Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee volunteering
How can we at the Volunteer Centre help you with your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes?
Peterborough Volunteer Centre is at the heart of volunteering in Peterborough and has contact with hundreds of community and charitable groups who could benefit from the help you may be able to give them.
If your business is interested in employee volunteering, ask for a visit from Annette Atkinson – PCVS Volunteer Transforming Officer. Annette is available to visit companies in Peterborough to offer advice and guidance on how you can support local charities. Download a brochure here.
There are several ways companies can look to their CSR:
Setting up an employee volunteering programme. Giving your employees an incentive to volunteer such as time off, a bonus, chairman’s award or making it part of their training and development will create a positive and productive working environment.
Setting up larger ‘one off’ team volunteering events. This helps with team building and is great for marketing and publicity since the end result is usually a charity or space ‘make over’ e.g. decorating a children’s centre or cleaning out an overgrown park.
Provide help with resources. Many voluntary groups and charities rather than actual cash would prefer help with things like free use of meeting rooms, printing, post, unwanted equipment. Or it might be specialist help with marketing, finance, business planning, management or project development and that all important trustee role.
Finally, financial donations. Yes, this would still be an area that any voluntary group or charity would require, any donation or raffle prize is always vital.
The ‘big ticket’ events such as sending a team to develop a sensory garden or painting a children’s ward are hugely important to these groups but it is not the only way they need help, in fact often it is the individual volunteers that can make the most sustainable difference.
Case study one: Local major bank
This major bank decided as part of it’s commitment to their internal Chairman’s Awards which was part of the companies CSR; they would set up a committee to engage with the community and charity sector.
The banks CSR included fundraising with pound for pound matched funding, payroll giving and ‘pennies from heaven’ which would sweep all the pennies after the decimal point on your monthly salary. Staff were given paid time off to engage in community projects as well as encouraged to take up individual volunteering in their own time.
The projects the bank staff worked on included decorating the Amazon ward at the Peterborough Hospital, creating a sensory garden at RNIB, erecting a new swing at Newark play group. The last Friday of every month was a ‘dress down’ day and fundraiser for a staff nominated charity or community group.
Case study two: Major high street retailer
A Regional Finance Director from the retailer approached PCVS to offer her services as part of her CSR to help get a better understanding of the voluntary sector but also disability. She worked with Shopmobility for three weeks, while being paid by the high street store, and was able to gain insight into disability that she was able to take back to the workplace. The store made significant changes to store layouts to allow for better Shopmobility access.
Shopmobility benefitted from her working with both in the help she gave during that period but also with the changes she was able to get implemented for disabled access in the shops.
So what is in it for you as an organisation?
There are the obvious benefits for the organisation by showing it cares and is part of the community of Peterborough. Some people actually look at the companies CSR programmes when looking to apply for jobs, you might loose out the best employees if you don’t have something in place. Employees and the company benefit by developing employees skills and giving them opportunities learn how to help some of the companies clients that might be disabled or have other health difficulties.
The organisation can also forge strong and lasting partnerships with the voluntary sector and through projects can provide sustainable longer term support, which could include having access to corporate thinkers who could find creative solutions to problems.
So how do you access organisations or community groups to work with?
You can come and talk to us at the Volunteer Centre or contact Business in the Community:
Peterborough ProHelp Group
Peterborough ProHelp Group
Helen Haynes – Manager of Peterborough ProHelp
Side by Side CSR