Community volunteering is a valuable way for businesses to contribute to their community's social and environmental well-being while gaining benefits for their business and staff. According to Volunteering New Zealand, volunteering has positive benefits for the volunteer and the person, organisation or community served. In New Zealand, volunteers make a significant contribution to the social development, economy and environment of New Zealand.
Some of the benefits of community volunteering for businesses include:
- Enhancing their reputation and brand image in the local community.
- Building relationships and networks with potential customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders.
- Developing their staff's skills, motivation, morale and teamwork.
- Attracting and retaining talented and socially conscious employees.
- Demonstrating their corporate social responsibility and commitment to sustainability.
- Reducing costs and increasing efficiency by leveraging the resources and expertise of volunteer organisations.
Some of the benefits of community volunteering for staff include:
- Gaining personal satisfaction, enjoyment and fulfilment from helping others.
- Learning new skills and gaining new experiences that can enhance their career prospects.
- Improving their physical and mental health and well-being.
- Expanding their social and professional networks and making new friends.
- Developing a sense of belonging and connection to their community.
- Aligning their personal values and passions with their work.
There are many examples of businesses in New Zealand that have incorporated a volunteering programme into their business plan. Here are five examples:
The Body Shop: The Body Shop is a global cosmetics company that operates on ethical principles, such as fighting animal testing, protecting human rights and supporting community trade. The Body Shop encourages its staff to volunteer for causes they care about, such as environmental conservation, animal welfare and social justice. The Body Shop also supports its staff to fundraise for local charities through its Charity Pot programme.
Trade Me: Trade Me is an online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers across New Zealand. Trade Me has a strong culture of giving back to the community through its platform and staff volunteering. Trade Me supports its staff to volunteer for a charity of their choice for one day per year and organises team volunteering activities throughout the year. Trade Me also donates a percentage of its profits to various charities and causes.
Xero: Xero is a cloud-based accounting software company that helps small businesses manage their finances. Xero has a social purpose to positively impact the world by helping small businesses thrive. Xero supports its staff to volunteer for two days per year for a charity or cause they are passionate about and matching their donations dollar for dollar. Xero also partners with organisations supporting small businesses, such as B1G1, Thankyou Payroll and Good Shepherd NZ.
Kiwibank: Kiwibank is a New Zealand-owned bank that provides banking services to individuals and businesses. Kiwibank has a vision to make Kiwis better off by supporting the local economy and community. Kiwibank supports its staff to volunteer for up to three days per year for a charity or cause they care about and provides grants and sponsorships to various community organisations. Kiwibank also runs initiatives that promote financial literacy, environmental sustainability and social inclusion.
All Good Organics: All Good Organics is a New Zealand-based company that produces organic and fair trade products like bananas, coffee and chocolate. All Good Organics aims to make a positive difference in the world by supporting ethical trade, environmental protection and social justice. All Good Organics supports its staff to volunteer for one day per year for a charity or cause they care about and donate a percentage of its sales to various projects that empower farmers and communities in developing countries.
Community volunteering is not only good for society but also good for the business and the staff. All businesses should consider adding community volunteering to their business plan as a way to create value for themselves and others.
Contact the team at Volunteering Hawkes Bay on 06 391 5476 to learn more, or click here to see what opportunities there are in the community for your business to volunteer.
Be the ones to make a difference.