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Overseas corporate volunteering on rise

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With as many as four in 10 major U.S. corporations now organizing international volunteer efforts for their employees, a new report says, planning, strategy and partnerships are critical.

Such volunteer programs are most likely to succeed if they build on employees’ skills and corporate resources, says the study, released by The Brooking Institution, Pfizer and FSG Social Impact Advisors.

Before launching a program, companies should determine their business objectives, the study says, and carefully consider whether to go overseas or work for impact in their local communities.

With more companies sending volunteers overseas during the last decade, partnerships with nonprofits on the ground in other countries are helping corporations achieve both the business and social outcomes they aim for.

And companies with appropriate infrastructure in place, such as management teams that oversees volunteering, have greater success internationally.

“Our employees are our best assets and we must deploy them to create value beyond the company – which is not only good for society at large, but also in the end, good for business,” Robert Mallett, senior vice president of the Pfizer Foundation, says in a statement.

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