Conference: Corporate volunteerism: 3D
Ukraine, October 13-14, 2011
By Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum
1. Highlights of the Conference
In Mykolajiv, October 13-14, Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum, in conjunction with the Center for Social Programs RUSAL, East Europe Foundation held Ukraine’s first international conference on corporate volunteering "Corporate volunteerism: 3D».
It gathered 130 participants from 7 countries (Ukraine, USA, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Slovakia) and 10 regions of Ukraine. The conference presented the best practices of corporate volunteerism programs in companies such as Rusal, IBM, Microsoft, PcW, Ernst and Young. The Conference was supported by 5 national media partners.
The uniqueness of the event was that the first time in Ukraine gathered in one place experts on CSR and corporate volunteerism from seven countries, but also created opportunities not only to discuss the theme of the conference during a discussion of various grounds, but also directly affect the real experience.
All this was made possible thanks to the concept of the event, which included discussion of corporate volunteering in three dimensions:
1) the impact of corporate volunteering programs for the company itself, its employees and the community;
2) corporate volunteerism in the international, post-Soviet and Ukrainian practice;
3) local initiatives on corporate volunteerism.
During the Conference the following questions were answered:
• How can corporate volunteering programs be built into the overall strategy of the company and CSR strategy in particular?
• What dividends from corporate volunteering programs can the company get? Which companies is it suitable for and are there contraindications?
• How to develop an effective corporate volunteering program?
• Does the program promote corporate volunteering professional development of employees? How to motivate and retain employees as a volunteer?
In addition to panel discussions, parallel sessions, talk-show conference program included a press-conference "How does international and Ukrainian business support the European Year of Volunteering?", also visits to sites of Nikolayev, which implemented various CSR programs; Mykolayiv Alumina Plant, where participants became familiar with practice of the program on corporate volunteerism among its employees.
2. How do you think the global context and organizations like WINGS can help advance local philanthropy?
Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum and WINGS have practical experience on this issue. Starting with the most fresh, WINGS’ assistance in finding such outstanding expert as Valerie Halverson Pace, Ph.D., West Region Manager atIBM Corporate Citizenship for our conference "Corporate volunteerism: 3D». Thanks to WINGS international practices were presented live on a high level and it was a great step for popularization of corporate volunteerism in Ukraine. One of WINGS’ role is facilitating connections and relationships for its members that can grow into powerful collaborations.
We have taken part in different WINGS peer learning events, about development of community foundations, engaging corporations and donors forums’ activities. These activities always push us ahead. After these educational events we were able to activated community foundations movement and opened our association for socially responsible business. In this matter, WINGS has strengthened our leadership and move philanthropy forward in our region.
WINGS is a global organization that convenes dialogue among its associates and provides opportunities to share with peers. For us, an organization in a young State like Ukraine, doing first steps in developing effective and civilized local philanthropy, sharing common themes and problems with international community presented in particular by developed countries with real institutional philanthropy, make us feel proud, involved and moving the right way.
3. Some conclusions:
Lively discussions have shown that currently there is no universal algorithm for development, implementation and evaluation of corporate volunteering programs. But all experts agree that the success of the program should embody the principle of "here and now." Do not expect a lot of fans of the ideas, the emergence of specific documents that govern the program. You must take a chance and hold the first volunteer initiative with the concerned employees. And then life itself will show how closely the corporate volunteering can be linked to the overall strategy of the company.
For more information, please visit: http://www.ufb.org.ua/
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