Lumping employee volunteering in with ‘nice-to-have-perks’ like free laundry and movie tickets is irresponsible. Employee volunteering and giving programs are uniquely positioned broad social and environmental problems on a global scale. It’s time to take this seriously.

Okay – here’s the problem.

Lumping employee volunteering in with ‘nice-to-have-perks’ like free laundry and movie tickets is irresponsible. The TIME Business page recently featured an article listing some ideas for boosting employee compensation without raises. The article stated that “Matching employees’ charitable contributions can give them a good feeling, and letting them volunteer on company time is another morale-booster.” Read more here.


Corporate volunteering and giving programs are not perks on the same level as casual Fridays. Employee volunteering and giving programs are revolutionary ideas with the potential to address broad social and environmental problems on a global scale. Here are four reasons why corporations that use these strategies may be better equipped than national governments to solve some of the world’s biggest problems:

  1. Politics: The power of “incumbency” has rendered government a conservative (rather than progressive) force, protecting the interests of those seeking to perpetuate “yesterday’s” solutions.
  2. Scope: Corporations are becoming increasingly global in scope, making them ideally suited to address trans-boundary problems.
  3. Perspective: Corporations may be even better positioned than governments to understand – and respond to – many emerging societal needs. Not the broad and abstract “public interest” trumpeted by enlightenment thinkers, but the on-the-ground “micro” interests of actual individuals, families and communities.
  4. Motive: The profit motive can thus accelerate (not inhibit) the transformation toward global sustainability, with civil society, governments and multilateral agencies all playing crucial roles as collaborators and watchdogs.

This list was developed by Stuart Hart, a Professor of Management at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management “Why Companies – Not Governments – Will Solve the World’s Biggest Problems.

Good – Just not good enough

You might be thinking “Wait a minute – is it bad to talk about the effect of volunteering and giving to create good feelings and morale boosting among our employees?” No – it’s not bad. It’s good.

It’s just not good enough.

Here’s a presentation we give that examines the new role corporations are taking in the world through corporate volunteering programs.



Be sure to check out this series where we outline the importance of the Corporate Citizen.

Part One – The Rise of the Corporate Citizen 
Part Two – What is Real Corporate Citizenship?
Part Three – Employee Volunteering – Is It Working?



Does your company’s employee volunteering and workplace giving strategy create the kind of citizenship that will change the world?

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If you’d like our help with your employee volunteering or workplace giving program please feel free to drop us a line at or call us at 855-926-4678. Or take a look at the services we offer here.

Be sure to check out our newest offering – Cohort Consulting. Receive all of the services we provide for Fortune 500 companies. Each month, collaborate with others in your field to discuss best practices, address challenges, and receive tools for running a great program.

Click here for more details about Cohort Consulting.


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