By Adam Weinger
Has your company considered instituting a volunteer grant program?
These charitable programs, which are also known as Dollars for Doers programs, are offered by companies as a way to encourage and support volunteerism among employees. Volunteer grants are just one of the many types of corporate giving programs
, but over the last five years they've become the most prevalent type of corporate volunteer program
The concept is straightforward. For each hour an employee volunteers with a nonprofit organization, the company will make a monetary donation to that same nonprofit. To promote ongoing volunteerism, many companies require employees to volunteer a minimum number of hours before a Dollars for Doers grant is issued.
Why should a company consider offering a volunteer grant program?
Volunteer grant programs provide many benefits to the company offering the program. Like all types of corporate giving, the company:
- Generates goodwill and positive publicity
- Attracts and retains top talent
- Creates tax benefits for the corporation
Additionally, volunteer grant programs offer a set of unique benefits by:
- Promoting volunteerism in communities near corporate offices
- Enabling employees to gain recognition within their communities
- Providing an incentive for employees to track volunteer hours
If you’re a business interested in expanding your corporate giving programs to include a volunteer grant program, check out the business case
to be made for increased corporate giving.
Which companies offer these programs?
A study of corporate employee giving programs
shows that 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grant programs.
If you work for a corporation looking to expand its corporate philanthropy or are involved in nonprofit fundraising, you should take a look at some of the best-in-class employee giving programs. These include:
- One of the largest corporate donors. The company offers a variety of employee giving programs with highlights that include:
- Volunteer grants of $17 per hour
- Over 4,400 employees requesting volunteer grant requests in 20111
- Over $6 million donated through the company’s volunteer grant program in 2011
- Offers nonprofits the option of cash grants or a larger technology grant. Highlights include:
- Volunteer grants of up to $3,500 in technology grants or $1000 in cash
- Employees must volunteer for a minimum of 8 hours a month for five months.
- Over $10 million donated through the company’s community volunteer grants in 2011
- The company's Volunteer Involvement Program is one of the oldest. It was initiated in 1996 and offers:
Want to learn more?
- $500 grants for every 20 hours volunteered
- Up to $2,000 in volunteer grants annually for each employee
If you want to further pursue starting up a new employee giving program, there’s a great case study on Land O’Lakes Corporate Volunteer Program
. You can also check out the resources for companies interested in creating volunteer grant programs
If you’re a nonprofit, learn more about some of the largest employers who offer volunteer grant programs
Does your company already offer a volunteer grant program? Tell us about the strategies your company has implemented to promote the program?
[Image credit: cityyear: Flickr Creative Commons
Adam Weinger is the founder of Double the Donation, a company focused on helping nonprofits increase the amount of money they raise from corporate employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Follow Double the Donation on Twitter