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CSR & Making a Difference Q3 2022

Ways to develop employee volunteering benefits communities

iStock / Getty Images Plus / Nattakorn Maneerat

Terri O’Brien

Corporate and Programmes Manager, Volunteer Ireland

With escalating economic costs and rising client demand, charities are turning to the development of long-term corporate partnerships to sustain their organisations and provide support to communities and clients.

Along with making a measurable impact on communities, increasing organisational sustainability and gaining insights into the work and challenges facing our communities, there is potential for partnerships to provide educational and volunteering opportunities for employees.

One-off team volunteering

With the worst of Covid-19 seemingly behind us, corporate interest in one-off, team volunteering opportunities has surged.

Things to keep in mind when looking for one-off opportunities:

  1. There is no single list of one-off corporate volunteer opportunities.
  2. Ask employees to use their local knowledge — is there a school, community garden, sports club or community centre in need of support?
  3. When contacting groups, let them know you are making an initial enquiry.
  4. To spark their interest, share potential project ideas (eg. repainting playground markings, clearing a garden, painting a geometric mural or speaking to students about careers).
  5. Provide a budget for materials along with a donation for the organisation’s time.

Large-scale corporate partnerships

Volunteer Ireland’s corporate programme collaborates with companies on large-scale partnerships engaging hundreds of employee volunteers in community projects.

Support your employees to engage in individual volunteering.

Activities run the gamut — providing business advice to charities; hands-on painting and gardening projects; delivering science and art projects to primary schools; social activities with refugees and the elderly; assembling essential care kits for the homeless.

Whatever the project, our team focuses on engaging employees in volunteering with a positive and measurable impact on the community.

Individual employee volunteering

Support your employees to engage in individual volunteering. I-VOL, the national volunteering database, has hundreds of opportunities: board roles, drivers, painters, job coaching with refugees, clean-ups, translation, citizen science, conservational English tutors, youth leaders and many more.  

Helping the local community

Community Volunteers provides a unique opportunity for individuals to get involved locally — supporting events, projects and urgent needs as they arise (eg. Covid-19 and the Ukrainian crisis).

The programme allows people to volunteer as often or as little as they like. Opportunities vary and could include volunteering as a welcome ambassador at a local festival, grocery shopping for someone isolating due to Covid-19 or acting as a race steward at a local fun run.

Visit to see how you can get involved.

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