Corporate volunteer programs driving purposeful impact around the world
Corporate Volunteer Programs have emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to create meaningful engagement with the environment. These programs not only make a positive impact on society but also boost employee morale and engagement. Moreover, clients, vendors, employees, and communities increasingly expect organizations to positively contribute to society and the environment.
For example, Colgate as part of its commitment to Keep India Smiling has partnered with the nonprofit Pratham since 2002 for their 'Read India' program. Colgate employees volunteer their time to assist children in developing language skills. The program provides foundational support to 20 million people annually, helping them to build a brighter future.
Did you know? 💡
Studies have shown that up to 90% of employees who volunteer are more likely to be engaged, have a positive attitude at work, and feel more connected to the company’s mission and values.
Get inspired by some of the best employee volunteer programs from major corporations around the world and explore the goals and strategies they implement to drive social progress.
10 Inspiring Examples of Corporate Volunteer Programs
Successful examples of corporate volunteer programs are often workplace initiatives where employees use their time to develop their local communities and contribute to a variety of causes, such as sustainability, gender equity, health & well-being, and more.
EVP Goal: Sustainability
Adidas has set an inspiring example for all organizations committed to ESG through their “How to Think and Act Sustainably” employee volunteer program. Through this program, employees encourage communities to incorporate sustainability into their daily life through sustainability resources, teaching locals (workshops), and creating virtual awareness and engagement. Since 2008, Adidas also has been building global Green Teams (75 teams, currently) comprising employee volunteers who lead by example to advance sustainability.
Teams drive continuous improvement in areas such as energy, environment, health & safety, and facility management, and crowdsourcing ideas to help Adidas become a more sustainable company from the bottom up.
These EVP initiatives have helped Adidas develop projects such as the Environmental Footprint tool to measure carbon emissions across all stages of production and disposal of their carbon-neutral shoes.
EVP Goal: Community Outreach
Verizon's employee volunteer program includes initiatives that involve tutoring students and helping older adults with tech to improve connectivity.
Partnership with NPOs
- Verizon’s EVP has partnered with UPchieve and pledged 1,000 volunteers to work as Academic Coaches on their online tutoring platform.
- These coaches support students one-on-one with homework, test prep, and college planning in a virtual classroom.
In 2021 alone, Verizon employees volunteered over 118,000 hours and donated $10 million to various causes, including these initiatives. The program demonstrates Verizon's commitment to social responsibility and positively impacting the communities it serves by providing valuable resources to those who need them most.
EVP Goal: Promote diversity and equity
Starbucks’ Partners for Racial Equity is a volunteer-led initiative to promote diversity and equity in the workplace. The program focuses on three main areas: Education, Advocacy, and Leadership.
Starbucks partners learn about and discuss topics related to racial equity, such as implicit bias and micro aggressions.
Starbucks partners work with local and national organizations to advocate for racial equity in the workplace.
Starbucks partners develop and implement strategies to ensure that all employees feel included and respected. This program enables partners to make a difference in their workplace and communities, furthering Starbucks' commitment to fighting discrimination and injustice.
EVP Goal: Community outreach and sustainability
Walmart Community and Environment Benefit Program offers various opportunities for employees to engage in meaningful activities that benefit the community and environment such as:
- cleaning up parks/beaches
- planting trees/flowers
- supporting local schools and food banks
Resources and information are provided to help employees learn about and participate in environmental initiatives.
5. Best Buy
EVP Goal: Community Outreach
Best Buy's flagship 'Gift of Time' employee volunteer program is one of the most successful corporate social responsibility volunteer programs in the world.
Through this program, employees
- Choose from causes ranging from helping out at a food bank to mentoring to volunteer their time.
- Organize their own donation drives or service projects and use vacation time to volunteer.
- With 20+ hours of service get rewarded with a $500 gift card, and all volunteering is logged in the company's portal.
Best Buy's 'Gift of Time' program has benefited communities, strengthened relationships, and demonstrated its commitment to making a positive difference.
6. Wells Fargo
EVP Goal: Environmental sustainability
Wells Fargo's Global Community Investment Program provides grants, volunteer resources, training, and grants to support environmental sustainability projects. Employees can volunteer and apply for grants to cover costs. The company also has a Green Team to promote and support initiatives. This program is an important part of Wells Fargo's commitment to environmental sustainability and conservation.
7. United Way
EVP Goal: Health & wellness outreach
The United Way Employee Volunteer Program provides education, advocacy, and direct services to individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS.
Volunteers participate in HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, policy advocacy, and support, and provide direct services like meals, transportation, housing assistance, and companionship.
By volunteering their time, employees have significantly reduced HIV stigma and created more understanding and accepting communities.
EVP Goal: Refugee and crisis support
Decathlon's 'Decathlon Solidarity' program is dedicated to helping refugees and displaced people in need.
Partnership with the UNHCR
- Through this partnership, Employees actively participate in activities such as organizing campaigns, workshops, and seminars.
- These activities provide refugees with basic necessities and emotional support, as well as the skills and education needed to help them build a better future.
Decathlon's initiative shows the company's commitment to helping those in need and provides a platform for employees to make a difference.
EVP Goal: Network building and community outreach
Meta helps volunteers support causes ranging from funding medical research to donating school supplies to kids in need or supporting the fight for racial justice
Through its Employee Volunteer Program- Meta Community Garden Program, employees have created and maintained over 200 gardens, and taught locals how to grow and use the produce.
At the end of each season, about 10,000 lbs of the produce is donated to food banks and soup kitchens. The program is a great way for the company to give back, foster social responsibility, and make a difference in the lives of its neighbors and the environment.
EVP Goal: Development outreach
IBM's Corporate Service Corps (CSC) Program is an employee volunteer initiative where teams of both IBM employees and local community members work on projects in developing countries and focus on 4 areas:
- Economic development
Activities range from developing business plans to teaching classes, creating health programs, and initiating environmental initiatives.
CSC teams spend two to three weeks in the host country, and IBM covers travel and accommodation costs, as well as providing materials and guidance. This program exposits how companies with employee volunteer programs can make a tangible difference in the lives of people in need, especially in the education and health sector, while gaining international experience.
Goodera's volunteering platform executes impactful and engaging employee volunteer programs for 400 businesses globally across over 50 cause areas like sustainability, mental health, gender equity, and more.
Read next: Guide to Maximizing Your Impact with Corporate Volunteering Programs