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MAVA Voice

Employee Volunteer Program
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Good afternoon,
We have a policy and procedure for employees to volunteer at Edina Public Schools and Community Education.  I'll send you the form in a private email, but here's a general sense of the parameters we work from. 

Volunteer Time:
Volunteer time should not conflict with the peak work schedule and other work-related responsibilities, create need for overtime, or cause conflicts with other employee’s schedules.
Time away from work for volunteering purposes may occur during lunchtime, before work, after work, or in an agreed upon time during your work day with your supervisor.
Volunteer time should be regular and on a set schedule to help with the coordination of other work-related responsibilities.
Interested employees should be in good standing.
Interested employees should meet with their manager/supervisor to discuss their volunteer choice, schedule, and to receive approval!

Carynn Roehrick

Hi Christina,

This is a great question; it sounds like your organization is getting ready to do something that is not common - as a formalized policy or benefit - in many nonprofits. In my experience, I've seen organizations where there tends to be an understanding, usually with a supervisor, that employees can flex their hours a bit to allow for volunteering during the work day; however, this is usually not formalized in personnel policies. I just checked the MAVA handbook, and we don't have any references to employee volunteering (ironic!).

I recommend looking to the for-profit/corporate sector for same examples of employee volunteer programs and policies, especially related to paid time/release time for volunteering. A good place to get started might be checking in with HandsOn Twin Cities, as they are the masters of corporate volunteer engagement and should know which companies have comprehensive policies you could review. Corporate Volunteerism Council members could also provide good models for volunteer engagement procedures.

What do other MAVA members think - do we have any good examples for Christina in our ranks, or do we need to look to the for-profit world?

Polly Roach

Greetings, volunteer leaders!

I work for a medium sized nonprofit and I'd like to propose to our senior leadership team that we begin an employee volunteer program.

1. Which local nonprofits have a benefit like this for employees?
2. Is anyone willing to share examples of their employee volunteer policy? 

Thank you!

Christina Giese
Simpson Housing Services

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