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This month we’re celebrating the release of a new study on the state of community investment, north of the 49th parallel that is. Corporate Giving in a Changing Canada is an industry-leading research project, produced by Imagine Canada in collaboration with our friends at Volunteer Canada.

The report explores the rise of corporate and nonprofit partnerships, the need for strategic disaster philanthropy, and the evolution of community investment over the last 10 years. The study also examines trends in employer supported volunteerism, commonplace for the leading companies featured in the study. All 54 companies in the study – which included some of Canada’s largest public corporations as well as many SMEs and co-operatives – cited some form of employer supported volunteerism, making it as mainstream as corporate donations.

Whether your company is starting an employee engagement program or wanting to benchmark against others in the field, the report sheds light on common practice in Canada. Read on to discover the five most prevalent employee volunteering supports used by the companies featured in the study.

  1. Allowing employees to adjust work schedules to volunteer (90%)
    • Time-based support was the most common way to encourage employees to volunteer, and it’s on the rise. According to the study,time-based support has risen by 32% in the last ten years (2018 vs 2007 responses).
  2. Providing paid time off to employees to volunteer during work hours (88%)
    • Another example of time-based support, most companies in the study permitted employees to take time away from work – with pay – to volunteer for community organizations. Some are going above and beyond and offering time-based volunteerism rewards. For example, Servus Credit Union gives employees an extra day off if they volunteer 40 hours or more outside of the workplace.
  3. Conducting workplace giving campaigns (85%)
    • Often led by employee volunteers, these campaigns contribute a significant amount for nonprofit organizations that would not be otherwise possible. For example, the BMO Employee Giving Campaign has raised more than $136.5 million for charities over the last five years. 
  4. Company-sponsored volunteer events (82%)
    • The majority of respondents had some kind of company-wide volunteer event. Many companies told us they felt that these sorts of events are particularly effective at improving morale and building bonds among team members.
  5. Providing employees access to company facilities and equipment (78%)
    • As we saw in the study, companies are leveraging many of their assets in their community investment, such as their advertising channels and purchasing power. Following suit, four out of five respondents support volunteerism by providing employees with access to company facilities and equipment.

To learn more about the state of community investment and employee volunteerism programs in Canada, download your free copy of Corporate Giving in a Changing Canada.