During this economic downturn companies are finding themselves forced to reduce their financial contributions. Unwilling to walk away from issues they now view as their responsibility, they intend to meet falling charitable expectations with volunteering. Employee Volunteer Programs are projected to grow by 45 percent this year. There is a surge of volunteerism coming, and you need some good technology to handle it.

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

The following is an excerpt from a Boston College’s blog entry entitled Getting technical with volunteer programs .

As companies seek to better manage their corporate citizenship strategies and activities, they are taking a closer look at the operation of employee volunteering and giving programs. Like any other aspect of business, these programs turn to technology to improve efficiency and maximize effectiveness. But choosing a technology vendor with the appropriate applications and services to fit a program can be a shot in the dark.

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship now has information available to help shed some light on the technology options for employee volunteering and giving programs.

“Technology is no longer just a convenience for employee volunteering and giving programs. Technology is integral,” said Bea Boccalandro, a member of the Boston College Center faculty and president of Vera Works, who coordinated work on the surveys with The Points of Light & Hands On Network and the Boston College Center. “It is often the first and most sophisticated contact employees have with the corporate citizenship program. It can define the parameters and possibilities of the program.” Read the full article here.

Bea Boccalandro is absolutely right. The technology used to facilitate employee volunteer and giving programs will determine how many employees participate, what kinds of projects are possible, and whether or not any of it can be measured to demonstrate success. Companies should never find their enthusiasm, ingenuity, or determination restricted by the very tools they use to build a successful program.

The coming ‘surge’ in volunteerism is about to test the limits of existing practices in volunteer management. Companies and non profits that get the technology right, will be ahead of the curve. These surveys offer just that kind of head start.

A Little Off the Beaten Path

There are, of course, some other options out there. Below is a list, which depending on where you are located, and what you are looking for, may fit the bill.

TimeBank.org (UK)

VolunteerSolutions.org (US)

YourCause.com (US)

VolunteerSpot.com (US)

TheVolunteerFamily.org (US)

DubaiCares.ae (UAE)

CivicFootprint.ca (CAN)

If you know of other helpful sites/technology platforms to manage volunteer programs, list them in the comments. Thanks all!

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