Volunteering England helps small businesses make a big impact

Volunteering England (VE) has launched a series of resources to help the voluntary and community sector and small businesses increase their impact on the community.

SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) now have access to a wealth of online resources at www.do-it.org.uk, including a search mechanism that enables SMEs to find partner organisations offering Employer-Supported Volunteering (ESV) services and links to Volunteering England̵7;s ESV tools.

The resources, funded by the Volunteering Hub, are the result of research by Ashridge Business School that identified a number of challenges for the volunteering sector in engaging with SMEs. It found that the overwhelming majority of SME owners wanted to give something back to the community, but lacked time and found it difficult to sift through the quantity of information available. One priority issue was the lack of easily digestible online information, a need met by the new resources on do-it.org.uk.

The launch also includes the ESV module of the Excellence in Volunteer Management training, VE̵7;s blended learning programme for managers of volunteers who want to improve their skills. This has been developed to enable volunteer managers to engage employers effectively in their work, and will include information on how to set up an ESV programme, designing appropriate volunteering opportunities and evaluating the impact of their work.
Cathy McBain, head of Employer-Supported Volunteering at VE, said: ̶0;It̵7;s a myth that small businesses aren̵7;t interested in volunteering - they just face very different challenges from larger companies and this new set of resources meets many of their requirements.̶1;

Fiona Dawe, Chief Executive of online youth charity, YouthNet, which runs do-it.org.uk, said: ̶0;Do-it.org.uk has been making volunteering easy for individuals for over seven years, but until now there̵7;s been nothing similar for businesses."

Image: Volunteering England's new resources are aimed at helping SME owners engage with their communities

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