Companies are now moving to a new kind of volunteerism as part of their community relations programs, one that allows more flexibility for workers. It appears to be growing in popularity, and might be something for human resources departments to investigate.

It is called microvolunteering, where employees use small increments of their free time to help nonprofit organizations. The idea came about as an offshoot of the time people spend on social media sites. Three-fourths of employees contacted in a recent survey said they access social media at least once a day, and almost two-thirds access it several times a day. Some of the time used on social media sites could be used to help nonprofits, proponents of the idea say.

Microvolunteering also focuses on using the free time employees have during the workday for things like lunch breaks and coffee breaks. It’s also nice in that the employee doesn’t have to drive to another location. And, as with traditional volunteer programs, microvolunteering makes use of an employee’s particular skills.

Microvolunteering shares many of the advantages of traditional volunteering.
It helps employees to develop professionally and also gives them a chance to network. It also may help employees within a company connect with others in the same company and it helps to build relationships between businesses and the community. It also helps maintain employee morale and adds to a company’s reputation as a good place to work.

Moreover, many nonprofits are small organizations that really benefit from the expertise of business people.

One company that began using microvolunteering as a pilot project was Kraft Foods. It started with about 80 workers and 50 nonprofit organizations. All of the workers who participated in the pilot project gave it enthusiastic reviews, saying that they were able to provide the nonprofits with valuable service.

Last year, Kraft began using the program for all of its employees around the world. The company leadership and employees both have said that they like the idea that they can volunteer at any time, not just for particular times or events, as with traditional volunteer activities.

Since the program began, almost 400 employees at Kraft have helped 130 nonprofit organizations.

When your Manhattan-region company needs employees for temporary, temporary-to-hire or direct-hire assignments, call upon the expertise of more than 40 years in the NYC recruiting industry and contact a recruiter at Winston Resources. We look forward to hearing from you.

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