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Give Back Iowa is an eight week challenge running from April 1 through May 31 each year to engage Iowans in employer-supported volunteering, both during and outside of the workday. There is no cost to register or participate; and, it doesn’t matter whether an employer has a formal volunteer program or how many employees there are – ANY employer in Iowa can compete (for profit, nonprofit, and government organizations). You can participate as an entire organization or by location if you have multiple sites (e.g. 123 Construction-Des Moines or ABC Insurance-Anamosa).
There is a lot of research showing the connection between employer-supported volunteering and improved employee engagement, employee wellness, organizational commitment, job satisfaction and retention. There is also research connecting employee engagement with increased profitability and productivity. In addition, there are benefits to the community through the organization fulfilling its corporate social responsibility goals.
Since the start of the pandemic, the percent of Iowans who volunteer dropped from 53% to 42%, while the need for volunteer support has grown. As well as serving an urgent need in Iowa, research shows volunteering helps improve physical and mental health. Now more than ever, it is critical to support and grow volunteering in Iowa.
Employers register in advance to participate and indicate whether they wish to be included in pre-challenge media releases. Volunteer hours are reported through a simple online report form either by the individual employee or through a company point of contact. Nonprofits can participate in the Challenge as employers and are encouraged to invite the local businesses who may provide them with volunteers to register as well.
Based on the number of entries received and company size, employers are divided into categories based on the number of employees. Winners are selected by determining the average number of volunteer hours per employee completed during the Challenge period. Employers achieving the highest average in each size category are recognized with a press release and a glass award.
If you have any questions, contact Volunteer Iowa by e-mail or phone 800.308.5987.
Good luck and happy volunteering!