Getting Your Company Started with A Volunteer Time Off Program

By: NobleHour Special Contributor Latasha Doyle

Ready to Create Your Own EVP/VTO Program?

If you’re wondering how to start your own Employee Volunteer Program (EVP) for your business or corporation, Katherine Smith, executive director of the Center for Corporate Citizenship, recommends “beginning with the end in mind.” This means deciding what you most want out of the program and designing it to fit that ideal. Whether your objective is stronger partnerships with specific nonprofits, increased community visibility, or a more qualified application pool, your company can create a program with these goals in mind. While every new program comes with its learning curves and takes time to launch, Points of Light Foundation recommends that an employee volunteer program should: 

  • Plan for - and achieve - specific volunteer goals (funds raised, hours volunteered, etc.)
  • Measure the outcomes of their programs (in hours, dollars, or projects completed, as well as any quantifiable changes within the business)
  • Be designed to promote and cultivate stronger skills that also benefit the corporation (as well as the community)
  • Have strong leadership in place within the business/corporation to encourage and maintain engagement and partnerships
  • Collaborate with government, private, and nonprofit groups to encourage employee volunteerism and community connections
  • Increase employee engagement, morale, productivity, and retention
  • Celebrate growth and extend effort to share employees’ volunteer work

Having the support of the highest levels of management, establishing a budget and parameters for the program, and anticipating its maintenance needs are vital planning steps. Keeping the end in mind, as Smith said, should help your company create a volunteer program that thrives.

Tracking and Approving Employee Volunteer Hours Can be Daunting. 

Measuring the success of your program is crucial, but can be time consuming. An online volunteer time off solution is the easiest way to get your program started and track its progress. With its robust online platform, NobleHour can enhance your community engagement with a variety of innovative and transformative tools for finding, tracking, and measuring volunteer initiatives. 

NobleHour offers some great features at a reasonable price to track and approve employee volunteer hours.
 

TIME TRACKING- Collecting paper forms and spreadsheets is a thing of the past. With our hassle-free Hour Tracking feature, members can track and approve volunteer, service-learning, internship, and even paying job hours.
 

IMPACT MEASUREMENT- Our up-to-the-minute Impact Measurement tool shows you the economic impact individuals, groups, and entire organizations are making in their communities as volunteers. 

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MOBILE APP- We’ve made it easier to give back to your community. Find volunteer opportunities and log your hours on the go with our new mobile app for IOS and Android. Click here to learn more!
 

SSO- Single-sign-on lets your employees use their company log in credentials One less username and password to remember means your employees will have a greater likelihood of actually using NobleHour to find opportunities and track their hours. 
 

REPORT- Our reports feature is right at your fingertips, highlighting the impact your employees are making in the community. Compile and export your data with just a few clicks - These reports are great to show your executive team, shareholders, or include in your annual report! You'll be able to see your employees approved hours and economic impact over time. See how your organization is performing on average compared to other communities, and MUCH more!

It’s Not All Business
 

In addition to the treasure trove of benefits to be found in EVP and Volunteer Time Off (VTO) programs, companies and their employees are discovering the most basic truths of volunteering - the opportunity to give back to the community and also provide them the ability to directly impact the world around them.

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Odds are these programs are the only occasion employees can take time out and give back to the community. What if a few paid hours allow your employees to help people in need - something they haven’t been able to do before? What if, by giving them those few hours a year, you help them create a community or generate fundraising for an effort that affects dozens, hundreds, or maybe even thousands of people? Not only will your team be happier when they return to the office, but they will have a greater sense of satisfaction and a great impact on the world they live in.
 

Establishing volunteer programs can do more than just benefit those who are engaged in volunteering. They can also create an environment that encourages volunteerism in both communities and corporations. We’re in the middle of a massive overhaul on the way we do business, and today’s workforce understands the importance of life outside of work.
 

With a little bit of planning and a strong commitment to these programs, corporations and small businesses alike can change how we all view time off, volunteering, and work/life balance. More and more corporations and businesses will undoubtedly start providing VTO or establishing employee volunteer programs in the near future, which will have ripple effects on our culture. Soon, we might not remember a time where we “didn’t have the time” to volunteer!
 

Do you want to start an Employee Volunteer Program? We can help! 

Since 2007, NobleHour has proven to be the volunteer management solution for organizations across the nation. With its robust online platform, NobleHour enhances community engagement with a variety of innovative and transformative tools for finding, tracking, and measuring volunteer, service‐learning, and community service initiatives. With offices in Lakeland, FL, and Portland, OR, the NobleHour team is dedicated to empowering good in communities across the country.

Latasha Doyle is a writer and long term care volunteer living outside of Denver, Colorado. When she's not writing or volunteering, she enjoys crocheting, Netflix marathons, and planning her next trip.