The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that the overall rate of volunteering has dropped by 0.3 percent, with the steepest decline occurring in the age group of 45-67, but is this really the whole story?
At the end of February, there was a spurt of articles renewing attention to an initiative started a few years ago, “A Billion + Change.” The campaign was launched by the Corporation for National and Community Service and is now housed and managed by the Points of Light Institute. The gist of the current news is how much time has been given and continues to be pledged, as well as how much money the corporate volunteers have “saved” nonprofits. But try as we might, we can’t seem to find interviews or other accounts from the nonprofits actually benefiting from the pledges.
RealizedWorth, the consulting team of Chris Jarvis and Angela Parker, works with companies to design and implement outstanding corporate volunteering programs. Their blog, "Realizing Your Worth" (http://realizedworth.blogspot.com), discusses corporate social responsibility news and current issues, and gives valuable tips to program leaders.
In the past few weeks, they have been running a series of posts under the title "The Business Case for Employee Volunteering," presented with this rationale: Employee volunteering has the capacity to generate important value for your company and community. This blog series offers compelling reasons why your business needs to invest (a bit more) in employee.
Despite the apparent self-interest of companies regarding employee volunteering, it is important to note that this self-interest is not at the expense of the interests of the public, but in collaboration with them.
22 May: The Miami Dolphins Special Teams is a unique volunteer organization created to enlist and mobilize the ongoing volunteer services of the community with the Miami Dolphins staff, players and alumni. The mission of the Special Teams is "to offer hands-on services to communities and families in need, to partner with existing organizations on worthwhile social, civic and charitable programs, to provide assistance at Miami Dolphins Foundation events, and to support community efforts in times of emergency."
When Miami hosted Super Bowl XLIV in February, several thousand community volunteers were enlisted to help with all the activities (just as happens with all major sporting events around the world. But the Miami Dolphins football team saw an opportunity: harness the enthusiasm of these volunteers and direct it towards other needs. As one press release explains, "In 2009, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale ranked dead last in the nation in percentage of volunteers and volunteer hours per.