At whatCharity, we are proud to be working with researchers from the London School of Economics and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Together with them, we want to better understand the expectations people have and the promises people make to each other when they agree to participate in corporate volunteering activities.

The research team has answered a few questions to tell us about this rare and exciting research, and about how the results would benefit both charities and corporations in their joint-efforts to make a difference in the world.

If you are a corporate or charity representative managing volunteer programs, please participate in the study here and claim you £5 Amazon voucher and be among the first ones to receive a whitepaper of the results!  (PARTICIPATE HERE: The survey is open until midnight on 1st April 2019.

What kind of research has been done regarding company volunteering before?

With Canadian data, Jonathan Booth and colleagues investigated the influence of employer-supported volunteering (ESV) benefits (i.e., time, logistic, and financial benefits) on volunteering.

The study found that ESV benefits led to employees volunteering more hours in the community. Through this volunteering, employees recognised that they developed skills that were transferrable to their job and ultimately were more successful in their work. See these results by clicking here.

In an international study, Jonathan Booth and colleagues investigated the emergence of corporate volunteering climates and determined that it emerges from employees’ passion for the cause and the benefits that employers provide.

Yet, the passion for the cause was a stronger indicator for corporate volunteer climates. Corporate volunteer climates were also found beneficial for both volunteers and non-volunteers through the pride that volunteering provides.

Why are you interested in this topic/subject?

In an era of austerity, governments have looked to employers and the community to fulfil certain obligations and services to society. My colleagues and I wish to understand to what extent benefits accrue to all stakeholders involved in delivering corporate volunteering programs.

In our current investigation, we are considering how these stakeholder expectations shape the experience and outcomes of the employee-volunteer.

You have set up a questionnaire for both company and charity representatives with your fellow researchers. What is the goal of this particular research and how the information will be used?

Very little research exists that looks at the expectations that stakeholders, who are invested in corporate volunteering programs, have of one another as it relates to successful design, development, and fulfilment of corporate volunteering programs.

Our work, from an inductive approach, is asking the various stakeholders (i.e., business and NGO/nonprofit leaders of corporate programs) what they anticipate are the expectations of the various stakeholders of one another when fulfilling and delivering corporate programs.

Through understanding expectations of all stakeholders on one another, corporate volunteer programs can be more so adequately designed and thus hopefully gain full potential from them.

The research team:

Dr Jonathan E. Booth joined the Department of Management, London School of Economics, in August 2009. He received his PhD in human resources and industrial relations at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He has published in academic journals, such as the Academy of Management Journal, ILR Review, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Human Relations, Human Resource Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management and Journal of Applied Psychology.

Dr Booth has taught courses in the areas of human resources, organisational behaviour, negotiation, dispute resolution, and labour relations. He researches workplace mistreatment and stigma; prosocial behaviour, giving and volunteering; and technology and the future of work.


John Lynch is an Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in Management from University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business in 2016 after a career in higher education administration. He researches employee identity work, stigmas, and volunteering. John’s research has been published in outlets such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Organization Science. His teaching interests include organizational behaviour, human resources, and leadership.



Haoying (Howie) Xu is a doctoral student in Department of Managerial Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He completed his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in management in the Business School at the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE; located in Beijing, China), and has worked as a research assistant in the Department of Management, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). His main research interests include servant leadership, leader-member exchange (LMX), and employee volunteering. His research has been published in journals such as Human Relations and Journal of Business Ethics.


The voucher:

The £5 voucher will be received via The participant will provide his/her email at end of survey for the voucher to be delivered to his/her inbox.

Other deliverables:

Participants will each receive a white paper at the conclusion of the study that discusses the findings in aggregate. As indicated, findings will be in aggregate and no person or organisation will be identified. We know the white paper will be beneficial to participants in better designing volunteer programmes that utilise employee volunteers