Demand for employer-supported volunteering not being met

Business and charities are not working together to deliver volunteering opportunities to their employees.

65% of workers would choose employers that supported volunteering, according to research by CIPD and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) on employer-supported volunteering (ESV).

There is currently a lack of understanding between businesses and charities about the costs and benefits involved in ESV, with employers unwilling to contribute costs to host volunteers.

Charities often overlook the additional benefits of a one-off placement, such as sponsorship.

Collaboration between business and charities is key to achieving successful ESV placements. The government’s pledge for businesses to offer employees three days paid volunteering leave could result in more demand for volunteering opportunities.

Further findings found on supporting ESV:

  • 81% of businesses taking part in volunteering reported an increase of community awareness
  • 65% saw an increase in communication skills
  • 59% reported an increase in confidence.

Although there’s more demand for volunteering opportunities, 65% of employees would want to work for an employer that encourages and promotes volunteering. 39% said their employer did not support volunteering.

Katerina Rüdiger, head of policy campaigns for community investment at the CIPD, said:

“Simply put, corporate volunteering can deliver big business benefits, not only through helping organisations build relationships within their local communities, but also by giving employees the chance to build new skills and capabilities that they can then transfer back to their day jobs.”

Justin Davis Smith, executive director of volunteering at NCVO, commented:

“We need to recognise that volunteering isn’t free – there is a cost to the charity in terms of staff time, resources and supervision – yet the right kind of volunteering could outweigh those costs tenfold.”

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