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Research Positive on Employee Volunteerism

“Business enterprises are keen on supporting charitable causes: not only can their support impact community life but also it can enhance the image of the company both in the community and among employees”, Northstar Research, Employer Supported Volunteerism, 2005.

Burlington, ON – More than 250 corporations across Canada participated in a new research study providing valuable insight and key findings in support of Employer Supported Volunteerism (ESV). Commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and conducted by Northstar Research Partners in 2005, this new Canadian study is providing quantifiable evidence that programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters In-School Mentoring have multiple benefits for: the charitable organizations, the volunteers and the corporations. The charities gain experienced and motivated volunteers, the volunteers gain greater self-fulfillment and the corporation gains increasingly motivated staff who have a positive image of, and increased loyalty to the company.

“The results of this study represent an enormous opportunity to expand some of our new, innovative mentoring programs where employees are the primary volunteer recruitment base.”. stated Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. “In-School Mentoring is our fastest growing program representing more than 25% of total children served. This is a terrific program offering a flexible volunteer opportunity for the adult and bringing tremendous benefit to the child. We have seen strong corporate partnership support for In-School Mentoring and are excited about the prospect of more companies getting involved with In-School Mentoring as they hear about the findings”

The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada In-School Mentoring program represents an excellent opportunity to capitalize on this growing trend. This program matches an adult volunteer (the mentor) with a child (the mentee) in a school environment. The activities, which take place during the work and school day, strengthen the mentee’s self-esteem and contribute to improved school performance.

Decision-makers and their respective corporations do want to help the community. And the ability to help the company at the same time is a benefit—if not a necessity. Consequently, a winning formula is a charitable cause that can benefit the community, enhance the image of the company and improve the workplace environment; a winning formula is the In-School Mentoring program.

Recognizing the value and impact of ESV, National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) supported a research initiative with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) to explore the findings of In-School Mentoring in the workplace. BBBSC secured the expertise of Northstar Research Partners to conduct the 2005 study, Employer Supported Volunteerism.

Key Research Findings

Employer Supported Volunteerism brings benefits to both employers and employees who participate. Some of these benefits have been found to include:

Benefits to Employers 

  • Improves corporate public image
  • Improves retention of employees
  • Improves customer relations and consumer loyalty
  • Increases brand recognition 
  • Attract and retain investors
  • Increases employee job performance
  • Reduces absenteeism

Benefits to Employees (Volunteers)

  • Improves interpersonal, communication and leadership/managerial skills
  • Enhances morale
  • Increases motivation and job satisfaction
  • Creates a more positive attitude towards employers
  • Enhances team work capacity

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is the leading youth mentoring organization in Canada. It is committed to serving children and youth across the country by providing them with quality one-to-one relationships with volunteer mentors. They currently have 150 agencies in over 900 communities nation-wide and are serving approximately 21,000 children. Another 10,000 children are eagerly waiting to be matched.

The Employer Supported Volunteerism research project was funded through the Government of Canada's National Crime Prevention Strategy.

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For more information, or to request a copy of the complete research findings contact:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
Melanie Snyder
Director of Marketing
905-639-0461 ext. 15

Impact of Mentoring