Though I have not been fortunate enough to participate, I really appreciate employee volunteerism. I find these programs accretive to their organizations, particularly if they go beyond just “checking the box” to employees contributing in meaningful ways. Patagonia’s environmental internships (giving employees up to two months off to serve a purpose-driven environmental mission) are inspiring. Also, have you ever seen what the employees at Sellen Construction Co. do? These construction workers find ways to volunteer a few minutes of their workday to make a real difference to the children at Seattle Children’s Hospital (constructing a Waldo and moving him around the construction site every day and writing messages to children on iron beams.
These efforts run the gamut of large and expensive endeavors to small commitment of time and resource. Yet, both make a significant impact. Marketing dollars can’t BUY the power and impact of this kind of employee volunteerism.