In the last months, I have had the opportunity to participate in various conferences and national presentations, and international presentations about Corporate volunteering, one being the conference of IAVE, in which we deeply reflected on the new forms of social participation.
The principal tendency of the sector is clear: the “Great Tent”, like defined by Kenn Allen, in 2012, the umbrella of different socials with employees, is increasingly common. And that, both for the growth of its audience, and for the diversity of its performance.
On the hand, the forms of social participation are changing, and with them, the typologies of projects to channel them have to evolve and expand.
Our partner, Points of Light, the leading international volunteer network, reaffirms this observation with data from recent research focused on Generation Z (adults born after 1996) and reveals that, which 90% consider themselves socially active and 62% say they help others, only 24% volunteer through an NGO.
So, what are these new forms of social participation? And, how can be support and encourage them?
New forms of social participation
Points of Light has conceptualized the different channels of citizen action with the Civic Circle, a framework of inclusive social participation, centered around the people, which includes everything from purchasing power to voice, through service, work, listening and learning, voting, donating, social entrepreneurship and, of course, volunteering.
In order to adapt it to the associative or corporative context and facilitate the design of comprehensive strategies for the interest groups, the network, Voluntare, has designed a new process of channeling the social commitment: the Voluntare Social Experience, indentifying three areas of action that respond to different concerns and forms of social involvement:
- To become aware
- To decide responsibly
- To make an impact
The Voluntare Social Experience has become a reference framework for the organizations that design social programs, and thus strengthening, reinforcing, and channeling the social commitment of employees or interest groups inside of this new reality.
Therefore, we are currently faced with the necessity of including more people and different types of activities in our Corporate Volunteering programs.
Where do we start?
At Volies, we are driving this trend forward by evolving the Corporate Volunteering Programs to the Social and Environment Personal Engagement Programs.
All of these activities are mostly shared objectives and impacts, contributing to the promotion of commitment, co-responsibility, and feedback on people’s social and environmental concerns.
The great challenge
The concept discussed is having a great public reception, but what is the biggest challenge we face? The internal coordination, the “ownership” of these different actions within organization, which too often enters a system of competition rather than cooperation.
However, by promoting the collaboration and sharing of objectives, extraordinary results can be achieves and the impacts of the array of projects multiples.