South-Western - Management  
Verizon Volunteers Program Encourages Support for Nonprofit Agencies
Topic Ethics and Social Responsibility
Key Words Volunteering
InfoTrac Reference A100742659
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News Story

Jim Bryan, a network engineer at Verizon, helped develop a hiking trail at the Portage Canal that is accessible to all. Verizon, in return, gave a $500 grant to the Portage Canal Society to purchase tools and supplies.

The Verizon Volunteers program encourages employees to volunteer in their communities and matches their efforts with donations from the company's philanthropic arm, Verizon Foundation. The program was launched in February 2001 and has been growing steadily. More than 64,000 Verizon employees participated last year, resulting in $28 million and 522,000 volunteer hours donated to 10,353 organizations throughout the nation.

Highlights of the program include:

  • Volunteer at least 50 hours and receive a $500 grant for up to two service organizations
  • Teams can participate in a fundraising pledge-a-thon and get matching grants up to $25,000 per team
  • Employees receive matching funds for gifts to nonprofit organizations, disaster relief efforts, and colleges

The Verizon Foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled workforce.

Questions
1.

Why do companies encourage their employees to volunteer?

2.

You are spending your after-work hours helping build a home for Habitat for Humanity. Your manager doesn't believe in volunteerism, and wants you to spend those extra hours staying late at work to finish up a project. How would you convince him or her that volunteerism is a valuable activity that ultimately makes you a better employee?

Source "Verizon Volunteers Program Encourages Support for Nonprofit Agencies," Newswire April 28, 2003.
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