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3p Weekend: 7 Companies That Make Employee Volunteering a Priority


With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

It's easy to start losing your faith in humanity once Friday rolls around. To give you a bit of a mental boost this afternoon, we rounded up seven industry-leading companies that make employee volunteering a priority while still turning a profit. 

1. Timberland

Timberland is well known as a leader in the social good space, and the company recently surpassed 1 million employee volunteer hours served. This milestone has been in the making since the brand launched its Path of Service program in 1992.

As part of this program, each Timberland employee is given up to 40 paid hours per year to dedicate to service. Timberland volunteers have initiated nearly 4,000 service projects in 32 countries since 2010, when project-specific metrics started being tracked, according to the company.

2. Patagonia

Not to be outdone by its fellow outdoor brand, Patagonia has become a frontrunner in employee giving in its own right. From an environmental internship program, to an annual 'bike-to-work week' and Salmon Run, the company offers an industry-leading assortment of ways for employees to get involved.

3. Boeing

Boeing offers one of the most comprehensive employee giving programs out there. Employees receive $250 grants for every 25 hours volunteered and $100 grants per fundraising walk, run or bike ride. All totaled, each employee can receive up to $6,000 in matching funds annually to donate to their charities of choice, as Triple Pundit reported in a 2012 series.

4. Microsoft

Microsoft’s annual Employee Giving Campaign takes place in the U.S. throughout the year. A special push every October brings more than 300 activities to the company's corporate campus, including a 5K Run, an online auction and other special events.

Microsoft also matches employee nonprofit donations and volunteering year round up to $15,000 per employee. Today, more than 39,000 employees participate in the campaign, which is approximately 65 percent of Microsoft’s total U.S. workforce, and employees have donated more than $1 billion, inclusive of the company's $1-to-$1 match, since the program began in 1983.

5. SAP

SAP partners with several different NGOs to spur employee volunteering in the United States. The company's signature volunteering initiative is its annual Month of Service held in October, where more than 150 projects are executed across the country.

Thousands of SAP employees in the U.S. participate in the Month of Service, along with several partners and customers in some cities, according to the company. The company also matches up to $2,500 in charitable donations per employe, per year and offers hardware and software donations through a nonprofit partnership with Techsoup.

6. PwC

In a recent interview at the 2014 Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego, Clinton Moloney and Amy Longsworth of PwC said volunteering programs are at the heart of the consultancy's strategy for employee engagement and retention.

In its most recent move to bolster employee engagement while doing social good, PwC made a $160 million commitment over five years to drive up volunteerism in the company. The program, called Earn Your Future, allows PwC employees to increase financial literacy in children and teens by creating lesson plans for students of all ages.

“What we’ve seen is the leaders of our 20-something offices compete on how many hours they can get volunteered to deliver the Earn Your Future program, so it’s actually a core success metric for our most senior partners,” Moloney told Triple Pundit.

7. Panera Bread

Social good is at the heart of Panera Bread's business model. Since launching its first pay-what-you-can Panera Cares Cafe back in 2010, the company has served up millions of meals to those in need.

To get employees involved, the recently company rallied associates, managers and MyPanera members across the country at 12 different food banks to volunteer their time together for National Volunteer Month in April.

Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is a senior editor at TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist who frequently writes about sustainability, corporate social responsibility and clean tech. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands, Earth911 and the Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @mary_mazzoni.

Mary Mazzoni headshotMary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni is the senior editor of TriplePundit. She is also the co-host of 3BL Forum: Brands Taking Stands LIVE! and the producer of 3p’s sponsored editorial series. She is based in Philadelphia and loves to travel, spend time outdoors and experiment with vegetarian recipes in the kitchen. Along with TriplePundit, her recent work can be found in Conscious Company and VICE’s Motherboard.

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