Corporate Volunteering in the EU Countries


The article examines the main features of corporate volunteering in the European Union. Firstly, the place of these activities both in corporate social responsibility and in voluntary work is assessed. The motives for participation in corporate volunteering by companies and employees are explained as well. Secondly, specifics of EU member states are studied. The analysis is based on 4-7-years old Eurobarometer statistics on volunteering activities, the results of some questionnaires of Western researchers and the author’s investigation of websites and sustainability reports of leading companies for 2014 from the EU. Although corporate volunteering has become popular, many companies prefer other forms of corporate social responsibility, especially in the oil & gas industry and some other sectors. Moreover, corporate volunteering is popular mainly in countries with developed traditions of voluntary work. Thus, corporate volunteering is only an additional institutional form of voluntary work. In fact, companies prefer to support their employees volunteering projects (sometimes within selected priorities) or give employees one-day vacations for their voluntary work with non-profit organizations. It means that companies do not consider volunteering as a PR-asset. Indeed, they usually choose corporate charity or social marketing for PR-purposes. Only few European companies prefer to develop their own volunteering programs (usually within their business specialization – e.g. in healthcare by pharmaceutical. companies). However, corporate volunteering significantly supports voluntary work in some European countries by additional financial resources and new categories of volunteers. The most interesting category is young specialists who are eager to develop their communication skills within their company and acquire new live experience and new competences, but it does not mean that such volunteers are only career-driven.

Keywords: volunteering in the EU; corporate volunteering; corporate social responsibility; motives of voluntary work; transnational corporations.

Authors: Alexey Kuznetsov

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