Aristotle once equated the essence of life to serving others and doing good. While the philosophy seems like a fulfilling endeavor, it's not quite practical given that we lead super busy lives. With our already jam-packed schedules, it's impossible to think of giving away your time and energy for free without a financial reward.
However, volunteering is beneficial for several reasons, and the best part about it is that it doesn't have to take up much of your time and effort. The advantages of volunteering not only benefit the community, or person receiving the assistance, it also benefits the individual or the organization offering the help.
Such benefits can probably explain why there has been a steady rise in popularity in volunteering in the past few years. Research shows that more than 25% of adults in the United States volunteered from 2008 to 2017, with women taking the lead at a staggering 27.8% against 21.8% of men.
So why is there a spike in volunteering? Well, it seems as though more and more people are starting to realize the immense benefits one can derive from volunteering. People are beginning to see how helping each other benefits all parties involved, and more businesses are joining the helping bandwagon.
Benefits Businesses Derive from Volunteering
Connecting With the Community
A huge benefit that volunteering has is its impact on the community. It allows organizations to connect to the community to improve it. Even helping out with small tasks can make a significant difference to the lives of those in need, and it's a two-way street.
Setting aside time to help others helps employees network and make new contacts and friends by sharing activities. Volunteering allows employees from different companies in the Chamber to meet for a common goal and form connections. These connections made during the volunteering process make for an incredible opportunity to expand business ties outside the organization.
Volunteering Has Immense Health Benefits
Scientists coined a term for the physical effect doing good deeds has on the human body. The term is known as
Teaming employees up outside of the work environment to participate in a worthwhile activity fosters a sense of teamwork. Pulling together to partake in a common goal, especially a community project or charity, helps employees build bonds that last long, thus making for a renewed sense of commitment to the job and one another.
According to research, organizations that integrate social impact into their daily processes can increase sales by about 20% and productivity by 13%. Such organizations also drastically reduce employee turnover while increasing the company's share price by up to 6%.
Volunteering lets employees use their already learned skills to better the community. They can also use the opportunity to acquire a valuable skill that can come in handy in the work environment. Employers don't require financial investment to offer opportunities for employees to develop or enhance their skills.
Increased Brand Awareness
Organizations that go out of their way to help the community by working in new environments usually earn a positive reputation for their good deeds. Nowadays, people want to associate themselves with brands that are working to create change in society. Therefore, volunteering in new or familiar environments helps establish relationships with customers and helps build brand awareness and loyalty.
With the benefits of volunteering being evident, we hope that more enterprises become more involved in helping. The more value we add to others, the better our world becomes. So why not start today?
Youth Volunteer Engagement in the Comox Valley
In the fall of 2020, the Comox Valley Chamber became the new home of the Comox Valley Volunteer Connector. The Comox Valley Chamber’s goal is to re-establish this valuable community resource to support and assist non-profits members in developing a resource pool of committed and enthusiastic volunteers. As well as being a place for community members to find opportunities to volunteer in the Comox Valley.
One step in this is a Youth Engagement Project. The goal of this project is to build engagement with youth as volunteers in the community. Youth participants of this project are learning how to work as a team, to make and meet deadlines, facilitate community conve rsations, conduct a survey, write and present a business report. This is being done through a mixture of workshops and on the job training. The goal of the final report is to help non-profit organizations in the community better understand what motivates youth and provide ideas on how to engage youth in impactful roles.
The Chamber is very excited to have an incredible team of talented and diverse youth working on the project - images and names below.
Full details of the findings are in the Youth Volunteer Engagement Report - download a copy here.