More and more companies are embracing Corporate Volunteering as part of their social strategy. Despite the current economic downturn and the absence of a specific strategic and legal framework in the EU, two studies, one by the Observatorio de Voluntariado Corporativo,[Corporate Volunteering Observatory] and another by Red de Voluntariado Corporativo Voluntare, [‘Voluntare’ Corporate Volunteering Network] detected a rise in the number of companies with Corporate Volunteering programs. According to Voluntare, 77% of the companies that were looked at in the study run a Corporate Volunteering program and 70% of these expect the number of programs to rise. These figures seem to indicate that as social needs have increased, so too has the spirit of solidarity.
Companies themselves are quick to acknowledge that Corporate Volunteering programs (regardless of their main activity) hold a number of clear benefits; first and foremost greater employee satisfaction and motivation, followed by employee engagement with the company’s CSR strategy. Improved community relations and enhanced corporate values come in at third and fourth place.
In 2012, four hundred ACCIONA Corporate Volunteers took part in activities in a variety of fields, such as education, help for the differently-abled, community support and providing access to basic domestic PV solar electricity systems.
At the same time, ESADE business school’s study on Corporate Volunteering models in Spain detected a lack of means for assessing the impact of programs. Despite the adverse economic situation, Corporate Volunteering has grown considerably over the past two years. However, improved metrics are required to gauge the impact of Corporate Volunteering, to accurately identify its advantages and to continue to foster this type of activity.
Corporate Volunteering is a tool that has arisen in response to employees’ concerns regarding the needs of society in general and socially vulnerable groupings. Now, more than ever, is the right time to give it a boost. ACCIONA is already doing so, and it would be a good thing to set our sights on increasing the percentage of companies that engage in Corporate Volunteering in 2013, a year that promises to be a tough one for many people.