Employer-Supported Volunteering

Employer-supported volunteering encourages a company’s staff to donate their time to community causes. It can be done on company time or supported through other company resources. Employee demand for corporate social responsibility (CSR) is growing. Strong CSR programs are an essential component of ethical business practices.


Companies that support the volunteering efforts of their employees experience lower staff turnover rates. Research indicates that 80% of employer-supported volunteers believe that group volunteering strengthens their relationships with colleagues. It also helps individuals learn new skills. 

Canadian Code for Employer-Supported Volunteering

Supported by Cenovus Energy, the Canadian Code for Employer-Supported Volunteering (CCESV) is designed to provide guidance to workplaces to develop and enhance their employer-supported volunteering prorgams.

It aims to support the work of those who manage these programs within a workplace. The CCESV was designed to align with the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement. It has the flexibility to be adapted to the context, language and business objectives of Canadian workplaces of all sizes and within all sectors.


Leading with Intention: Employer-Supported Volunteering in Canada

Over the past decade, employer-supported volunteering has moved from being an exceptional initiative to a mainstream practice among today’s employers.

This resource explores the benefits and challenges of employer-supported volunteering (ESV); provides insight into how small and medium sized enterprises connect with community; and outlines some strategies for the future of this developing field. A key section in the resource highlights the ESV programs of eight leading Canadian companies, all of them members of Volunteer Canada’s Corporate Council on Volunteering. The profiles show what strong cross-sectoral partnerships can accomplish and reinforce the message that a diversity of strategies is best in meeting the range of realities, expectations, goals, and needs in communities across the country.

Click here to download Leading with Intention: Employer Supported Volunteering in Canada

Employer-Supported Volunteering: The Practice and the Promise of Community Engagement: This primer has been developed by Volunteer Canada and the RBC Foundation, based on a report produced for Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This is the Institute’s first publication.

Click here to read a one page summary of the primer.


Skills-Plus is a tool developed by Volunteer Canada and Manulife. It helps workplaces strategically support employee volunteers to meet community and competency-development goals. It also supports non-profits as they plan and develop volunteer opportunities for workplaces. Skills-Plus helps both parties define and measure benefits, value and the return on investment of employer-supported volunteering.

The Skills-Plus package includes:

  • A volunteer opportunity template and examples
  • A competency matrix
  • A community investment scenario
  • A skills-based volunteering card game
  • An interactive video

Build your own employer-supported volunteering program

Volunteer Canada has more than 10 years’ experience working with non-profits and businesses of all sizes. We help organizations connect and develop sound corporate community involvement programs. Learn more about our Corporate Community Involvement Consulting and Program Development services to encourage employee volunteering efforts. We also support large group volunteering events.