Volunteering is amazing for communities, but how can it also be great for business? Join us on this episode of the Talent Magnet Institute Podcast with Doug Bolton, a board member and faculty of the Talent Magnet Institute, and the President and CEO of Cincinnati Cares, as he shares with us the power of volunteerism.
The impact of volunteering and the responsibility of giving back
Doug shares about a role model who instilled in all of his employees that they benefit as a business from the vibrancy of the business community, so they should give back to the community that provides so much for them.
Not only does volunteering obviously impact the community, but it also improves yourself. Doug shares that he probably learned twice as much from volunteering than he did from his professional experience, and the experiences he had outside the workplace were formative in helping him become a better leader and better manager.
Opportunities for engagement
There are so many examples that show that when a business allows their employees to not only do their job well, but then allows their employees to be outwardly focused and help the company connect with the community, it really does produce bottom line results. Employees can’t wait to get to work because they have so much of a bigger passion and purpose in life, to help other organizations and other parts of our community that need their help the most.
Raising volunteerism rates
Rates of volunteerism had been declining significantly. Perhaps due to geopolitical issues and a loss of hopefulness and a hesitation for businesses to invest in the volunteer ecosystem, but also because the way that volunteers find opportunities to help has been broken. If you look at cities with increasing rates of volunteerism, they have a single organization that is 100% focused on the volunteer. And that’s why Cincinnati Cares was born. It’s now the most popular way for Cincinnatians to find ways to help.
They’ve built a technology platform that makes it as easy as possible for the volunteers: it’s frictionless, it’s mobile-friendly, it’s beautiful — which makes the experience for the user unlike anything they’ve experienced before. Instead of finding volunteers in an “episodic” manner (e.g. we need 10 people by next Tuesday), this technology allows for evergreen applications, where opportunities are available all the time.
And the power of volunteerism is that you can do through volunteers what you are unable to do through paid staff, and produce returns on your investment.
Lifting all boats
Volunteerism affects your company culture, and the better a company culture, the more engaged your employees are. So it benefits the community and the business and the individuals to extraordinary levels.
It’s much easier for young people to know about their passions and things going on around the world. They’re no less interested than baby boomers in being committed and giving, but they just do it differently. They’re more informed and have a broader perspective, and so philanthropy is changing.
So, when we have volunteers who are more deliberate about their dollars, who are given the pathway to be able to activate their time, we can create more impact.