Why corporate volunteering is good for business

Volunteering can make you feel connected to your community and give you a greater sense of belonging. Corporate volunteering takes this idea one step further, building team morale, bringing people together and strengthening an organization’s commitment to the community.

The Ottawa Mission offers organizations the opportunity to help people who are experiencing homelessness through its Employee Engagement Experience program.

“When people come out of their workplace to volunteer together, they learn about each other and how to work well together,” says Sean Wong, the Executive Director of The Ottawa Mission Foundation.

In a time when many companies are seeking to differentiate themselves in the competition for top talent, organizations need to demonstrate they care about their communities.

Joule Inc., a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association, is committed to supporting vulnerable people in the community. As part of its corporate mandate, the company hosts an annual Joule Day of Giving where employees raise money for different charities such as The Ottawa Mission.

But Joule CEO Lindee David wanted employees to have a more hands-on experience that also included team building. That led to 15 Joule volunteers preparing and serving meals at The Mission last October.

“We are focused on people who need a safe place to live and we know the importance of having access to healthy food,” says David. “Being at The Mission really resonated with us.”

Corporate teams are asked to contribute a sponsorship fee to support The Mission’s core programs, which include mental health services, job training and a medical clinic. In exchange for the contribution, organizations receive exposure through social media, The Mission’s website and other promotional avenues.   The Mission, and the volunteer experience can be tailored to meet corporate goals.

After volunteering, Joule staff shared their experiences about having close friends and family members who are experiencing homelessness. Several Joule employees have decided to continue volunteering at The Mission.