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Community Manager
Community Manager
Member Specialist, Pledge 1%

Employee volunteer programs are a great way to incorporate giving back into your company's DNA. For a full guide with case studies, we recommend downloading the Pledge 1% Time Donation Playbook.  [Note: This playbook is only available to Pledge 1% members. Take the pledge today!]


But in the meantime, here are three questions that you should ask yourself.


Key Decisions for Your Volunteer Program


1. Cadence: How Often Will You Volunteer?


One percent of time equates to 2-4 business days a year.



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Many companies that want to encourage volunteering tend to volunteer around the holidays or whenever an opportunity comes up.  This is a great first step! But to take it to the next level, we recommend being more proactive in your volunteering strategy by establishing a cadence. Ideally, you want to incorporate volunteering into the “rhythm” of your business. That way, volunteering isn’t something you have to think about every time, but rather something your company just does on a regular basis.


Here are some popular cadences that our members have used:




Good Use Case


One day or half-day per quarter

Great for companies that report on a quarterly basis. 

Twice a Year

One day in the summer, one in the winter (can substitute any season)

Works well for companies who already plan culture events around the summer or winter holidays.

First Fridays

A few hours on the first Friday of the month

Popular with consultancies/agencies who have nonprofit clients that they meet regularly with

All at once

Multiple back-to-back days or half-days

Typical for larger companies who want team-building experiences (ex. “Do Good Week”) or that want to combine giving efforts with a corporate retreat.


The quarterly or twice-a-year rhythm can be a great place to start if your company already works on that type of schedule. First Fridays are popular for consultants and agencies who want to take on a nonprofit client(s), as they can meet regularly. Back-to-back days are usually applied by larger companies who want a team-building experiences (ex. “Do Good Week”), or companies who combine giving with a corporate retreat. 


2. Culture: Collaborative or Individualistic?


Next, think about your company culture. Do you want to spend your time coming together as a team to do something good? Or do you want to empower individuals to pursue their own social impact interests?


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A more collaborative approach might involve getting the team together for a specific volunteer event (we have a Virtual Volunteering Playbook for collaborative and remote ideas!). For more individualistic companies, a volunteer-time-off (VTO) policy might feel more appropriate.   [Note: The playbook is only available to Pledge 1% members. Take the pledge today!]

You can also do both! Many companies have specific volunteer days to do as a company, and also offer 8 hours of VTO for individual employees. 


3. Activity: How will you spend your time?

There are multiple ways to spend your time volunteering. Skilled time involves employees using their professional skills to help a nonprofit, while general time refers to labor not related to professional skills (ex. planting trees in a public park). Both options can be helpful to nonprofits and rewarding for volunteers. 

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Pursuing skilled time is a great way to combine your time pledge with a product pledge. For example….

  • Consultants could donate their professional time (their product) to a nonprofit client

  • Employees could come together for a “hackathon” to build a product or helpful piece of content for nonprofits

  • Employees can start or join a professional mentorship program

Additional Assets

I hope this has given you a good start! I recommend reading the Pledge 1% Time Donation Playbook before implementing your program.  
You can also check out our Virtual Volunteering 101 article or  the Virtual Volunteering Playbook for remote volunteering ideas.
[Note: Playbooks are only available to Pledge 1% members. Take the pledge today!]

Tell Us About Your Program!


How  does your company incorporate volunteering into their business?  Do you have any tips for members looking to start a program? Or any questions about how to donate time? Let us know in the comments below!