Monday, January 23, 2006

AAA of Nevada Shares Volunteer Strategies

Inside Corporate Philanthropy examined the community and business impacts of the volunteer recognition programs at Deloitte, Gap Inc., and AAA of Northern California, Nevada, and Utah in a two part series that outlines specific strategies a business program can implement to meet its goals.

The article details how recognizing employee volunteers can enhance a company’s ability to positively impact the community. For example, AAA of Northern California, Nevada, and Utah offers volunteers three days of paid time off for company-supported volunteerism, as well as an annual AAA Volunteer Celebration showcasing employee volunteers’ achievements.

Roger Hancock, Manager of Community Affairs, reports that the company “is motivated to offer these recognition programs to inspire our volunteers to volunteer again. And, for those employees who have not ever volunteered at AAA, we hope the attention our volunteers receive will inspire an employee to volunteer for the first time. And it works.”

Through AAA Volunteers, we are building leaders. AAA employees are learning new skills, expanding existing skills, and sharing their talents with others. They are becoming better leaders and better managers of people. They are meeting new people and building contacts inside and outside the company. Our employees are growing personally and professionally as a result of their volunteer efforts.”

While he says it’s difficult to measure directly the impact of volunteerism on skill building, he offers “We have seen employees who have received promotions or new jobs as a result of them being involved as a volunteer. Volunteers become visible among managers and other staff in a position of hiring.

Hancock has also observed the program’s team-building potential. The company’s employees are involved in services ranging from auto services to travel to insurance, and he finds that volunteerism “gets them all together, pulling together for AAA.”

This year, the company will build upon these team- and leadership-building capacities through its recognition program. The employees who lead groups of their fellow AAA volunteers will be considered “Team Leaders” and receive shirts and thank you notes, copied to their managers, acknowledging them.

For the full article, www.onphilanthropy.com/bestpract/bp2005-12-02.html

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