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Getting technical with volunteer programs


As companies seek to better manage their corporate citizenship strategies and activities, they are taking a closer look at the operation of employee volunteering and giving programs. Like any other aspect of business, these programs turn to technology to improve efficiency and maximize effectiveness. But choosing a technology vendor with the appropriate applications and services to fit a program can be a shot in the dark.

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship now has information available to help shed some light on the technology options for employee volunteering and giving programs.

A pair of sister reports on the Boston College Center’s web site present the results of two surveys. One survey quizzes vendors of employee volunteering/giving technology applications on their services, while the other offers feedback from clients of technology vendors on their experiences as users. Neither report attempts to analyze the survey responses. Instead they are presented fully and unedited to give readers the purest and truest representation of vendors’ responses and their peers’ experiences, thoughts and suggestions, while avoiding potential outside bias. The Points of Light & Hands On Network played a key role in conducting the surveys, which were administered between February and April 2008.

“Technology is no longer just a convenience for employee volunteering and giving programs. Technology is integral,” said Bea Boccalandro, a member of the Boston College Center faculty and president of Vera Works, who coordinated work on the surveys with The Points of Light & Hands On Network and the Boston College Center. “It is often the first and most sophisticated contact employees have with the corporate citizenship program. It can define the parameters and possibilities of the program.”

The vendor survey offers background information on vendors’ client bases and gives detailed information on their capabilities in supporting a wide range of programs. It also addresses the issues of user interface, customer service, administration and customization, quality control and security.

The client survey includes background on how long companies have used a vendor, what types of services were provided and the scope of the programs handled by the vendor. These users also rate vendors on qualities including timeliness, accuracy, support, efficiency and value. In addition to a quantitative rating, users offer extensive comments on their experience with vendors as well as advice to others when considering a technology vendor.

“We hope these reports help companies navigate the difficult terrain of building the technology solution that best supports their employee volunteering, giving and overall engagement in corporate citizenship,” Boccalandro said.

Both surveys are available as a free download, but registration and login is required.

» Download Employee Volunteering/Giving Technology User Survey

» Download Employee Volunteering/Giving Technology Vendor Survey


2 comments on “Getting technical with volunteer programs

  1. Bea Boccalandro is absolutely right. The technology used to facilitate employee volunteer and giving programs will determine how many employees participate, what kinds of projects are possible, and whether or not any of it can be measured to demonstrate success. Companies should never find their enthusiasm, ingenuity, or determination restricted by the very tools they use to build a successful program.

    The coming ‘surge’ in volunteerism is about to test the limits of existing practices in volunteer management. Companies and non profits that get the technology right, will be ahead of the curve. These surveys offer just that kind of head start.

    Chris Jarvis
    Senior Consultant, Realized Worth

  2. Pingback: Can Your Technology Handle The Coming Surge In Volunteers? | Realized Worth

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