2022 has been a year of ups and downs. As it comes to an end, volunteering can provide some much needed closure and give employees and beneficiaries hope for a better new year. A recent IBM survey found that 71% of U.S customers want to buy from socially responsible companies, driving home this point making a strong case for corporate giving.
To keep up, many businesses are looking to sustainability frameworks like Social Return on Investment or the Triple Bottom Line (people, purpose, and planet) to realign their future and perception among their consumers and stakeholders. CSR frameworks have now expanded to include impact-based investing and corporate pledges to address environmental and social issues of our time.
Many organizations have either already adopted this new approach to giving back or are looking at phasing in these changes in the new year. A shining example is Ernst and Young’s Global Delivery Services’ annual ‘Carnival of Giving’. As part of this yearly event employees around the world spend time doing good among their local communities. The themes for 2022 revolved around access to education, climate access and skill development among underserved communities.
The holiday season brings with it the chance to either meet some of these goals for the year or workshop a new approach to giving and CSR goal setting in 2023. Apart from helping organizations meet any pending giving goals for the year, here’s how volunteering, especially during the holidays can add value to organizations from the bottom up.
Volunteering, especially in person, is one of the most emotionally rewarding and enriching experiences a person can undertake. Combined with the holiday season, this emotional reinforcement can greatly relieve tension, reduce stress and motivate employees to perform better in the new year. Studies have shown that those who had a positive experience of giving back at work were four times more likely to say their teams were willing to give extra to get the job done. Proof of this is AirBnB which constantly ranks among the best places to work and includes a volunteering component as part of the onboarding process for new employees
Branding & recruitment
With millennials projected to form 75% of the global workforce by 2025 and Gen-Z, an estimated 30% by 2030— higher levels of engagement through doing good could prove to be a crucial factor in their allegiance. Holiday volunteering can add greater credibility to existing and new employees’ profiles, both on their resumes and social media. It also serves as a beacon to prospective employees and new talent. As the job market gets more competitive, such key differentiators could be a shot in the arm for recruitment and retention as well. An example of this is FedEx’s FedEx Cares programme. It allows interns to make a social impact while also networking with all levels of management during volunteering events serving as a beacon to potential talent to apply.
Brownie points on investor reports
According to Blackrock, environmental, social governance (“ESG”) stewardship is becoming increasingly important to investors and investment teams who are looking to invest in new-age companies and start-ups. A quick glance at the Civic 50 list further highlights this point as many companies on the list also happen to be top performers on the S&P 500.
With investors getting younger with each passing year, these younger investors are more likely to invest in companies with a strong emphasis on ESG principles than older generations. Furthermore, about 64% of millennials and younger investors report that they believe those principles will become standard in the future.The optics of volunteering during the holiday season sends out the right message to stakeholders and peers.
Meeting target UNSDGs for the company
Mapping giving goals to UNSDGs can help a company streamline and optimize its CSR functions. In doing so, any ESG targets that the company may adopt are automatically aligned with the ‘global good’. Volunteering activities during the holidays span multiple UNSDGs and open up a whole new gamut of giving for organizations, thereby providing a more accurate yardstick for planning volunteering activities and measuring their progress.
How Goodera can help
During the holiday season, Goodera has curated a special holiday volunteering catalog that allows employees to be engaged in holiday-centric volunteering opportunities and help kick start the holidays with the power of doing good.
All these volunteering activities are designed along the lines of contributing toward at least one UNSDG goal and cover cause areas ranging from D&I, LGBTQ+ rights, racial equity, access for people with disabilities, senior care, mental health awareness, and many more.
Furthermore, these standalone activities can be plugged into existing CSR campaigns to add more mileage to volunteering metrics and hit the mark on volunteering goals for 2022.
In addition, every experience in Goodera’s extensive and inclusive holiday volunteering catalog is fully customizable to accommodate any specific requirements while ensuring optimal alignment with year end giving goals.
Generosity, care and giving are pillars of the holiday season. Recent social, political and economic events have shifted the focus of these pillars from the self to the community. Businesses too are evolving to focus equally on stewardship of causes that benefit the greater good as well as sales. Volunteering during the holiday season can set the tone for a more granular adoption of these practices and in essence, become the proverbial gift that keeps giving, both to organizations and the beneficiaries they intend to serve.