The nonprofit sector is a powerful force in the U.S. economy. According to the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University, more than 70 million people work and volunteer in the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits employ more people than every other sector except retail and manufacturing, and their revenue accounts for nearly 10 percent of the U.S. GDP. As a result, recipients and funders alike have a serious stake in a nonprofit’s ability to reach the best possible decisions, work effectively, and sustain itself over time. Nonprofits are vitally important to the health and wellbeing of the United States as we know it.
Earlier this month I was in Denver with the Center’s Community Involvement Roundtable. As always, it was a dynamic two days filled with animated discussion, shared challenges, and best practices. Much of our focus for this recent meeting was engaging employees across the professional spectrum, from new hires to pre–retirees, though the conversation extended to retirees as well. This focus on employee engagement is not surprising, as the majority of executives surveyed in the Center’s forthcoming 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship study reported that recruiting and retaining employees are important business goals that are aided by the contribution of corporate citizenship.
Synopsys Inc., a leading innovator in the global electronics market, empowers employees to organize and participate in volunteer projects that match their individual interests and giving priorities. Through its Synopsys Shares program, the company maximizes its positive societal impact while supporting the diverse passions of its employees by granting them the flexibility to choose activities that closely align with their values and the needs of the local community. Megan McDow, community affairs manager, answered a few questions about the program.
It is generally accepted that volunteering is a good thing to do and a common method by which members of a society helps those most in need. But is it true volunteering also benefits the volunteer? UnitedHealth Group wanted to look into this phenomenon further so they decided to conduct a comprehensive survey and analysis on what effect volunteering has on an individual. Carol Simon and Kate Rubin from UnitedHealth led our recent Webinar, Doing Good is Good for You, relaying findings from their 2013 Health and Volunteering Study which supports the positive effects employees and employers receive from volunteering.
September 11 is a day that has been imprinted on our collective memory. Every adult can remember where they were when the attacks on America happened, and the events of that day have changed our lives forever. As the nation and world mark the 12th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, there are several organizations that provide opportunities for you to join others as they honor those who fell and who served our country by engaging in volunteerism the week of September 11th. There are opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to serve in their communities in remembering those lost and affected by the events of September 11th.
If you are looking for an opportunity to make a difference or commemorate September 11th here are just a few ways our members are doing so this week and beyond:
For the people of UnitedHealth Group our business goals and social mission are entwined. To help build healthier communities, we believe it is necessary to be active and responsible citizens. Volunteerism plays a vital role in making this happens, leveraging our greatest asset – our people – in making a difference.
At UnitedHealth Group we invest in workplace volunteerism because it reflects the core values we hold as an organization, and is meaningful to our employees. Last year, 81 percent of our employees and 96 percent of executives volunteered in their local communities.
We’ve also invested in research demonstrating that volunteering is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. In our study with the Optum Institute, Doing Good is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study, we found that people who volunteer feel better – physically, mentally and emotionally. And volunteers tell us that they are convinced their health is better because of the things they do when they volunteer. Doing good is good for you!
At Insperity, giving back to the communities where employees live and work has long been a cornerstone of the company’s values. Insperity’s commitment to community involvement encompasses four specific areas of focus, including health and human services, education, military and veterans, and animal service organizations. Employee volunteerism plays an integral role in supporting these initiatives.
Insperity’s Community Involvement Department generates enthusiasm for volunteering and appeals to its employees’ passions on a national level. This is accomplished with the help of district administrators in each market who serve on Insperity’s Volunteer Council and are responsible for coordinating local community involvement activities for employees. The Community Involvement Department, along with the Volunteer Council, promotes Insperity’s culture of giving and organizes nationwide campaigns in order to create a consistent message of volunteerism.
Aflac has a long-standing commitment to pediatric cancer research and treatment, having raised more than $75 million to support such efforts. And now Aflac is ramping up its support by aligning employee volunteerism with the pediatric cancer fight.
Employees have already demonstrated a commitment to the cause through donations and volunteer activities at the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta. To further its dedication to pediatric cancer, Aflac recently established a partnership
On May 1, 2012, Dassault Systèmes launched its first ever Day of Service at its new Boston campus. More than 200 employees were involved in over 15 volunteer activities in the community and at the office. Activities included preparing and serving meals to the homeless, painting murals with children at the Waltham Boys and Girls club, sorting food at the Greater Boston Food Bank, writing letters to soldiers abroad, and harvesting crops at local farms, to name just a few.