11 December 2006
Washington, D.C., USA:
Today more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies have employee volunteer programs to leverage the power of service and volunteering in the corporate sector. By harnessing employee volunteering, large, small- and medium-sized businesses can effect a change in the way private enterprise contributes to public good.
Until recently, however, there has been no set of standards for corporate volunteer reporting. The Corporate Community Involvement Summit, a coalition of nonprofit organizations, has developed a set of standards that will help to track trends, benchmark programs and encourage better practices in employee volunteer programs. The Summit was engineered by the Bay Area Corporate Volunteer Council, including the Volunteer Center serving San Francisco and Mateo Counties.
“The Corporate Volunteer Reporting Standards were developed by a group of key stakeholders earlier this year,” says Kevin Carroll, Chairperson of the National Council on Workplace Volunteerism, a program of the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network. Carroll is also Senior Manager, Worldwide Community Affairs, for Levi Strauss & Co.
“They were developed due to an increasing need for standardization, as reporting on community involvement has become more prevalent among corporations in the U.S. and Europe. In order to benchmark our corporate community involvement achievements, we believe that it is important that we all follow a clear set of reporting guidelines. Although this has started as a U.S. standard, it has the potential of being applied internationally. ”
The Corporate Volunteer Reporting Standards can be used to:
- Establish a common baseline for benchmarking;
- Encourage greater corporate community involvement;
- Enable consistent comparisons and common reporting;
- Elevate the internal dialog on employee volunteer programs to communicate more effectively the internal and external corporate benefits; and
- Facilitate the use of better employee volunteer program practices.
“Much like the Global Reporting Initiative’s environmental reporting standards – a common framework that is used for corporate social responsibility purposes – these standards are voluntary,” Carroll adds. “They are not all-encompassing, and they purposely leave room to report on additional employee involvement activity.”
Planning is under way for a 2007 Corporate Community Involvement Summit to discuss the first year of using the Corporate Reporting Standards and how to enhance and update them.
The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network engages and mobilizes millions of volunteers who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities. Through a variety of programs and services, the Foundation encourages people from all walks of life — businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, low-income communities, families, youth, and older adults — to volunteer.