Paid Volunteer Hours

Paid Volunteer Hours


Paid Volunteer Time

Employers can make a positive impact on the communities where their employees work and live by cultivating a culture of volunteerism. Paid volunteer hours are a great incentive and enable employees to get into the community during their standard scheduled work hours. Employees may volunteer individually or as a group.


When determining an organization’s eligibility, a good place to start is with nonprofit organizations and institutions that hold tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Employers might prefer to focus on organizations that are closely aligned with company values, such as education, health and wellness, or the environment. It’s also important to define criteria for ineligibility, such as a nonprofit with religious or political affiliations, or activities such as chaperoning a child’s school field trip or donating blood. Resources such as volunteermatch.org or volunteeryourtime.org can help employees connect with organizations actively seeking volunteers.


Tracking volunteer requests and time used can be as simple as spreadsheet, or through attendance software or workplace giving tools. Supervisors will grant approval for volunteer time. Keep in mind department staffing needs for the requested time period, and employee standing (i.e., is the employee on a performance improvement plan, has the employee recently received a notice of disciplinary action). Travel time is not eligible for paid volunteer hours, but training for a volunteer opportunity may be eligible.


Employers will also need to determine how volunteer hours will be allocated. If based on a fiscal year, unused hours could be rolled over to the next year, or it could be a “use it or lose it” program. Employees who separate from the organization will not be paid out unused volunteer hours. If part-time employees are eligible for the program, consider prorating the number of hours available to them.


Dollars for Doers

A Dollars for Doers program recognizes employees who volunteer during non-business hours, on their personal time. Time spent volunteering is monetized (such as $5 per hour). Employers will need to determine whether there is a maximum award per fiscal year, what that amount will be, and how frequently Dollars for Doers will be paid.


For a double win, deposit Dollars for Doers into a workplace giving account rather than an employee’s payroll check, so they can easily donate to their favorite nonprofit organization(s). Some examples of workplace giving accounts include GiveBack, DoTopia and Givinga.


Other points to consider are related to employees who separate from the organization. For instance, employees that separate from the organization prior to the scheduled Dollars for Doers deposit, the deposit will not be made into the individuals’ giving account. Former employees might retain to access their giving account, but at a monthly fee (previously waived by the employer).


Dollars for Doers is a great benefit for employees who wouldn’t otherwise have the resources to make donations to the causes they care about.

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Paid Volunteer Hours

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