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How does your company (if it does) promote volunteerism and community service?

Sheldon Reynolds's Profile

For example, a company I used to work for gave employees the option to take one Friday afternoon a month off to volunteer at a local mentoring program for underprivileged children (all employees participating had to check in and out of the program - there was no way to avoid the actual community service and just take a free afternoon).


Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

We allow one day per year to volunteer at an activity in the community. It can be public or religious, but all people have to submit their requests in advance with a description of the program and the work they will be doing. I don't like the "approve" part, but it is a necessary evil to avoid the drop off a donation and then take the day off. What I think would help this go further is to publicize the volunteer events that people do to promote community involvement.

Gary A. Pokorn
Title: Sales Enablement Manager
Company: Oracle I NetSuite
(Sales Enablement Manager, Oracle I NetSuite) |

Our company offers employees as volunteers for our clients needing competencies we specialize in (i.e. sales, marketing, business writing, proof reading, etc.). We invite our clients to "sign up" with a synopsis of their need; we publish this list to our employees to select projects they are interested in. We conduct these volunteer programs on a quarterly basis, and each employee is expected to volunteer up to 32 hours for their assigned project (all hours are non-billable; and filled during the employees' normal business day at the employees' regular compensation rate). A structured "template" is provided to the employees to document the project (objective; tasks; project plan; metrics; and outcomes).

(CFO) |

I could see a bit of risk in this from the public perception, corporate liability and employment liability stand points. It seems to me that, an entity would be better off maintaining a bit of distance from employee's personal pursuits and focusing on the corporation's goals and objectives on company paid time. That would not preclude encouraging employees to "give back to the community". Just avoid sponsoring them directly.

Then again, I've been around the block a few times and will freely admit that I've never been comfortable with the blurring of the lines between company/employer and personal life. This is often referred to as "corporatism" today. For me, it's too much like slavery. I'm very dedicated to my company but, I don't owe my soul to them nor do they owe me any more than an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |


Your point about being uncomfortable is salient for the execs on this forum.

I work in the public sector. I've been pressured, in violation of state and federal law, to participate in political fund raisers by senior managers who were being pressured by their political handlers to contribute to their campaigns or causes.

Like you, I was forced to choose. I could go whistle blower and be retaliated against, quit and save my dignity or, go along with it and pretend it was voluntary.

I chose the last one but it's caused me to become one of the biggest, government hating anarchists you'll ever meet. I've decided that my comeuppance will be when I retire in the near future.

I'm going to start a "whistle blower" blog for honest, government employees that want to wring this corruption out of the public sector. There are honest employees who would love to see political patronage and political corruption in governmental agencies go away. I'm going to tap into them as a resource and help them do it!

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

Anon - I totally see your point. My challenge is that with my incredibly busy schedule inside and outside of work, I don't have time to give back to the community (with the exception of my few days off each year for national holidays). Life is exhausting, so it is nice to know my company will let me take some work time to give back. They don't limit what I participate in (it could be religious or other), but they do need to protect themselves from being taken advantage of. Also, so many volunteer opportunities cater to the weekday crowd, that I am limited in what I can select to do. The small gesture I get from my company allows me to participate and then encourges me to continue on my own time (if I can find some). The company gets bonus points for making me feel that I am important as a person and not just someone contributing to the dollar bottom line.

I was at a company where everyone participated in a company sponsored event. The issue was that it was religious - someone else's, not mine - and that made me uncomfortable. Participate in something I was uncomfortable with, or be known as someone who didn't want to be part of the giving crowd. Not a good feeling.

Pamela Wise
Title: Director/General Accounting
Company: The E.W. Scripps Company
(Director/General Accounting, The E.W. Scripps Company) |

We have a volunteer day (or 2 half days) that you can request through your manager and HR to take as paid leave. Our CEO has also encouraged involvement in non-profits at employee meetings. This has resulted in people getting activities together for employees to participate in if they so choose.


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