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As we make our way into the holiday season, many of us are reminded of the importance of charitable giving. Whether that be through donations of time or money, we might feel inclined to give to those less fortunate. We thought we’d take this opportunity to talk about the many benefits of giving back on an individual’s wellbeing and how employers can incorporate this into their overall employee wellbeing strategy.  

As part of a comprehensive study that included over 150 countries, Gallup identified 5 universal elements of wellbeing. One of which included, Community Wellbeing. They define Community Wellbeing as, “the sense of engagement you have with the area where you live”. The researchers pointed out that giving back to our community is at the highest end of the community wellbeing continuum – once the basics of security are met and you are living in an area or neighborhood that fits your personality and needs. Volunteering and giving back have been associated with improved mood, decreased levels of stress, feeling connected, and increased self-esteem. This positive association translates to the workplace as well. Employee volunteer programs can bring team members together, make them feel more connected to their work, and instill pride in the company they work for. 

Employers are catching on to these benefits as many are introducing a corporate volunteer program for their employees. In Sequoia’s 2018-2019 Employee Benchmarking Report, 41% of respondents report having a strategy to help employees focus on social and community wellbeing. There are a few different strategies that companies are taking to encourage volunteering and giving back by their employees. These include providing PTO hours for employees to volunteer, offering employee matching funds to encourage donations, or choosing a local non-profit to sponsor. No matter what level your company is starting at with your employee volunteer program, a key factor in your success will be alignment with the company mission and values, and strong communication of your program. 

This article includes tips and best practices on starting an employee volunteer program at your company. 

To learn more about what Sequoia is doing to give back, visit our website here: https://www.sequoia.com/about/giving-back/