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Corporate Volunteering Goes Digital

21 May 2014 at 10:23 am
Lina Caneva
Technology is revolutionising the corporate volunteering programs in Australian firms, a Melbourne breakfast event has been told.

Lina Caneva | 21 May 2014 at 10:23 am


Corporate Volunteering Goes Digital
21 May 2014 at 10:23 am

Technology is revolutionising the corporate volunteering programs in Australian firms, a Melbourne breakfast event has been told.

Speaking at the recent Corporate Volunteering Breakfast hosted by NAB and Volunteering Victoria, keynote Dennis Goldner of finance and consulting firm Deloitte, said the company's new digital microvolunteering program had built a compelling business case for corporate volunteering.

Deloitte’s Australian arm has developed a digital platform which allows its employees to respond to requests for assistance and advice posted by Not for Profit organisations. 

Goldner, Chair of the Deloitte Foundation and National Leader of Responsible Business said the platform, launched in February this year, has 675 corporate volunteers enlisted and active on the supply side, with 46 Australian Not for Profits posting requests. Thus far it has seen 430 exchanges of skills and advice.

“We found an IT platform in the US last year, got approval to purchase the software and have adapted it for our use in Australia. It’s not being used anywhere else in the Deloitte world.”

“There’s been a lot more complexity than I ever guessed,” Goldner said. ‘But it’s getting a terrific reaction.

“This program here is latest iteration in relation to some stuff we’ve had going around engagement and volunteering.

“Deloitte wants to be an employer of choice – in very competitive talent market. The theme of employee engagement came looming up as the number one thing,” he said.

The platform builds on engagement opportunities offered by a traditional foundation model, often limited, Goldner said, to “a bit of giving, we’d write a cheque here, write another cheque there and get on with our lives.”

“It’s something I can take away from work . A lot of people are quite happy to sit on their computer and do something away from work that’s a bit productive.”

“Who’s got a 9 to 5 existence in this world anyway?”

Goldner said it was possible the platform would eventually be extended beyond Deloitte employees.

“It would be good to use this as a way of oiling the wheels. It’s just about risk management, that’s why we’ve restricted it.

“It’s an efficient portal for getting supply and demand matched up. We can maybe throw it open once we’ve got a bit more familiarity with it,” he said

Building the business case for corporate volunteering, NAB’s Corporate Volunteering Manager Clare Desira was emphatic that the tradeoff of office time for volunteering was worth the investment.

“While it may be one day out of the office, if you come back and you’re a more engaged employee, and you’re more loyal and more productive as well,” she said.  

NAB’s own research revealed that employees involved in corporate volunteering scored 10 per cent higher in engagement assessments.

Just under 50 per cent of NAB employees are currently participating in the company’s corporate volunteering program.

The breakfast also saw an introduction to a new study conducted by the company in conjunction with Volunteering Victoria designed to establish an understanding of the current state of corporate volunteering in Australia.

The organisations are requesting that Australian corporates willing to get involved contact Vanessa Veldman at Volunteering Victoria.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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