Volunteering Challenge

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Connecting large commercial organisations with voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE) to develop innovative opportunities for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to improve volunteering, engagement and VCSE development.

The capacity of social organisations to deliver services can be limited without volunteers with the skills and abilities to further the organisations objectives. Engaging volunteers requires new approaches based on younger demographics, and the way in which they wish to engage.  

Businesses have Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) or Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) to support the communities within which they work. Often this involves allowing team members to work within a local VCSE organisation for a day or two per year. The effectiveness of this process can be limited depending on the individual team members interests. Often focussed on providing manual labour for the day rather than harnessing their skills from their day to day roles to effect change in charitable organisations.  

New younger employees on graduate schemes or apprenticeships may have limited experience of different types of organisations and would benefit from the wider perspective they can gain from experiencing other types of organisations, organisational structures, skills development and broadening their horizons.  

To affect real change in the VCSE sector, long term commitment from individuals is required within the governance of VCSE organisations. A structured programme to equip individuals to understand the importance of the VCSE sector and become involved within organisational leadership roles including trusteeships would bring longer term change to the VCSE sector and advance the individual with a range skills to benefit their commercial role.  

Support to the VCSE can come in many different forms and multinationals such as eBay are developing new approaches to ESG and CSR by supporting social enterprises to sell their products through a dedicated platform – eBay for change. Can partnerships between the VCSE and corporate sector bring innovation, to transform and disrupt the norm?  

This challenge aims to connect a range of different VCSE organisations with businesses to develop innovative approaches to volunteering and ESG/ CSR which can bring real benefit to both organisations and harness the skills within large organisations to support the development of the VCSE sector in the Tees Valley. The challenge will support VCSE organisations with business support and grant assistance to engage with the programme to enable them to co-create with large organisations to build a framework of engagement, toolkit and or formalised structured process(es) to link the sectors and develop ongoing long-term working arrangements which are benefit all sectors.

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