How much value does corporate volunteering generate?

December 22nd - Edition #15

Volunteering through the workplace is growing, with companies investing millions of dollars into it but possessing little knowledge of its value. Some have reported their outputs, but very few or none really know their outcomes or their whole social impacts.

The business case to sustain corporate volunteering lacks strong evidence and remains trapped in the ‘we are doing good’ syndrome leaving strategies without the necessary tools to assess their impacts, maximize the value generated for the company, employees and society  and fine tune the implementation.

In the last 10 to 15 years, companies globally have shown growing interest in volunteering and the fact is that approximately 70% of FTSE 100 Index businesses have active employee programmes (Brooks and Schlenkhoff-Hus 2013) that promote volunteering among their staff.

In 2011, the International Labour Organization (ILO) published the Manual on the measurement of volunteer work. It now comprises the international recommended guidelines for measuring the economic value of volunteering.

In an effort to deep explore the hidden value of corporate volunteering a new model, ‘the whole value model’, was developed accomplishing the quantification of some of the value dimensions that are generated.

It showed that a corporate volunteering programme could generate an estimated average of at least €3,55 for every €1 invested and the potential return on a volunteer hour was guaranteed to be 5,75 times higher than its costs (in the case of the EDP Group in 2015). Recently the model was applied to Endesa and Telefonica in Spain (2018) with similar and very interesting results (click to know more) with these companies reaching at least €11,15 and 6,00 respectively for every €1 invested and a total value generated of 14,84 Million € and 28,83 Million €.

There is plenty of room for improving the model, but it is with small steps like these that companies can really grasp their impact and know the effects of their volunteering strategies.

Merry Christmas to you and your families and…have a great and impactful week!

Center for Responsible Business and Leadership
Católica-Lisbon School of Business & Economics

The Center for Responsible Business & Leadership has the main purpose of contributing for Sustainability and Responsible Leadership to become part of the “way we do things in our planet”. Find out more here.

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