We know that volunteering counts and companies are increasingly giving their employees opportunities to volunteer within the work hours. This trend is no surprise in the light of the results of Deloitte Volunteerism Survey 2017. 89% believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not.
Employer-supported volunteering help employees to gain social capital, in addition to human capital. This in turn may lead to contacts for future hires, new business partners or ventures, new suppliers, or new customers for the employer. There are many personal benefits as well:
Volunteering reflects important values and builds identity
We are what we do. If you believe that you’re a good and giving person, you’ll want to act in accordance with that. If you think that social injustice is a terrible thing, chances are you’ll want to alleviate it. Volunteering is a way to ‘walk our talk’, and show what matters to us. 74% of people volunteering in Deloitte’s study feel work-related volunteering opportunities help to improve their sense of purpose.
Sometimes it is hard to find a real purpose in our day jobs, but by volunteering one might be able to participate in something that has a direct and tangible impact. Doing good makes us feel good.
Volunteering builds positive social networks
Meeting new people is a hugely motivating factor for engagement and success. Research has shown that the opportunity to widen social circles and spend time with like minded people is not only a motivation in starting volunteering, but a crucial factor in continuing. Making new friends is a big benefit for volunteers, whatever they are doing. It’s a great way to meet new people who may be different to the people you ordinarily meet. You are given the opportunity to create lasting bonds with people who hold some of the same values as you.
Volunteering develops new skills
There’s no doubt that charity work offers the opportunity to develop new skills in a supportive environment. Volunteers can expect to learn teamwork, motivation, commitment and perseverance, all of which are vital qualities which are well needed in our world.
Many people put their volunteering experience on their CV and find that it can help to boost employment. Recruiters are willing to overlook certain flaws in CVs if the candidate has been active in charitable volunteering and can demonstrate growth and learning through this.
Skills-based volunteering is particularly appreciated, so if you’re looking to develop a particular skill, you can try to find a charity that is seeking to support that field.
The whatCharity team