Points of Light and the HandsOn Network business member program recently released a new series on employee volunteer program (EVP) best practices. The first report - Trends of Excellence in Employee Volunteering Series: Basic Infrastructure – delves into the elements of basic support companies should provide their EVPs to help them excel. The report culls data and observations on the 29 corporate finalists for Points of Light Institute’s Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence in 2010.
Here are three key lessons learned:
Excellent EVPs can be housed anywhere (across functional areas and within internally- or externally-facing groups) – EVPs do not necessarily ‘belong’ to CSR, HR or Community affairs, they belong where there is the most dedication and care.
Excellent EVPs invest an average of $179 per employee (whether they volunteer or not) and $416 per employee volunteer – Robust EVPs cover salary, travel, website/internal communications, project supplies, and recognition items. Community grants and dollars-for-doers are not included in this figure.
Excellent EVPs average one full-time staff person for every 28,000 employees – this is usually achieved by many individual employees sharing a portion of the EVP responsibilities. The figure likely underrepresents the full staff dedication to running an Excellent EVP.
What does this mean for your company?
Your company has a unique culture and resource pool that will shape your employee volunteer program. The rules of thumb above provide guidelines for what is needed at a basic level to create a robust EVP, but they must be tailored to your company. The best resource for helping you shape a compelling and popular community engagement practice is your employee base! Find your most passionate employee volunteers and tap them to lead the EVP effort and help recruit others to participate. Then create a way for all employees to share stories of their volunteer experiences, social impact results and ideas to improve the EVP overall. EVPs are all about employee engagement – so engage them!
You can read the full report here. Be on the lookout for future reports in this series on EVP topics such as dollars-for-doers grants.