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Volunteering is Good Business

from: ARA

(ARA) - Corporate community involvement is on the rise as more companies recognize the many benefits of being socially responsible. When employees volunteer for a good cause, the community, the employee, and the company benefit.

Most corporations recognize that volunteer work can strengthen team building, increase team morale, improve recruitment and retention of employees, and enhance the company image. Employees can also benefit from developing skills that may translate to the workplace, not to mention the satisfaction of making their community a better place.

As a result, a number of businesses employ an administrator to coordinate a company’s community involvement efforts. At Washington Mutual, the seventh largest bank in the United States, Assistant Vice President Marcia Long is responsible for coordinating these service activities. She heads a team of five regional managers who oversee volunteer efforts in their regions.

“Community involvement is very important to us here at Washington Mutual,” says Long. “We have 61,000 employees in nearly 40 states, and I’m happy to say a good majority of them take the time to volunteer in their communities. We participated in close to 2,000 projects nationwide last year.”

VolunteerMatch's corporate service is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of leading corporations who recognize the economic and social value of corporate volunteerism. The service provides an innovative, effective and easy way for employees to find places to volunteer, while giving corporations a streamlined method for maintaining and promoting their commitment to community involvement.

Long credits the success of Washington Mutual’s volunteer efforts with the fact that the company makes it easy for employees to participate. “We provide all our employees with information about volunteer opportunities in their various communities with the help of VolunteerMatch,” says Long.

VolunteerMatch has worked well for Microsoft too. “It helps us enhance how we support organizations we want to help,” says Rodney Hines, program manager for Microsoft. The company leverages VolunteerMatch to highlight community service organizations and volunteer opportunities that align with their mission and philanthropic objectives. In addition, Microsoft can post events open only to their corporate employees, like projects for their Day of Caring. "I like the fact that we can feature our own events, in addition to general volunteer opportunities," says Hines.

Employees interested in volunteering simply enter their ZIP code on their company’s version of VolunteerMatch to find places to volunteer. Signing up is as easy as “point and click,” as indicated by the fact that since launch of VolunteerMatch in 1998, the service has generated more than 1,200,000 volunteer referrals. And, since any nonprofit or tax-exempt organization can list volunteer opportunities within the VolunteerMatch network, employees are ensured access to the latest, most up-to-date volunteer opportunities in their community.

"With VolunteerMatch's corporate service, we'll be able to reach more employees, including those in rural areas, and manage nationwide volunteer projects,” said Washington Mutual’s Long. “It’s much easier than any paper-based system you could dream up."

For more information on VolunteerMatch Corporate, call (415) 241-6883, or e-mail vmcinfo@volunteermatch.org. You can also visit the Web site at volunteermatch.org.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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Courtesy of ARA Content


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