Australia sees growing demand for corporate volunteers

Employees continue to face barriers to socio-civic work

Australia sees growing demand for corporate volunteers

Employers in Australia are starting to recognise the impact of corporate volunteering on the community: nearly four in five (78%) today offer programs for civic-minded staff, according to data from Volunteering Australia and LBG Corporate Citizenship.

In 2018, the number of working Australians who stepped up to do socio-civic work rose to 15%, growing almost four times over the past 12 years. Together, this small army has clocked in more than a million hours of service.

The benefits of corporate volunteering work both ways. On one hand, volunteers are able to find a sense of purpose; explore new learning opportunities; and connect with their community.

READ MORE: Corporate volunteering: Hard to ignore

On the other, employers are able to instil loyalty in their team members and increase employee engagement, the study found.

Despite the opportunities, however, employees continue to face barriers to fully participate in such programs. For Adrienne Picone, CEO of Volunteering Australia, these challenges include:

  • Businesses having limited resources
  • Workers finding time to volunteer amid a busy schedule
  • Program leaders managing volunteering opportunities

While more workers are eager to roll up their sleeves and take part in the community, the percentage of work hours companies allot to volunteering “has not altered significantly” in the past decade, the analysis said.

Companies still have more to give. For instance, employers reporting to LBG last year had a collective of more than 263,000 volunteers ready to be deployed.

If each corporate volunteer were to serve for at least one day out of the year, the collective would be equal to a workforce of more than 1,000 full-time employees open to assisting community organisations for an entire year.

The capacity of this labour force, however, isn’t being maximised. Only about half of the potential manpower is currently deployed to volunteer projects, according to the study.

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