Within the vast digital space, the development of tools, websites and campaigns used to gain user engagement continues to increase year after year. An employee engagement tool called “Benevity” eases the sometimes confusing process of donating, volunteering, and grant making as a means to make this user experience as simple and hassle free as possible.
At a recent conference in San Diego, the director of employee engagement for Benevity publicly discusses the various trends, and emerging areas for improvement in relation to the “digital philanthropy” moving forward.
The director of solutions at Benevity, Saunders, also highlights the fact that the volunteer space is changing due to more companies offering volunteer opportunities to employees not only in corporate headquarters, but also across multiple offices under the business umbrella.
According to several data sources, 77% of companies allowed non-headquarter employees to engage with certain volunteer opportunities or programs implemented by the firm. On the other hand, around 58% of companies reported that at least one program was made available to their international employees.
During the conference Saunders also printed out the recent trend centered around the overall demand of employees increasingly becoming more aware and engaged in corporate philanthropy. While “volunteer” within the corporate world can tend to be fairly broad, these opportunities generally consist of these bodies offering ways their employees can get involved.
Studies have shown that increased employee engagement in corporate philanthropy, not only increases loyalty internally, but also increases loyalty internally, but also augments the donation revenue with relation to individuals giving money to the cause.
Benevity also spoke on behalf of the vital importance with regard to the qualities of collaboration, teamwork, and integration that comes with volunteering. In addition, there has been evidences indicating that individuals more inclined to volunteer actually results in giving far more money, resources, and time to a wide array of philanthropic causes.
On average, these individuals give roughly around 41% more than the average Americans, further underlining how much of an impact volunteer programs make within the mentality of “paying it forward.”
Also, Benevity makes it clear that providing potential and current employees within corporate philanthropy the necessary tools to guide their success is more than important, it is absolutely essential to grow. The ability to utilize technology to effectively guide volunteers in this process is a cornerstone tool. Volunteering is centered around integration, sos it is only fitting that this quality is the basis for technology use in volunteer programs and opportunities.
One program that continuously proves to be successful is called the “Dollars for Doers” opportunity, which has shown to boost engagement for employees. Essentially, this program donates on behalf of a high-performing employee who not only exhibits genuine interest in the cause, but also is an active member, trying to better the overall engagement experience.
Not only are the Dollar for Doer programs some of the best functioning ones in the world, but they have also increased in popularity during the last few years. Around 5% of Benevity clients offer their employees this program in order to boost and further develop their firm’s philanthropic arm.
To improve any program to a higher standard, a fair share of creativity is needed to raise certain standards to the next level. Even though less restrictions within the program allow for more leeway in terms of how operations (volunteer) run, creativity has no doubt moved to the forefront of future program implementation.
In this regard, companies are making it easier for volunteers receive cash rewards and other complementary opportunities in the program. Another added benefit of this program is the increased appeal from nonprofit partners to work with companies that provide this opportunity for their employees. The creativity and less restrictions on the rewards side within the Dollars for Doers program will foster an environment geared towards more companies adopting this process.
With a forty percent increase of pro bono service across companies throughout the country, private institutions actually have the highest growth rates. A pro bono or highly skilled volunteer is someone who donates his/her professional services for a nonprofit, or on behalf of another philanthropic organization.
A pro bono volunteer is different from other volunteers in that they bring expertise to an organization on a project basis that includes clear guidelines, deliverables and work that is tailored to their skillset. Pro bono and skilled volunteers range along a continuum of technical expertise and experience in terms of skills, levels of commitment, and the types of projects that appeal to them.
A great way to reflect on the work you or your team has completed when working with a charity and their partners is to discuss the project a few days after participation. Evaluating what and how to improve certain aspects of the volunteer project after completion allows not only employees to be more effective, but it also allows for increased awareness moving forward.