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Greg Dorey


Part of UK in Hungary

5th April 2011

Chain Reaction – Volunteering

In Japan, a country much in our thoughts these days, volunteers generate a greater share of GDP than the financial services sector. And research shows that for every £1 the average company invests in volunteering programmes, they get a return of between £3 and £5. In general, the business case for employer supported volunteering is very compelling – it’s good for recruitment and retention; employees learn new skills and have higher morale; local communities welcome them; investors want to invest in them; and customers want to buy from them. So it made sense for the latest in the series of “Chain Reaction” Corporate Social Responsibility events organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary last week to concentrate on the value of employer supported volunteering. And for our hosts Vodafone to sponsor the event.

As opening speaker, I focused on the value of volunteering to the individual – increasing confidence; gaining a real sense of achievement and satisfaction; making new contacts; and enhancing job and career prospects (although in Hungary it is interesting that ethical concerns are by far a greater motivating factor than career benefits at present). And at the moment the London 2012 Olympics is generating a huge amount of interest in volunteering. Some 240,000 people have offered their services, out of which 70,000 will be selected as Games Makers for next year. So if you visit the Games in 2012, these volunteers will be making sure that you have a wonderful stay.