6 min read
Sponsoring employee volunteer activities (i.e. allowing your employees to participate in volunteer activities while they are on the clock) might seem like an expensive and unproductive way to spend part of your labor budget.
However, you might be surprised to learn that employer-sponsored volunteer activities can actually help to increase your revenue by boosting your workplace culture, improving employee productivity, reducing employee turnover, attracting great new employees to your business, networking, and more!
If you have considered starting a business-sponsored volunteering program at your company, but have been reluctant to take the plunge and try it out, we encourage you to consider all of the following business benefits of volunteer activities.
Top 6 Benefits of Company-Sponsored Volunteering Activities
1. Positively Impact Your Community and Boost Your Triple Bottom Line
The most obvious benefit of sponsoring volunteer work is the positive impact your business and the people in it can have on your community. No matter what type of good cause you choose to support or if you give your employees free rein to decide how they will spend their volunteer time, your business will have a positive impact.
As a result of this positive impact on the community, you also stand to boost your triple bottom line which focuses not just on business profits but on three categories: people, planet, and profit (as in the more people – community, customers, employees, vendors, etc. – who profit from your business activities the better).
2. Better Define Your Company's Culture
Workplace Culture Definition: Workplace culture is the resulting atmosphere and environment that arises in a workplace as a result of the company's core values, brand, and leadership.  More important than the definition of culture, tough, is how your business defines and creates its culture.
One powerful way to work toward creating a positive culture is to place an emphasis on the core value of giving back and striving to be a force for good in your company's community. Sponsoring volunteer activities benefits your business, your culture, your community, and your employees. So, it's a win-win-win-win decision.
Read More: Managing Company Culture in a Hybrid World
3. Increase Engagement and Satisfaction While Reducing Turnover by Meeting Your Employees' Needs
When employees' needs are met and they feel more fulfilled by their jobs, employee engagement goes up. When employee engagement increases, employee satisfaction and productivity do too. As a result, turnover rates start to shrink. By increasing engagement, you simultaneously spur employees to generate more revenue while also cutting costs by reducing attrition rates.
According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, all people, including your employees, have various groups of needs that must be met in a specific order so that people can feel content and happy. These needs are commonly represented in a pyramid diagram .
The base of the pyramid includes the very basic essentials of human survival such as food, shelter, and clothing. The next level of the pyramid is occupied by safety and security. In business, the first two needs can be met by providing employees with adequate monetary compensation and job security.
The next two levels are psychological needs defined as belonging (friendships and relationships) and esteem (recognition, rewards, and a feeling of accomplishment). These needs can be met in business with a company culture that encourages personal connection between coworkers and also places an emphasis on the recognition and rewarding of good work.
The category of self-actualization sits at the top of the pyramid. In this category, people achieve their top potential and find fulfillment and purpose in their lives. In business, you can help meet this need by providing career development and education opportunities to your employees.
Providing employees with volunteer opportunities helps to meet their psychological needs and their self-actualization needs by providing opportunities for friendships to be forged while employees work together to help others. This also creates a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, work-sponsored volunteer opportunities help employees to feel more fulfilled and purposeful in their position working for your company.
4. Organic Marketing
Sponsoring volunteer activities for your employees is a genius form of organic marketing to create buzz around your brand, generate leads, and increase traffic to your website. Your brand becomes highly visible through the positive and generous actions of your employees and the impact those actions have on the community. As a result, your brand indirectly receives attention and becomes strongly associated with good deeds and giving back. In turn, clients feel more excited and indirectly fulfilled about choosing to do business with you, a business that's doing good in the community.
5. Attract Top Talent to Your Business
In addition to attracting more clients, work-sponsored volunteer opportunities can also attract top talent to your applicant pool. Since volunteer opportunities typically translate to a positive and desirable workplace culture, more fulfilling jobs, and higher engagement, this makes your company and job opportunities way more attractive to potential applicants.
6. Network With Other Business Leaders and Potential Clients
Business-sponsored volunteer activities not only give you the opportunity to network and meet potentially valuable contacts in your community, but it also provides all of your employees with the same opportunities. Networking is not only a great professional development tool for employees, but it is also a great sales tool. You never know what other like-minded business contacts you could make while fixing plates in a soup kitchen, raising walls on a home-building project, or helping out a local nonprofit with an upcoming fundraising event.
Investing in Company-Sponsored Volunteer Activities Is Well-Worth the Investment
When you invest in sponsoring volunteer activities and encouraging your employees to participate, you're making a direct investment into your business's profits and your triple bottom line. We recommend choosing to volunteer for a nonprofit that aligns with your company's core values and mission statement. (For example, a shoe brand partnering with a nonprofit that provides shoes to school children.) However, giving back to your community in any way with any volunteer opportunity will benefit your business and the people who help to support it.