Implementing a Day of Service Reaps Benefits

By Jesse Wolff; President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Denver
Posted

Here at Goodwill Industries of Denver, we often team up with companies that are looking to create a day of service for their employees. A day of service is typically a set time when employees are encouraged (and often paid) to participate as volunteers for a non-profit organization or community program.

For instance, we recently partnered with Charles Schwab to host a free “Career Coaching Expo.” At the event, volunteers reviewed resumes and performed mock interviews for people who are currently seeking employment. The expo was one of the projects featured in Schwab Volunteer Week in Denver, an annual week-long event in which Schwab employees coast to coast receive paid time off to volunteer at select community non-profits.

The event was a great success; not only did all of us here at Goodwill appreciate the extra helping hands, but the Charles Schwab employees got the opportunity to give back using some of their talents and abilities.

In the non-profit realm, it’s often a difficult task to secure a large group of volunteers for a set amount of time. Partnering with companies who are eager to serve as a group is one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll have enough “hands on deck” to do a lot of great work in a short time frame. In fact, according to the Independent Sector, the value of volunteer time per hour in the state of Colorado is $22.03. Just think, if 40 volunteers work for one 8-hour day, that’s over $7,000.00 worth of volunteer time. Numbers like that make a huge difference in the non-profit world where every little bit counts! At Goodwill Denver, we’re very grateful for all of the businesses that partner with us as they have become a vital part of the success of our community programs.

Non-profit organizations aren’t the only ones who benefit from these partnerships, though. Companies who implement days or weeks of service experience positive results, too. From a purely marketing standpoint, companies get the chance to align themselves with non-profits that operate in similar fields. For instance, a computer company could partner with a non-profit that focuses on e-waste recycling. That way, the company can get its name out into the community as a both a reliable retailer and a responsible recycler. Personally, I’d be more likely to make purchases from a company that I know is environmentally conscientious.

From a human resources perspective, implementing a day of service gives your employees the chance to bond with the community, experience team building outside of the office, and break up the monotony of the work week. Many companies opt to participate during the summer months when employees are itching to be outside.

In addition, employees can feel good about working for a company that is socially responsible and willing to create time for them to give back. When a day of service becomes a consistent part of a company’s calendar, employees have a feel-good event to look forward to every year. Not to mention, volunteering can be a lot of fun, and doesn’t everyone want to work for a company that likes to have some fun?

A day of service can take on a lot of different forms. Your company might want to let employees take a day off to volunteer at the organization of their choosing or perhaps you want to encourage team building by volunteering as a group. Either way, it’s an exciting and beneficial endeavor for a company of any size.