OUR APPROACH

Transformative Volunteering

We design corporate volunteering strategies, train employee volunteer leaders, and implement company-wide programs using our Transformative Approach to employee volunteering. This approach enables us to drive social movements and break down barriers between people.

What is Transformative Volunteering?

Transformative Volunteering is an approach that emphasizes the exploration and application of empathy and inclusivity in corporate community engagement. Employee volunteer leaders are trained to manage social impact projects in a way that results in sustainable, systemic outcomes.

Transformative Volunteering helps volunteers: understand who the task or project is for and why it matters; guides participants through their volunteer experience; and invites critical reflection afterwards. This approach increases the impact of corporate volunteering and leads to benefits such as:

  • More engaged employees
  • More inclusive workplaces
  • Employees that center empathy in their work and lives
  • Stronger relationships with community partners and organizations

~ “A defining condition of being human is that we have to understand the meaning of our experience.” – Jack Mezirow, Transformative Learning: Theory to Practice, 1997.

How is Transformative Volunteering different?

A typical volunteering experience tends to focus primarily on completing tasks efficiently and effectively. While Transformative Volunteering includes this in its approach, the additional dimension is a guided experience. Volunteer leaders are taught specific practices that help colleagues consider how their tasks connect to purpose, people, and partnerships.

By applying the Transformative Approach, volunteer leaders invite their peers to consider the who behind the what of the task. Participants are challenged to consider: Why am I volunteering? How do my tasks connect to the beneficiary? How can I be changed by this experience?

How does Transformative Volunteering help my company increase impact?

Transformative Volunteering centers employee volunteer leadership as a key driver for change. Over time, as employee volunteer leaders consistently apply this framework to manage opportunities, the quality of the employee experience improves. This results in more engaged employees, more inclusive workplaces, employees that center empathy in their work and lives, and stronger relationships with community partners and organizations. Additionally, this approach teaches people management skills that are practiced in the context of volunteering and effectively benefit the workplace.

Why do human beings help?

Human beings are wired to help. There are neurons in our brains that can’t tell the difference between feeling pain ourselves and feeling it for another person. We’re wired to help because it has helped us survive evolutionarily. As humans have evolved over time, it served us to protect, have compassion for, and empathize more deeply with those who look like us. It is easier to dehumanize those who we perceive us unlike us. For every person that’s part of our in group, there are hundreds more we consider an out group.

How can volunteering break down in and out groups?

Transformative Volunteering is a way to train our brains, through experiential learning, to humanize those we may have been taught are an out group through our culture or upbringing. Volunteering is a safe space to confront the discomfort of our own biases, and to expand our empathy circles. This is how we move from helping to belonging. This is how we break down barriers between people. This is how we start and sustain social movements inside and outside of the workplace.

How can I implement the Transformative Approach at my company?

Wherever you are on your volunteering journey, Realized Worth can help bring Transformative Volunteering to your company. If you’re ready to go big, take a look at our Consulting and Training services – which are totally customizable to suit your needs. If you’re looking to start small, our Diagnostics, Workshops, Accelerators, or smaller Training options may be a good fit.

If you have any questions about which service is the right fit for you and your company, contact us here or email us at contact@realizedworth.com. We’re here to help!

Realized Worth partners with you to make your employee volunteering and giving programs scalable, measurable and meaningful.

Connect with us today to learn more.

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