While the definition of corporate volunteering is constantly evolving, it can generally be defined as the encouragement and facilitation of volunteering in the community through the organization by which an individual is employed. If a company simply encourages its employees to volunteer on the weekend without offering any support (like matching the hours with corporate dollars or providing transportation to the volunteer activity), this should not be counted as corporate volunteering. Time employees spend on their own – without a material contribution to the process from the company – should not be reported as time the company donated to the community.
There are divergent views, of course. The 2011 Alliance Policy Agenda for Volunteering in Europe specifically defines employee volunteering as taking place during work hours and not unpaid time. There’s also the angle of how companies are motivating or incentivizing employees to take part in volunteering. If you’re upping volunteer participation hours in the wrong way, you could end up de-motivating employees at work (if you want to read more about this phenomenon, check out this great blog from Chris Jarvis.)