How to start a corporate volunteering programme

Corporate volunteering attracts and retains the best talent for your team whilst creating a positive impact in local communities

Currently, one of the key challenges for any business is how to ensure that you have the best talent working for you and that they stay loyal. You may have heard that prospective employees are keen to work for businesses who have a clear ESG strategy. That means they want to work for companies who are actioning environmental, social and governance practices. In other words, they want to be the employee of a caring organisation.

Corporate volunteering is one way that you can engage with your team and give them ways to make a difference through their work. Furthermore, staff retention is a highly valuable asset due to the time and money it takes to recruit new people.


How does corporate volunteering benefit your business?

Employees these days, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, are not that impressed by monetary perks, like gym memberships and private healthcare. Actually, they are looking for more meaningful ways to ‘give back’ to society. Consequently, those companies who offer opportunities for corporate volunteering are appealing to these discerning employees.

Not surprisingly, employees who work for companies with corporate volunteering schemes are more likely to stay longer and are proud to tell others about the business they work for. Furthermore, it is particularly well regarded if an employer gives paid-time off for volunteering. In addition, volunteering has a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of participants. This can result in a happier workforce with less time off sick, and improvements in productivity and loyalty.

Another important, but often overlooked, factor is that corporate volunteering offers opportunities for team building and can identify future leaders for your business. Partnering with local projects offers so much more than just running team building courses. Consequently, volunteering means that you are doing good in your local community or your destinations whilst involving your team in a meaningful way.


DID YOU KNOW? – Having a list of local volunteering work can get you up to 3.13% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Being involved in community improvement projects, such as urban greening initiatives, demonstrates a positive impact in the destination which is hosting your guests and your properties


Not to forget, that increasing numbers of travellers are interested in volunteering as part of a memorable stay. Thus, they seek experiences which allow them to be involved in improving the lives of local communities. In addition, if your team members actually volunteer alongside your guests, it facilitates an amazing opportunity to have direct interaction with the clients you serve.


The key elements of a successful corporate volunteering programme

Once you have decided that a corporate volunteering programme would be beneficial for your business, there are some things to consider. This will help you to choose the right types of volunteering opportunities for your specific property management business.


Align with your company values: Think about your brand identity and have this in mind when you think of different types of volunteering opportunities.

The needs of your destination: Are there particular issues within the destination(s) where you operate? And are there projects that your staff can give their time and energy to?

Paid days off to volunteer: Your team will be even more engaged if you give them one or more extra days of holiday to volunteer.

The talents and preferences of your team: When choosing the volunteering projects you wish to partner with, do think about your staff as part of your selection

How will you manage your volunteering scheme: There are some fantastic apps like OnHand, which will also help you increase engagement from your team

Encourage your team to take part: Once you have set up your corporate volunteering scheme, do make sure that your staff are aware of it and find ways to celebrate their involvement


Consequently, the best ideas for setting up a successful corporate volunteering scheme for your property management company are clear. You need to choose projects which will resonate with your staff (and your guests) and make sure your team feels enthused and rewarded by taking part.


5 corporate volunteering ideas

There are so many different types of volunteering projects which might be a fit for your business. Here are a few examples to get you started!

1/ Beach clean-up

If your properties are in a coastal location, encouraging your team to get involved in a beach clean-up day makes so much sense. You will be helping to remove plastic from the beautiful beaches that your guests love and giving your team a day out in the fresh air!


2/ Giving out food to those in need

Many people are finding it tough at the moment and the number of food banks has risen sharply in recent years. Consequently, there are many people who need help which could involve volunteering at a food bank or serving in a soup kitchen.

Our very own CEO, Vanessa, volunteered in a community kitchen in Barcelona as a way to offset her trip to take part in a conference.


3/ Charity challenges and expeditions

Many people already raise money for their favourite charities by running a marathon or hiking in icon places like the Himalayas or Machu Picchu. In this way, it should be easy to choose a charity challenge that would appeal to your team, particularly if it has a connection to your brand.


4/ Help a local school

Schools are often in need of support, both funds and helping hands. If your properties are in poorer destinations, there may be opportunities to actually build or improve schools.

On the other hand, if you partner with a school closer to home, you may be able to help with a tree planting scheme. This is a popular choice for school children and could mean that your company helps to raise money for the trees and takes part in the planting.


5/ Light up an elderly person’s day

In many societies, elderly people often end up living in an old people’s home or on their own at home. Another feature of modern society is the rise of people joining choirs. We know that singing is good for the soul and brings a sense of togetherness. So, why not combine both of these and set up a company choir who can perform in a local retirement or community centre. Your team will feel energised and uplifted as will their audience!

This is certainly not an exhaustive list and, particularly if you consult your team, you will be able to come up with projects which are right for your business. Please let us know if you do!


Corporate volunteering is an impactful tool in your sustainability strategy. Plus you can include it as part of the guest experience. Check out the criteria, ‘Promote Destination & Minimise Negative Impact on the Community’ and then take the Sustonica Test to see if you qualify for your badge!


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