Setting up a volunteer scheme at work
Employee volunteering is volunteering that is supported by your employer, either in work time or outside work hours.
Why volunteer as an employee?
Many people find employee volunteering beneficial as they often work together as a team - creating improved team building skills through a rewarding experience. It's also a good way to lend a hand to your local community.
In recent research, 23 per cent of people in Northern Ireland said their employers offered schemes which actively encourage employees to volunteer in community projects. Fifteen per cent of people said they had volunteered through these schemes. (It’s All About Time, 2007).
Employee volunteering ideas
If you are thinking about setting up an employee volunteer scheme you will need to decide what you want to do and how you would like to get involved.
A 'challenge' is a practical task that helps a local community organisation. Types of challenge include painting a hall, clearing a river or creating a children's playground.
Secondments and development assignments
These are short placements in community organisations for individuals and teams. All projects have a clear focus and can benefit you by improving your team building and work place skills.
Already well established in the US, volunteers work from their desk on behalf of groups in the UK, overseas and on the web. Examples include:
- web research
- email mentoring
- 'listening' chat room
- newsgroup supervision
Virtual volunteering is helpful if you have limited time as you can keep in touch by email or telephone.
Board membership, including school governors
Volunteers can offer professional or managerial skills to a school board or serve on the management committee of a voluntary or public sector organisation. Skills gained include:
- management experience
- developing strategies and policy
- organisational structure overview
How do you get started?
Visit the employer-supported volunteering pages of the Volunteer Now website to find out more about employee-based volunteering, including advice on how to get started.