News and analysis
November 15, 2009

More Than Half of Corporate Employees Volunteer, Study Finds

Though many companies have cut back on their donations during the recession, employee volunteerism is thriving, according to a new survey.

Nearly 56 percent of workers in the companies surveyed participate in volunteer events run by their employers, says the report. The most common reason volunteers cited for their involvement is personal interest in the cause that they were aiding, but the second frequently mentioned motivation was concern that local charities are suffering in the economic downturn.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they are more motivated to volunteer now than a year ago, before the global financial crisis. However, 61 percent said their interest in volunteering is the same as last year.

The survey was conducted by LBG Associates and LBG Research Institute, in Stamford, Conn., a consulting organization that helps businesses develop corporate citizenship programs.

Researchers polled more than 8,000 workers and 213 managers of volunteers from 36 companies. The pool of respondents included such corporations as Allstate, Booz Allen Hamilton, Gap Inc., Verizon, and Wal-Mart Stores.

Volunteer Grants

Nearly 71 percent of employees surveyed said their employer’s volunteer program made them feel “more positive” about working there. Other findings:

Corporate employees said that the best way to recognize their volunteerism is for the company to donate to the charities to which they volunteer. However, only half of the companies surveyed said they maintain such programs, which are sometimes known as volunteer grants. Of those that don’t participate, more than three in four said that understanding more about such programs would lead them to participate. More than a third of respondents said they are allowed to volunteer during the workday. E-mail was the most commonly cited way in which workers learned of volunteering events, mentioned by 71 percent of respondents.

Copies of the report, “Motivating Volunteering in Tough Times,” are available for $77 earch.