March 9, 2016  |  by bloomcom

There are many ways in which a company can encourage its employees to volunteer. Depending on company culture and potential for flexible working hours, companies can promote community involvement on and off-the-clock. In addition to supporting the greater good, companies can experience benefits internally as well. Pressure is increasing to define corporate social initiatives from prospective employees, partners, and buyers. Defining and exhibiting a clear objective of how an organization can positively affect social issues is not only a key differentiator from competitors, but it also motivates people to get behind the company to support its efforts.

Bloom Communications encourages devoting time to volunteering during and outside business hours. In just the last month, I have been fortunate to donate my time in three different ways.

Saturday Service

Women Communicators of Austin's CommSquad event for Austin Pet's Alive! Women Communicators of Austin’s CommSquad event for Austin Pets Alive!

 

I am a new member to the Women Communicators of Austin. Through the club, I joined a subgroup called CommSquad where we recently donated our Saturday morning to Austin Pets Alive! This day our objective was to brainstorm solutions to a few marketing and PR struggles as well as learn more about the organization’s mission and impact on the Austin community. I would not have been aware of this opportunity without the support of Bloom Communications and the effort put forth to find these types of opportunities. Though the group brainstorm closely aligned with the services we provide as a marketing and PR agency, I was still encouraged to participate. The collaboration among the women in the room was energizing, and I’m proud of the contributions we made to the APA! efforts.

Team Volunteer

Leigh Havelick, Allison Williams, and Brianna McKinney volunteer at Capital Area Food Bank.  Leigh Havelick, Allison Williams, and Brianna McKinney volunteer at Capital Area Food Bank.

 

The Capital Area Food Bank is a great organization to plan a team outing and contribute to a greater good. The online scheduling makes it easy to see what jobs are needed and register multiple people. Our team of three thoroughly enjoyed our shift one Thursday afternoon where we sorted through frozen commercial food donations, moving them along the process to get the food out to the community. Along with other group and individual volunteers we were able to process 4,686 pounds of food, making 3,905 meals! We believe that’s a day well spent. It was fun to work as a team outside of our usual setting and roles, especially knowing our time made a positive impact.

Volunteer Time Off

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas depends on the money raised from Bowl for Kids to carry out the work of carefully matching children with caring adult mentors and providing ongoing support to the child, volunteer mentor and child's family. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas depends on the money raised from Bowl for Kids to carry out the work of carefully matching children with caring adult mentors and providing ongoing support to the child, volunteer mentor and child’s family.

 

Similarly to PTO (paid-time-off), volunteer time off allows employees to participate in a volunteering opportunity that is not necessarily a company initiative. I used this day to help at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids event. Because it began on a Friday, many people outside of the organization would be unable to help because of their Monday to Friday job. Volunteer time off enables employees to opt to use their specified number of days to work with the organizations they feel passionate about. By allocating those days to each employee, the company makes a bold statement about how they value time and community. As a millennial, this is something I know many of my peers seek from their employers.

As lives get busier and social issues seem to be more abundant, it’s crucial to do our part to give back. While to a supervisor it may seem that time is lost on an internal project, these activities can stimulate teamwork and thankfulness. Of course it’s rewarding to drive home from the office after a good day’s work, but that feeling can be amplified by making time for team and individual volunteering projects. I can tell you first hand, employees will be proud of the impact they were able to make, thanks to the support of their employer.