There have been a number of research reports, books, etc written about the decline of volunteering and civic participation in our communities. Are people giving up on volunteering or are other factors impacting our ability to help our fellow neighbors? One barrier we hear all the time is that the economic situation has people staying longer at the office, so nonprofits are struggling to recruit and retain long-term volunteers. I do believe that most of us want to get involved in something meaningful outside of ourselves, but with growing demands this can fall to the back burner. That’s where business comes in to lead the way in reengaging us all in the community. You may be asking yourself, what does business have to do with it? Businesses that embrace the concept of social responsibility and implement employee volunteer programs show their workers that they care about employees getting involved with nonprofits and give them the flexibility to pursue their desire to get engaged.
Now I know businesses are focused on the bottom line and their profits in a tough business climate, but the benefits that they will receive from encouraging their employees to get involved and creating a system that allows the flexibility to truly make a commitment to an organization far outweigh the challenges. Here is a link from Volunteer Match that highlights all of the benefits of embracing corporate social responsibility: http://www.volunteermatch.org/corporations/resources/businesscase.jsp