Wednesday, 24th September 2014 at 11:13 am
The International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) has formally recognised two global companies for excellence in corporate volunteering at its annual conference held recently on the Gold Coast.
Multinational technology and consulting corporation IBM was awarded the The Global Volunteer Program Award, which recognises a global company that shows an exemplary overall approach to global corporate volunteering – with a well-thought-out strategy that fits well with their values, priorities and culture; an understanding and appreciation of global issues and local realities; and, activities that address serious problems in a serious way.
The IAVE cited IBM’s On Demand Community program, a global resource that enables its talent and IT resources to solve problems throughout the world, as key to the award win.
The program helps IBM employees and retirees find volunteer activities and equips them with a wide range of resources to assist schools and community organisations.
Community members and not-for-profit organisations post volunteer opportunities to the On Demand Community and the portal notifies participants of available opportunities that match their preferences and skills.
Since the program launched in 2003, almost 255,000 employees and retirees from 120 countries have registered and their collective efforts have resulted in over 17 million hours of volunteer service.
In Australia, IBM employees have provided over 400,000 volunteer hours since 2003. In the last year alone, IBM Australia employees volunteered over 16,000 hours with 28 per cent of its local employees taking part in the On Demand Community program.
“IBM’s overall mission is to build a smarter planet and this is reflected in all of our citizenship resources. Millennials gravitate toward companies that value public service and which give them an opportunity to put their unique skills to work make a difference in their communities," Louise Davis, IBM Asia Pacific Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Executive said.
"Through our On Demand Community, we empower employees and others to serve their communities. We are also opening up the program more and sharing resources directly with external organisations allowing them to share volunteer opportunities directly with IBMers.”
Medical technology company BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) received the Inspiring Practice Award, which recognises a global company that has created a high-impact volunteer initiative designed to meet a specific community or societal need. The award is about tangible outcomes that resulted from a specific volunteer-based strategy to meet a particular need.
BD’s Volunteer Service Trip (VST) program sends teams of BD associates to developing countries to help build local healthcare capacity through training, education, health, laboratory services and construction.
The Inspiring Practice Award for 2014 is in recognition of BD’s multi-year VST to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2010.
The awards were presented at the Gala Dinner of the 23rd IAVE World Volunteer Conference, with the Governor-General, General Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Lady Cosgrove were the guests of honour.
The 23rd IAVE World Volunteer Conference is organised by the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) and hosted by the National peak body for volunteering,Volunteering Australia.
This is only the second time in 44 years that Australia has hosted this international event.
Read more Pro Bono Australia News coverage of the conference here.