In-house or outsourced? That’s the million dollar question for most businesses when they’re looking at kicking off or scaling up a strategy or programme.
When it comes to corporate social responsibility, more and more businesses are turning to tech and AI to optimise their programmes - whether to increase engagement in employee volunteering programmes, to better track the impact of corporate giving, or to firmly embed social value and ESG strategies into their growth plans.
In this article we share the top five questions your business should ask itself when it comes to whether or not to outsource your corporate volunteering programme.
How much time do you have available?
Depending on the size of your organisation, outsourcing your corporate volunteering programme could free up substantial internal resources. Using a tech platform to handle the administrative tasks, volunteer coordination, and program evaluation for example, can save your company time and effort whilst enabling you to scale your programme and create a bigger impact.
How many charities do you want to support?
Particularly when it comes to employee volunteering, forming and maintaining connections to local grassroots causes and charities can be a challenge. Outsourcing can not only provide access to a wider network of non-profits and community organisations but the means to connect to those that align closely with the values of your business and your employees. This can help your company expand its reach and connect with new opportunities for engagement.
What's more, with an outsourced solution, the vetting and due diligence is often taken care of, so you know the good causes you're working with are who they say they are.
Do you want to measure and report on your impact?
For those with a clear vision, running your own in-house volunteering programme gives you complete control over the what and how when it comes to reporting. Deciding what your organisation’s metrics of success isn’t always easy though, and those running their volunteering programme in-house may struggle to stay on top of the activities and impact that’s taking place, affecting their ability to engage key stakeholders around the value/ROI of the programme.
Measuring impact: Whether you track your own metrics for success or get expert advice from elsewhere, having your programme's data in one place, like in the impact dashboard example above, is key to tracking the progress and impact of your campaign
Using a tech platform to automate the process of reporting on the impact of your programmes however, can enable you to quickly and simply measure things like social return on investment, the impact on employees and the positive outcomes your programme is creating in communities - all of which are critical measures for businesses looking to demonstrate genuine care for their employees, local communities and wider sustainability goals.
What is your budget?
Outsourcing your volunteering programme can be more expensive than running it in house. For example, if you're a small company with only 50 employees, managing your own volunteering programme may not incur the same administrative burden as a company with 250+ staff. In this case, the cost:benefit ratio may stack things in favour of running your programme in-house.
However, for larger businesses, organising hundreds of volunteering events for your employees can simply be infeasible. In that case it’s usually cheaper and more effective to outsource your programme as it means saving on hiring a specialist or taking up precious internal resources.
What are your brand goals?
All businesses need to consider how their corporate volunteering programme aligns with their company values or purpose. For example, a software company may focus its volunteering programme on getting underrepresented young people into tech employment, whereas a supermarket may wish to focus more on alleviating food poverty.
If you’re finding this process a challenge, working with an outsourced tech platform can provide your business not only with expertise to design a programme that hits home with both your employees and your customers, but provides the means to automate those connections between goal and action, connecting you with a wide range of charities you can partner with to hit your impact goals.
Do you have a strategy for engaging employees in your programme?
As new generations are entering the workforce, the individual employee experience is fast climbing the corporate agenda. And when it’s done right, employee volunteering programmes can incorporate personalisation and engagement whether outsourced or run in-house.
To foster greater employee engagement, consider moving away from overly structured volunteering events or too many restrictions around the types of causes you allow your teams to support and think about how you can bring employees with you on the journey. Whether by enabling them to vote for charity partners or impact themes, or encouraging them to get involved in localised volunteering that means something to them.
If your organisation is struggling to find enough volunteering events and charities to engage your entire employee base, outsourcing your programme to a tech platform can add the necessary flexibility to boost the number and type of opportunities required, as well as support and expertise to meet your engagement goals.
Understanding your businesses unique goals and requirements can be complex. If you'd like to speak to an expert on all things corporate volunteering and the impact your business could make, book a free impact assessment by clicking the blue 'Book an impact assessment' button below.