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Benefits to the bottom line and beyond - Corporate Volunteering in Germany
Christian Herzig, CSM, University of Lueneburg, Germany
Corporate Volunteering (CV) is defined here as any formal or organized measure of companies that offers paid time off to employees to volunteer. This kind of partnership enhances company’s bottom line, but also provides benefits to its employees, and non-profit partner organizations/civil society. In Germany CV has become a more important issue over the past years. Especially larger and multinational enterprises demonstrate their involvement in the community with help of their personnel resources. However, empirical studies of the high profile or dissemination of CV within the German industry are still rare.

In 2002/03 a survey on CV was conducted in the 120 largest companies of Germany. The survey found that CV is a well-known management approach meanwhile. Close to 40% of the interviewees already allowed their employees to volunteer on paid time. However, these were mainly unsystematic and non-regularly recurring CV activities. Regarding to future activities more than 50% of the companies reported considering CV with high or medium priority.

The results of the survey show that more and more German companies become aware of the benefits of their community engagement and consider CV as a management approach which contributes to sustainable development (e.g. increasing human capital or enhancement of the social performance/reputation of the company). However, some companies are still undecided on their CV engagement. The paper outlines the results of the survey that was conducted by the author/Centre for Sustainability Management and discusses the relevance of this partnership between companies, their employees and the community for sustainable development. Furthermore, it draws conclusions how to enhance further development and dissemination of CV activities in Germany.

 
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