10% of the workforce of companies participate in their social and environmental volunteering programs
As part of the World Volunteering Day (December 5), Voluntare, the international network for the promotion of corporate volunteering, with the support of the Volunteers Association “la Caixa”, today presented the study “Radiography of Corporate Volunteering in Spain”, the first comprehensive report on the promotion of volunteering in Spanish companies. This document shows, for the first time, how companies promote the social and environmental involvement of their employees through corporate volunteering. Among the main conclusions, it emerges that in six out of ten companies, at least 10% of the workforce participate in their social and environmental volunteering programs. In addition, it showed that four out of ten Spanish companies focus their employees’ volunteering on reducing inequalities (SDG 10) and towards education (SDG 4); and that more than 80% of projects have adapted to the online environment in recent months in response to the pandemic. The association of volunteers “la Caixa”, which has more than 5,800 members, participated in the presentation of the study as a management partner of the Voluntare network and promoter of the project.
Corporate volunteering is all of the solidarity activities and actions which, under the impetus of the company itself, are promoted for the benefit of the community. In this report, the means implemented by companies are detailed for the first time, what is the real participation of their employees, the formats in which their action is specified or the objectives on which they focus.
“It is more and more common for companies to adopt a responsible and active attitude towards their environment, to ally with social entities and to offer their employees the opportunity to get involved in solidarity actions” , explains Juan ngel Poyatos, founder of Voluntare. “The value of this study”, adds Poyatos, is that it offers, for the first time, “a comprehensive and detailed view of how corporate volunteering is currently managed in Spain and where it is developing” .
For Pere Huguet, Corporate Director of Social Action at CaixaBank: “This study comes at a key moment, because the pandemic has caused a notable increase in social needs in Spain, which companies cannot ignore. As long as this crisis passes, the high level of poverty will remain for a long time and volunteering will play a fundamental role. For this reason, our goal as a social action of CaixaBank is to encourage more and more companies to decide to promote volunteering among their employees, their customers and their suppliers ”. “This will have a positive impact both internally and externally for companies, as the social commitment of companies is more and more in the sights of society,” he added.
Responsible business activism
The x-ray shows that corporate volunteering is a relatively recent phenomenon in Spain and, at the same time, growing significantly. Most of the programs have sprung up in the past five years. However, 83.3% of companies expect their corporate volunteering program to grow in the next five years. In the case of the Association of Volunteers “la Caixa”, a pioneer in the promotion of corporate volunteering in Spain, this year celebrated its 15th anniversary and has a large community of members who repeatedly participate in actions promoted by the entity, among which stand out the social weeks.
The will of companies comes with facts. 63.2% allocate a specific budget to their corporate volunteer program and one in four give their employees the number of hours available to participate.
Employees, protagonists of volunteering
The analysis reveals that nine out of ten companies seek to offer a channel of social and environmental activism to their employees, while evaluating the positive impact of these programs on strengthening their human resources policy. This is the response to “the growing social demand and that of the employees themselves for companies to adopt an active and responsible attitude towards their environment”, according to Poyatos.
In six out of ten companies, at least 10% of the workforce is involved in volunteering activities. And the level of employee engagement increases when the company offers professional or probono volunteering since, “by doing what they do best, they perceive more clearly that their contribution is useful to change realities”, explains Juan ngel Poyatos.
In addition, corporate volunteering goes beyond the staff themselves and involves family and friends of employees in activities, a practice more common in Spain than in Latin America (-10.3%) or in Europe (14 , 1%).
The pandemic does not stop volunteering in companies
Despite the difficulties added by COVID-19, the involvement of volunteer companies is growing: 62% of companies report greater participation and commitment from their employees. 81.2% of previously scheduled activities were adapted for non-face-to-face formats and 62.5% of companies launched specific post-COVID-19 activities, which were well received.
In the case of the Association of Volunteers “la Caixa”, there are many activities that the organization has carried out in recent months of mobility restrictions to alleviate the situation of the most deprived. Distance financial education workshops, letters against loneliness for the elderly or accompanying reading activities for vulnerable minors are an example. In addition, since the start of the pandemic, “la Caixa” volunteers have also participated in CaixaBank solidarity initiatives such as the delivery and distribution of tablets to homes for the elderly, the supply of food, health and supplies. emergency, as well as the campaign of financial donations for the Food Banks of Spain which succeeded in raising 3.4 million euros.
Long-term corporate volunteering goals
69.7% of Spanish corporate volunteering programs are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A figure similar to that recorded in Europe (+ 1.5%) and Latin America (-2%). The most affected SDGs are 10 (reducing inequalities), 4 (quality education) and 8 (decent work and economic growth).
To increase the impact of their programs, companies plan to align their volunteering with their corporate strategy (46.4%), to exploit their training potential for the development of the skills of their employees (43.3% ), train program managers (41.7%) and increase their effectiveness in measuring results (40%).