How does Volunteerism Benefit Corporates?
These days, many employees look for more than just a standard salary from employers. Amongst the various factors that will spur them to stay, some of it include experiencing a sense of belonging, and balancing professional development with social value. These are enhanced in a number of ways, one being through corporate volunteerism.
Corporate volunteerism happens when organisations motivate employees to take part in volunteering activities, often together. But does corporate volunteering really work in term of getting employees to join volunteering activities? And how can it help the company?
A research by Deloitte revealed that 89% of employees think companies that sponsor employees with volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment. 70% of the employees believe that volunteer activities are more likely to increase staff morale as compared to company-sponsored happy hours. By actively participating in volunteerism, the organisation is recognised as caring, active contributor to community enhancement. It spreads their name through the neighbourhood (corporate visibility) and also identifies leaders who possess quality traits in beyond the office context (skills development).
And this is but one reason to the long list of benefits like improved reputation amongst community partners, and increase in brand awareness.
Heartware Network believes that everyone, including organisations, can Make A Difference. How? We introduce a ‘3D’ approach to help corporates to be part of our community: Devote, Donate, Develop.
Employees from Sunscreen Singapore visiting the patients at Dover Park Hospice and distributing goodie bags with items to help patients stay comfortable.
Devote Your Time: Corporate Volunteerism
Providing possible avenues for employee growth and organisation recognition in the community setting is part of Heartware’s mission for the corporate sector. We aim for meaningful and holistic experience for both corporate volunteers and our beneficiaries through befriending events that can range from ad-hoc initiatives to regular visits to vulnerable populations.
One example of an ad-hoc event is 2018’s ‘Community in Stations’ – a collaboration between Heartware Network and SMRT to bring 33 elderly from the Heartware Support Our Pioneers programme to the Circle Line stations.
25 SMRT staff volunteers befriended and introduced the elderly to the various station touchpoints and art installations that are significant to the heritage of the local community. For a number of the seniors who had never been in an MRT station, this initiative and exposure promoted safe and independent travel experience. In additional, it creates an opportunity for staff to connect to the community and develop social skills, which benefited both the employees and the organisation.
A tour of the platform involved showing where to stand while waiting for the train, and also how to check for the train’s arrival from the mounted TVs.
Another way that corporates can volunteer is to offer professional skills or expertise to select group of beneficiaries. For example, lending mentorship to youths to gain technical skills in graphic design or logistics management.
The best advantage for mentorship is that both parties are able to learn equally, as it creates opportunity for organisation to reflect on own practice as well as increase mentor’s interpersonal skills. As able to help youths develop professional skills not only promote the organisation’s well-being, as well as gaining satisfaction in sharing knowledge with others.
Donate: Consistent Commitment to a Cause
The programmes at Heartware Network are not only to induct our youths to the many volunteering opportunities available, but also train them to be ready and resilient for the trying times they might encounter in their volunteer engagement, and even more so in life. Every volunteer is trained and prepared by volunteer readiness curriculum under the Heartware Academy.
In the year 2018, it was estimated that Heartware Network required at least $800,000 to train volunteers and maintain its core activities. Corporates are able to support our cause by pledging a one-time or monthly donation. Donations will definitely help to sustain our programmes and bring about change to the community.
Our Executive Director, Ms Tan See Leng (Left), being presented with a donation by representatives of Acclaim Insurance Brokers.
Another way that Corporates can be part of the Heartware Network is to offer scholarship/loans programmes to bright and promising youths who are filled with so much potential. These youths might not have the financial capabilities to pursue further education, or put their business ideas into motion.
One of the example are Heartware’s partnership with Acclaim Insurance Brokers, where S$1 million Acclaim Endowment Study Fund was set up to support youths in their tertiary education. Youths receive full coverage of tuition fees, laptop, monthly allowance for university as well as paid internship opportunities. Organisation are able to attract and retain talented youths by providing scholarship/loans programmes.
Syafiq was a recipient of the Acclaim Study Endowment 2018. He would receive full coverage of tuition fees, laptop and monthly allowance for university, and paid internships opportunities.
Develop: Community Champions
More and more companies nowadays are discovering the benefits of internship programs. Companies will be able to scout and recognise promising youths who wish to be part of the organisation in the near future.
A collaboration with Marina Bay Sands opened up an internship for low-income students under our Heartware – Character and Citizenship Leadership Programme. The two-weeks apprenticeship guided by professional mentors from the ArtScience Museum and Attractions and Retail track offered students a glimpse of the authentic work setting. It broadens their horizon on possible future vocations, and allow them to pick up life-long skills necessary for leadership growth.
26 Secondary 3 students from 4 secondary schools underwent a two-week apprenticeship with Marina Bay Sands under the Heartware – Character Citizenship Education Leadership Programme.
With the 3D approach: Devote, Donate, Develop, corporates contributing to volunteering activities is within reach! Will our community landscape change with the involvement of more corporates devoting time, donating, and developing community champions?
Pick your choice of approach that suits your company. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.