Partnerships with employers beyond job placements are a strategic way to maintain and grow business relationships. Businesses support refugee resettlement programs through employee giving, event sponsorship, donations, and grants, but did you know that many firms also sponsor employee volunteer days? Many companies offer their employees 1 to 3 days per year to go out into the community and provide volunteer service. For example, TripAdvisor allows their employees to take up to five days of paid leave to volunteer their time and skills at any nonprofit organization, including those working with refugees. Before reaching out to an employer with a proposal, Higher recommends that refugee programs prepare a list and description of short-term volunteer roles that would be appropriate for such an event. When providing options, be mindful of corporate preferences such as volunteer opportunities that might be done at the business’s location or one-time large group projects.
Here are just a few ways in which refugee employment programs might utilize corporate volunteers:
- Have the company put on a fair or job readiness class where refugees can learn about different aspects of American workplace culture. This event can also include informational interviews and interviewing or networking practice for clients.
- Have the company’s employee’s act as career mentors for refugee clients.
- Seek out professional volunteers that might offer their skills for special projects such as database creation, grant writing, social media, or marketing.
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