A Primer on Volunteer Time Off
Eighty percent of the Colorado companies recognized for being exceptional corporate citizens, The Civic 50 Colorado, offer their employees volunteer time off (VTO). VTO allows workers to support charitable causes while on company time.
VTO communicates to employees their employer’s commitment to supporting service to societal causes, which employees increasingly value. It also makes it easier for fulltime employees with scarce free time to find the time to volunteer.
VTO functions similarly to other paid time off (PTO) policies. It typically includes a requirement to obtain approval from a manager or supervisor, a definition of eligible volunteer activities and a maximum number of hours per year. According to CECP, the median number of hours offered by U.S. companies is 16 and it’s rarely less than 8 or more than 40, although a few companies offer over 80 or have no limit. Some companies limit VTO to signature causes, skills-based volunteering, board service or other types of volunteering that align with their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. Most, however, make all volunteering eligible.
If you’re looking to institute VTO at your company, Harvard Business Review has a superb article with guidance and our partner organization, Points of Light, has a fill-in-the-blanks template.
In 2018, we launched the Civic 50 Colorado in partnership with Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. The Civic 50 Colorado recognizes the 50 most community-minded companies in Colorado. Companies with 15 or more employees in state are eligible to apply. The application is free and closes on August 15th. Winners will be announced in the fall.
The Civic 50 Colorado is a unique opportunity to gain recognition for your community engagement program, take a leadership position in corporate community involvement and to share their best practices with the broader business community. Many companies have also said that the process of taking the survey and receiving their complimentary individual scorecards with information on their rankings helped them understand how they could improve their processes and strategies in the future.
To learn more, access support resources and apply, go to our website.
Spark the Change Colorado, Community Shares of Colorado, B:CIVIC