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Corporate volunteers – Employers win when workers give time

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A growing number of corporations are helping their employees donate time as well as money to charitable causes, the Dallas Morning News reported July 2.

Some companies organize weekend volunteer days. Others provide flexible hours for after-school tutoring and some even give their employees paid time off for philanthropic work.

Timberland Co. leads the trend. The clothing company offers 40 hours of pay to full-time employee volunteers and 16 hours to part-timers each year.

Only 10 percent of U.S. workers get paid for volunteering, according to a recent survey by the Radcliffe Public Policy Center. Employers are finding ways to help their workers contribute off the clock, however.

Texas Instruments Inc. lists opportunities and recognizes employee volunteers through an Intranet site it launched two years ago. BSMG Worldwide has made voluntarism part of its corporate culture, encouraging employees to spend time tutoring and working at animal shelters.

Many companies say they benefit when they encourage employees to volunteer. A Points of Light Foundation survey of 248 companies last year found that:

  • 81 percent said volunteering was important to their overall business strategies, up from 31 percent in 1992.
  • 88 percent used volunteer programs to improve public relations.
  • 60 percent used volunteer programs to develop employee skills.
  • 58 percent used programs to improve recruitment and retention.

For full text, go to the Dallas Morning News.

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