Quiz time! If you had to guess, what would you say is the surest way to make change?
#1: Think about it a lot
#2: Become a billionaire and start a philanthropic organization
#3: Find a cause and volunteer
#4: Tell your coworkers about the many problems of the world at every lunch break
If answer B is an option for you, please go with that. But if not, you guessed it: option C is the winner here.
Volunteering Is Good for Employees and Businesses
Participating in workplace volunteerism is a career-builder. It makes your resume stand out, lets you explore new tracks, and gives you a chance to make connections. It enriches your life and connects you to others: your community at large and your coworkers in particular.
For businesses, volunteerism makes a lot of sense, too. According to New York Cares, “The second most important driver of employee engagement in the United States is an organization’s reputation in the community.” Furthermore, companies that prioritize employee volunteerism “see more than a 19% average annual increase in their operating income.”
According to a federal study by the Corporation for National & Community Service, three out of 10 adults (that’s 77.34 million) rolled up their sleeves last year to help an organization they care about. Americans volunteered almost 6.9 billion hours. Those hours are the equivalent of $167 billion.
How to Get Started
#1: Employees: Ask your company to put together a coordinated volunteer program. Point them to this handy guide.
#2: Employers: Consider how volunteering might work at your company. The guide linked here can help you choose the right organization(s) to partner with and help you structure the program in a way that works.
Here’s the bottom line: Thinking, talking and wanting only go so far. At the end of the day, action is what counts, and no matter who you are or where you’re standing, there’s something you can do to make a difference.