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.

People current state and future state

Current state

Future state

ESG/ CSR is often focused on manual labour, chosen by the individual or teams within the organisation and the benefit of this can be limited.  

There is a lack of reporting and evidencing the impact of the activity and no formal framework to report this back into the organisation.  


There are a wide range of opportunities for organisations to work through a structured process which measures the impact of the activity on the organisation and the individual. Providing evidenced based reports to the corporate organisation to acknowledge the difference their ESG / CSR work is making.  

There are a wider range of volunteering opportunities including skilled based roles, mentoring, business support linked to professional skills, alongside manual opportunities.  

Shared experiences to inspire and build confidence within diverse communities to increase inclusion, motivate people back into work or those disengaged e.g. NEETS.  

Team members find it a challenge to take time away from their day-job to engage in the VCSE sector. 

Members are enthused by the range of opportunities available and they can see how using their skills can make a real impact within the VCSE sector. They acknowledge the benefit of working within different types of organisations and how this experience can benefit their own progression

Businesses connect with familiar ‘known’ VCSE organisations

New connections are made with a more diverse range of VCSE organisations and SME’s for long-term partnership working 

The VCSE sector is extremely diverse and wide ranging and often individuals don’t understand the complexities of the VCSE sector or the governance arrangements and how they can get involved.  

Skills based programme to empower the leaders of the future directly supporting the VCSE sector and make long term commitments to affecting real change. Inspiring a range of future leaders in our communities and an increased of take up in Trusteeships.

Technology current state and future state

Current state

Future state

Technology has advanced at an astounding rate and this has been exacerbated by COVID-19, forcing more services online. Volunteering opportunities and connecting into new volunteers and new demographics is an area for development. 

Technology is used to engage new volunteers in a structured process which allows them to understand the opportunities available to them, the skills needed and engages with different demographics. This is linked to reporting and evidencing systems of the impact and efficacy of the support. 

Multinationals are creating new and innovative ways of supporting the VCSE sector through opening up of their platforms for good causes. 

New creative ways of working and utilising technology and platforms have transformed the relationship cross sector allowing new sustainable business models for the VCSE to be created.

Finance current state and future state

Current state

Future state

Finance and support to the VCSE sector ranges across the business community with some ‘sponsoring’ a charity or choosing a charity to fundraise for over that month or year.  

Funding and fundraising is linked through a structured process to understand the real impact and have most benefit to the charities

Opportunities to link corporates and VCSE are focused on ad-hoc ESG/ CSR.  

Co-created 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.  

 New ways of working are established which support the ongoing sustainability of the VCSE sector including contracting and using services within the business.  

The true value of ESG/ CSR is limited and not fully understood.   

The impact and value of ESG/ CSR is understood and promoted within VCSE and corporates for the benefit for all. 

Is your organisation interested in being involved? Register your interest today

If you are from a large organisation and would like to register as a challenge holder, complete this form.

Please note that we are no longer recruiting VCSE organisations to be part of the Challenge. However, if you would like to be kept informed as it progresses, email us at hello@ed-ge.uk.

Volunteer Challenge

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