Getting Started with Volunteering

Your community

Supporting your staff to volunteer can be a really impactful way to support charities and good causes.

And there are also lots of business benefits linked to learning and development and staff engagement. Here are a couple of points to consider, to help you get started.

Business-wide volunteering

Do you want a structured volunteering programme where you help to find the right volunteering opportunities for your people?

This could involve groups of employees volunteering together as a team building exercise, supporting the same organisation on a regular basis or providing access to a volunteer broker service to make it as easy as possible to get involved.

You can approach this in a few ways:

  • Organise a charity partnership with volunteering options. If you’ve identified a cause that you want to support, you might want to contact a few charities in that area and see how best you could support them. See our ‘charity selection process’ resource for tips on finding a partner charity and building a successful partnership.
  • Use a paid for brokerage service that will take on the admin burden for you. Some UK-wide options our members use are Ethical Angel, Pilotlight and Semble, but also have a look around to find out what local organisations are helping to facilitate and encourage volunteering in your area.
  • Link up with others! You might have clients or suppliers with developed volunteering programmes – can you join them?

Individual volunteering

Do you want to encourage your employees to find their own volunteering opportunities?

Your employees are a varied group of people with different passions and ways they want to give, some may already have charities that they would like to support. You can support them to volunteer individually by:

  • Having a ‘time-off’ for volunteering policy to show that you support it
  • Encouraging volunteering to develop skills by building it into your learning and development processes
  • Sharing good news stories of what colleagues are doing, offering an annual prize of a donation to their charity of choice
  • Signposting them to opportunities through organisations such as Getting on Board, Governors for Schools, Reach Volunteering and Volunteering Matters or jobs boards that promote volunteering roles such as Guardian Jobs and CharityJob

This was updated in February 2022 by Heart of the City. We’ve created these resources for individual SMEs to use. None of our content is to be adapted, reused or repurposed for commercial use.