Companies refuse to pay for staff volunteering schemes

CSV says private sector has unrealistic expectations

Eighty-five per cent of businesses that make enquiries about employee volunteering schemes back off when they realise they have to pay for them, according to volunteering charity CSV.

Lesley Nicholls, director of employee volunteering at the charity, told Third Sector many firms had little understanding of the voluntary sector and unrealistic expectations of it. She said some businesses expected voluntary organisations to pay them to send volunteers to projects.

"The two sectors don't understand each other," she said. "Businesses need to realise that organising volunteering doesn't come for free and that it can take a long time to set projects up." She said some businesses were targeting voluntary groups directly rather than through brokers like CSV and such groups were not being assertive enough about pay and conditions.

Fabia Bates, director of research and consultancy firm RedCCI, said: "Private sector firms are cutting their charitable donations and using employee volunteering to keep up their community investment. This means they're reluctant to pay for it. The voluntary groups don't complain because they hope the businesses will fund them in future."

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