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Design an Employee Volunteer Program

Maximize shared value for the organization, employees, and the community through an employee-powered volunteer program.

  • A lack of leadership support, especially middle manager support, derails participation in an employee volunteer program.
  • Measuring the social impact of employee volunteer programs is difficult, as it is an abstract concept. As a result, organizations often avoid measuring impact altogether. This is a missed opportunity to demonstrate the value and many benefits of the program to fellow employees and senior leaders.

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Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Employee or corporate volunteer programs are best positioned to maximize shared value when they are aligned with the organization’s priorities and harness the power of employees to drive community impact. It’s a win-win-win.

Impact and Result

  • Involve senior leaders, middle managers, and employees in program design from the start to gain support and buy-in at every level.
  • Design an employee-powered volunteer program, aligned with organizational goals, that measures success and empowers employees to champion events and causes they are passionate about.
  • Build long-term partnerships with existing and new community partners to ensure shared value.

Design an Employee Volunteer Program Research & Tools

1. Frame the employee volunteer program

Identify the design committee and program scope, then assess the current state of volunteerism and employee interest to set program goals and metrics.

2. Review and select elements

Select elements by reviewing and assessing their feasibility.

3. Operationalize the program

Determine if initiatives will be devoted to a strategic cause, identify community partners, and decide if a dedicated volunteer program manager and/or technology is required before presenting to executive sponsors.

4. Plan to iterate and implement the program

Plan the program launch and HR integration to create program parameters, communications, and recognition practices.

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About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 8 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Frame the employee volunteer program.
  • Call 1: Assess the current state of volunteerism in your organization.
  • Call 2: Determine the program scope and internal data to set program goals.

Guided Implementation 2: Review and select elements.
  • Call 1: Select elements for inclusion in the employee volunteer program.
  • Call 2: Assess the feasibility of selected elements.

Guided Implementation 3: Operationalize the program.
  • Call 1: Decide how causes and community partners will be selected and aligned with the program’s needs.
  • Call 2: Confirm other support factors required to operationalize the program (e.g. technology and program management).

Guided Implementation 4: Plan to iterate and implement the program.
  • Call 1: Plan the program launch and ongoing management accountabilities.
  • Call 2: Define customization of program resources and program communications.


  • Dr. Ken Allen, President, Civil Society Consulting Group LLC
  • Bea Boccalandro, President and Founder, VeraWorks
  • May-Lynne Bulato, Senior Associate, National Volunteer Days Lead, Willis Towers Watson
  • Jim Davey, Corporate Volunteer Resources Coordinator, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
  • Lauren Fitzgerald, Community Investment Specialist, Meridian Credit Union
  • Chris Jarvis, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Realized Worth
  • Kate Masson, Community Manager, Ian Martin Group
  • Nicole Mitchell, Director, Social Commitment, Meridian Credit Union
  • Nancy Moloney, U.S. Community Relations Specialist, Sensata Technologies
  • Alan Neal, Vice President Workshop Delivery, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Dr. Akwasi Opoku-Dakwa, Assistant Professor of Management, Dunquesne University School of Business Administration
  • Cassandra Sturk, Stewardship Council Member, Ian Martin Group
  • Jerome Tennille, Consultant, Manager Social Impact & Volunteerism, Marriott International