Virtual Volunteering

Giving back to the community always feels good. Americans have a strong tradition of giving back by volunteering for nonprofit organizations. Nationally, about 30% of us volunteer for a nonprofit. The Commonwealth of Virginia is the 22nd most volunteering state at 34%. My community, the Washington, DC/Arlington/Alexandria area, tops those averages with 38.3% of residents contributing 148.7 million hours of service worth an estimated $3.5 billion.

So how can we maintain our local volunteer statistics while COVID-19 is still on the rampage? The Arlington Chamber of Commerce figured it out by moving its Annual Arlington Chamber Volunteer Day to an all-virtual event. In years past, nonprofits hosted Chamber member businesses at their locations to perform service projects like stream and grounds clean-ups and shopping for nonprofit clients. 

This year, the Arlington Chamber created a new format to meet the current needs of the nonprofit community. Businesses registered for virtual nonprofit projects that were in accordance with CDC guidelines for all participants, such as volunteers videoing him or herself reading a book to a child and organizing data in a volunteer database. It was the classic Win-Win-Win for the nonprofits, their clients, and the participating businesses.

Businesses benefit from volunteering in their community in three ways:

  • Visibility

Sponsoring a nonprofit event or connecting your team with on-site (or virtual) volunteer projects is one way to get the name of your business in front of more potential customers. Event sponsorship and volunteering are not free, but if you’re paying to get your business name out there, it may as well be linked with a good cause. 

  • Credibility

When you are doing good, people will assume that you are good, or at least dependable and credible. Establishing your credibility as an honorable and trusted business through volunteering will make potential customers look at your business first when making a purchasing decision. 

  • Employee Enrichment

More than ever before, employees want a job where they can feel good about what they are doing and contribute to a better future. While workers can certainly volunteer on their own time, businesses that provide opportunities to volunteer as a team increase employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

Arlington businesses appreciated the opportunity for Virtual Volunteering with local nonprofits at this year’s Arlington Chamber Volunteer Day. Nonprofits and their clients benefited from the Virtual Service Projects and Arlington maintained its strong local volunteer statistics. The ultimate Win-Win-Win!