a great forum for debate.
For those of you who couldn’t make the event itself, we’ve put together some of the highlights from the discussion.
Thanks again to all our interviewees and guests.
If you would like to find out more about building a high-impact, engaging and meaningful corporate volunteering programme at your business, book a meeting with us.
Linz Darlington, CEO & Founder, Benefacto: For me, the secret to meaningful corporate volunteering is about finding the overlap between the needs, the wants and the constraints of the different stakeholder groups.
Nigel Williams, Older Peoples’ Service Manager: It’s great to have a group of people who can come in, and just do things. We have a number of volunteers who need managing, directing, supporting, and encouraging, but these guys come in [corporate volunteers], [they’re] a breath of fresh air. Its easy to say ‘here’s the tea trolley: you come in, you make tea, you make everybody happy, you smile, you talk, you chat,’ and that’s been fantastic!
Pete Ward, Consultant, Accenture: For me, what I really wanted to do was to use the skills that I’ve already got, so around employability skills, things like CVs, interview skills, and that sort of thing.
Rob Powell, CSR & Pro Bono Manager, Weil: We launched Benefacto in July earlier this year and it’s been a great start. We’ve had 65 bookings since July, so in less than 6 months, we’ve had individuals, small groups, big teams. We’ve really kept it fresh; we’ve kept momentum through different communication channels. We haven’t just sent out emails, we’ve used very quirky, different ways to communicate and keep momentum.
Carmen Harris, CSR Manager, AECOM: Benefacto have come in and really created a space to allow people to pick a volunteering opportunity that appeals to them. They can pick the volunteering opportunity at very short notice as well, which is vital.
Sophie Breuil, CSR Executive, CMS, : In the second half of the day, Benefacto comes in and organises a volunteering afternoon for our trainees, who are going to go into their local communities and volunteer with different charities. That helps us to actually spot talent, in terms of CSR champions.
Tom Levitt, Founder, Sector 4 Focus: The Holy grail in this, I think, is employee engagement. If employees feel that there is purpose to what they do in their life in the company then they will not only be effective volunteers, but they will actually be more effective employees.