Your employees are evaluating the value proposition of your company’s volunteering and giving program against a truckload of options and personal commitments. If you don’t know what will motivate them, you’re dead in the water.

By Chris Jarvis

In our work with clients we always begin with the employee. What does the employee want out of the experience of giving and volunteering? Obviously the strategic impact of employee giving and volunteering must be considered. Understanding the desired results for both the company and the community are of paramount concern. Yet the starting point must be the employee.


1. Employees determine the success of your program.

Employees are the primary actor in generating the real value. As we’ve pointed out in our Transformative Value series: Talk to almost any CSR manager and it becomes quickly apparent that despite the best-laid plans and resources, without middle manager and front line employee support – failure is inevitable.

So – you need the broad support, participation, and leadership of your employees or you will significantly reduce the potential of the company’s entire CSR strategy.

Try this – Use an Empathy Map

Or this – Check in to see what your participating employees really think

 2. Employees, not strategies, create change.

Employee volunteering and giving programs are about culture change first and strategic impact second. Don’t get me wrong, employee volunteering and giving programs that are not aligned to the company’s core strengths and the communities real needs are doomed to languish in the old philanthropic model of charity work. That’s not terrible, but it may be a wasteful use of valuable resources.

However, employee volunteering and giving programs are key instruments in positively affecting your company’s existing organizational behavior patterns. There are a number of studies providing insight on why this is the case.

So – Remember that your employee’s participation will be the most important resource generating the internal benefits you may be hoping to realize.

Try this – Use the Three Stages of Engagement to dramatically impact your company’s culture.

3. These are voluntary programs.

Believe me, that’s a good thing. Once community investment programs are totally integrated as part of people’s “jobs” the effect of the experience is dramatically reduced. It is the voluntary nature of giving and volunteering that triggers our brains to release the required chemicals to elicit changes in our behavior and actions.

So – employee giving and volunteering programs must be designed with the understanding that there is a tremendous amount of competition for the hearts, minds, and time of the employee. Is your program right for the employee?

Try thisOffer employees the opportunity to do good (voluntarily) as a reward or recognition for their performance or achievements.

Together, the community, company, and employee come together as elements of a complete three-dimensional logic model. All three groups should realize important and meaningful outcomes and impacts through a company’s citizenship program.

By beginning with the employee’s perspective you will ensure your company’s giving and volunteering program is able to achieve higher levels of impact for the community and the company.

Try this – Think through your program using CATWOE

Or this – Here are four simple steps to choosing the metrics that will allow you to understand the cause-and-effect relationships between employee volunteering and your company’s performance.

We can help!

The Realized Worth Global Team has extensive experience with benchmarking and measurement. Our strategic partnership with Corporate Citizenship enables us to offer the skill and experience you need.

Realized Worth works with companies to engage employees in their citizenship programs. If you’d like our help with your employee volunteering or workplace giving program, please feel free to drop us a line at, leave a comment below, or call us at 855-926-4678. You can also reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook.

Chris Jarvis
Realized Worth Co-Founder
Connect with Chris on LinkedIn
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