One of the most frequent requests our Corporate Citizenship department receives is for stats that make the case for investing in employee volunteering and giving programs. To date, there are very few Canadian statistics. For this reason, Volunteer Canada has partnered with the Corporate Council on Volunteering and Great Place to Work to create a guide for employers that will accompany the 1st Canadian Best Workplaces for Giving Back list, as rated by employees. The list and the guide will be released in spring.

In the meantime, here are some of our favorite useful, current statistics from around the world that prove the business value of supporting your employees to share their time, talent and treasure. This was compiled for Volunteer Canada’s Corporate Council on Volunteering (CCOV) semi annual gathering held in January. These statistics are from our own research, Businesses and Not-For-Profits.

Prospective/Current employee preference

68% of Canadians, given a choice between two jobs, would choose the one at the employer with the stronger volunteering culture. (IPSOS Public Affairs research, Recognizing Volunteering in 2017, Volunteer Canada, 2017, Canada.)

89% of respondents believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not. (2017 Deloitte Volunteerism Survey, Deloitte, June 2017, United States).

92% of respondents involved in hiring decisions agree that volunteering improves employees’ broader professional skill sets. (Deloitte Impact Study, Deloitte, 2016, United States)

Employees who only donated money (18%) or only volunteered (17%) had a lower turnover rate than those who did neither. The greatest turnover reduction was observed in employees who did both (12%). (Making the Case for a New Approach to Employee Giving and Volunteering, Benevity, 2018, global).

A Voluntare study comparinga control group and an employer supported volunteering group found a 24% increase in sense of purpose at work after the initial volunteering period, which increased to 33% in the 12-week follow-up survey. (Increasing employee engagement through corporate volunteering, Voluntare, December 2018, Spain).

Trust and expectations of Business

77% of Canadians believe a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community where it operates (2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Canada, Edelman, 2017, Canada).

Amongst those millennials with a generally negative view of business, almost half (46%) are also concerned about climate change or resource scarcity, as compared to 34% among those with a favorable view of business. (Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018, Deloitte, 2018, global).

My employer (75%) is significantly more trusted than NGOs (57%), business (56%), government (48%) and media (47%). 76% of people surveyed say they want CEOs to lead the charge on social and economic change. Nearly 70% of employees expect their employers to join them in advocating on social issues. (2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, Edelman, 2019, global)

Cost and savings

Canada has the 4th highest employee turnover rate in the world. 36% of departing employees leave due to the work environment or culture. (Linked IN, reported in Canadian HR Reporter, 2018, global).

For those looking at the bottom line first, for jobs paying $75,000 a year or less (which is about 9 in 10 U.S. workers), the typical cost of turnover is 20% of the employees’ salary (There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees, Centre for American Progress, November 2012, United States).

For every employee who participates in a volunteer program, more than $2,400 of value is generated by improving employee engagement. This is created by decreasing turnover costs and improving employee performance (Maximizing the Effectiveness of Corporate Volunteer Programs (webinar). Kropp, Brian CEB. July 2014, global).

Employer-supported volunteering (ESV) rates continue to rise across North America, currently 1 in 3 Canadians who volunteer do so through their employer. As more statistics (especially Canadian) proving the value proposition of ESV become available, the easier it will be for business to make decisions on how to best support their employees to serve in community.

Is there a piece of research that we are missing? Let Eric know by sending the information to eshirley(at)