< Back

Employee supported volunteering: making a difference in your community and workplace

In this blog, we'll explore the significant impact of employee supported volunteering initiatives, both on the communities they serve and within the workplace.

4th Jun 2024

Employee supported volunteering is a powerful way for companies to give back to their local communities while also supporting the well-being and professional development of their employees. By giving employees dedicated time off to volunteer their skills and expertise to charitable causes, organisations can make a significant difference in the lives of others while creating a culture of social responsibility and engagement.

What is employee supported volunteering, and how does it work?

Essentially, employers allocate a set number of paid days per year that employees can use to volunteer with local charities or community projects. This can be done individually or as part of organised group activities, known as corporate volunteering. The key is that employees are given the flexibility and support to make the most of volunteer opportunities that align with their passions and skills.

7 benefits of employee supported volunteering

Why should companies invest in employee supported volunteering? Here are some of the many benefits associated with volunteering:

🤝 Helping local communities and charities

First and foremost, employee supported volunteering is all about giving back. By dedicating time and resources to local causes, companies can make a tangible difference in the lives of people who need it most. Every community has its own unique set of needs and challenges, from poverty and homelessness to environmental degradation and educational inequity. These are complex, systemic issues that require the efforts of many stakeholders to address - and that's where corporate volunteering comes in. By partnering with local charities and nonprofits, companies can lend their skills, expertise, and people power to help tackle these challenges head-on.

😊 Improving well-being and happiness

Volunteering can have a profound impact when it comes to improving employee mental health and overall well-being. Individuals who engage in volunteering regularly report lower levels of depression, greater life satisfaction, and a heightened sense of purpose. According to a recent Porter Novelli survey, eight out of ten employees believe that volunteering is essential to mental well-being. Accompanying research by Goodera reveals that 97.5% of survey respondents agree they feel a greater sense of belonging to their organisation after a volunteer event.

🧠 Opportunity to gain new skills & improve employment

Volunteering is the perfect opportunity for employees to learn new skills and work on their personal development. Whether they're building houses, gardening, or mentoring kids at a local school, volunteering can help employees develop leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills that they can bring back to the office. Plus, it's a great way to break out of the daily grind and try something new.

A recent report by Pro Bono Economics, titled "A pro bono bonus: The impact of volunteering on wages and productivity," underscores the tangible benefits of volunteering for personal development. The report highlights that among unemployed individuals who were currently volunteering or had volunteered in the past, 38% had gained new skills, and a third (32%) had experienced an increase in confidence. These findings show that volunteering not only helps individuals gain new skills but also boosts their self-assurance, which can be a big help for those seeking employment or looking to advance in their careers.

💰 Increases productivity & boosts the economy

Recent studies have shown the significant economic impact of volunteering in the UK. According to research conducted by Pro Bono Economics (PBE), commissioned by national volunteering charity Royal Voluntary Service, the productivity boost generated by volunteering contributes an impressive £4.6 billion to the UK economy annually. This figure shows the impactful benefits of volunteering, which extend beyond the immediate support provided to charities and local communities.

The £4.6 billion productivity boost is a testament to the power of volunteering to create shared value for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole. As more companies recognize and embrace the economic potential of employee supported volunteering, we can expect to see even greater returns on this investment in the years to come. By prioritising volunteering as a key component of their corporate social responsibility strategies, businesses can play a vital role in building a stronger, more resilient economy while also making a positive difference in the world.

🤜🤛 Team bonding

Let's not forget about the incredible power of volunteering to bring teams together and create a sense of unity and camaraderie. When coworkers step outside the office and volunteer side by side, they have the opportunity to connect on a deeper level, bonding over shared experiences and working towards a common goal that goes beyond their day-to-day responsibilities.

When teams volunteer together, they have the chance to collaborate and problem-solve in a new context. They may face challenges or obstacles that require them to think creatively, communicate effectively, and rely on each other's strengths and expertise. Volunteering also provides a unique opportunity for employees from different departments or levels of the organisation to interact and work together towards a common goal.

🎯 Attracts and retains talent

Candidates looking for a new role want to work for employers who have CSR commitments in place and are wanting to make a difference in the world. A study by Inc found that Millennials, who will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, are looking to work for socially responsible employers. By having a volunteering strategy in place and offering employees volunteering days, employers put themselves in a good position to attract and retain top talent.

🌍 Opportunity to become attuned to others challenges and experiences

Volunteering allows employees to step outside their daily routines and connect with people from diverse backgrounds. By engaging with local communities and understanding their challenges, employees can develop empathy, cultural awareness, and a broader worldview. This exposure to different perspectives can help with personal growth and employees can become more attuned to the needs of others, both within and outside the workplace.

Flexified companies making an impact with volunteering 

Here are some of our flexified companies leading the way when it comes to volunteering and making a difference. 

Butternut Box

“As part of our #GenuineCare value, we fully encourage squad members to volunteer their time to our partner charities. We know that time can be a potential blocker so we are pleased to offer between 4-8 hours (depending on activity) each calendar year for all squad members to volunteer.

Last month our squad members headed to Braithwaite Gardens to volunteer for the Nubian Life Charity. Ten Butternut volunteers cleared and cleaned the glasshouse, painted planters, organised a storage room, weeded the garden, and transformed one of the centre's rooms by painting and wallpapering the walls. The revamped room and garden will be used by over 100 community members.”

Evelyn Bojorquez, Talent Operations Specialist, Butternut Box


Attest, a company committed to making a positive impact, offers its employees a unique initiative called "10% time." This program allows Attesters to dedicate a portion of their work hours to support charitable causes they are passionate about. By providing this opportunity, Attest empowers its employees to engage in meaningful volunteer work, whether individually or as part of a group. This initiative not only benefits the supported causes but also fosters a sense of purpose and community among Attesters, exemplifying the company's values and commitment to social responsibility.


"At BT we get 3 days per year to volunteer as we see fit. This can include taking several hours off at a time or taking full days. Recently as an example, some of our Business Talent Acquisition team based in Birmingham went for a charity walk together raising over £2,000 for Brown Dog Cancer Charity - let me know if you'd like a photo can ask my team if they're happy sharing one.

Some Colleagues also choose to give back to local communities or help mentor others including young people as part of the Avado Fast Futures Mentoring programme. Here is an example of how Project Management Manager Jasmine Kaur's has helped others."

'Beyond my day role, I've found deep satisfaction in contributing to initiatives that go beyond my job description. Since 2021, I've been privileged to mentor students through programs like Fast Futures, where I've shared knowledge and guidance to help shape future leaders. The Avado mentoring program within Fast Futures offers a structured framework for mentors like me to provide insights, advice, and encouragement to eager learners. Through regular interactions, I've been able to share practical knowledge, industry insights, and essential skills to support their career growth. Participating in the Avado mentoring program has been incredibly rewarding. Helping students clarify their career goals, refine job search strategies, and build confidence has been fulfilling. It's been a journey of personal and professional growth while positively impacting students' lives. My commitment to corporate social responsibility extends to supporting underprivileged children through various initiatives, from volunteering at local schools to fundraising events. Making a meaningful difference aligns with my core values of compassion and empathy.'
Jasmine Kaur, Project Management Manager at BT

How to implement employee supported volunteering in your organisation

If you're convinced of the benefits of employee supported volunteering but aren't sure where to start, here are some steps you can take to implement a successful program in your organisation:

1. Assess your resources

Start by evaluating your company's resources and capacity for supporting employee volunteering. Consider factors such as budget, staff time, and existing partnerships with local charities or community organisations.

2. Define your goals

Clearly define what you hope to achieve through your employee volunteering program. Do you want to support specific causes or communities? Develop certain skills in your team? Improve your company's reputation and community relations? Having clear goals will help guide your program design and implementation.

3. Engage your employees

Involve your employees in the planning and design of your volunteering program. Reach out to your employees to understand their interests, passions, and availability for volunteering. Invite them to share ideas for volunteer activities and partner organisations. The more ownership and investment your employees feel in the program, the more successful it will be. Consider having a charity and volunteering committee or group in place to help with organising the volunteering initiatives.

4. Establish clear policies and guidelines

Develop clear policies and guidelines around your employee volunteering program. How many volunteer days will you offer per year? What types of activities will be eligible? Will you require employees to track and report their volunteer hours? Having a clear framework means that the program runs smoothly and consistently.

5. Build partnerships

Reach out to local charities and community organisations to explore partnership opportunities. Look for organisations that align with your company's values and goals and that offer meaningful volunteer opportunities for your employees. Building long-term relationships with these organisations can help deepen your impact and engagement over time.

6. Promote and celebrate

Finally, don't forget to promote your employee volunteering program and celebrate its successes! Share stories of employees' volunteer experiences through internal and external communication channels. Recognise and reward employees who go above and beyond in their volunteering efforts. Celebrating your program's impact can help sustain momentum and inspire even greater participation over time.

By following these steps and committing to ongoing support and improvement, your organisation can develop a robust employee volunteering program that delivers meaningful value to your employees, your community, and your business. So, what are you waiting for? Start making a difference today!