Brokering Employer Sponsored Volunteering Strategies: Creating effective engagement between employers and third sector organisations

Lead Research Organisation: University of Hull
Department Name: Business School

Abstract

This project brings together academic research with the practitioner work of an organisation working to develop more effective brokerage for ESV; Hull and East Yorkshire Community Foundation (HEYCF). The Knowledge Transfer collaboration develops existing research knowledge of the academic team - based upon their ongoing work on ESV -, the contacts, expertise and experience of the broad range of organisations within the Employee Volunteering Network, and the evolving work of HEYCF. The primary objectives of the collaboration are as follows:






  • to create an effective brokerage model for HEYCF to utilise in co-ordinating ESV activities within the Humber and East Yorkshire region


  • to advise on the piloting, and evaluate the effectiveness, of the brokerage model being developed by HEYCF


  • to work in partnership with HEYCF to identify the processes through which this model can become financially sustainable


  • to examine ways in which the brokerage model can be disseminated to other groups and locations


  • to consider the implications of the development of brokerage activities within the context of the coalition government’s policy changes regarding third sector infrastructural funding and business-community engagement around the ‘Big Society’ agenda.


Planned Impact

1) Private and public sector organisations implementing or developing ESV strategies - While many companies are seeking to engage with CSR through ESV schemes, the limited amount of knowledge currently available regarding the type of engagement activities and the potential impact of these activities results in organisations often picking more easily identifiable opportunities rather than those that potentially can have the greatest impact, both for the local community/third sector organisation and for the organisation and its employees undertaking the ESV activity. As organisations are keen to evaluate and measure the impact of their ESV activities, the findings and toolkit developed from this project will provide a valuable resource for ensuring that resources are utilised effectively.
2) Third sector organisations seeking to engage business. With increasing restrictions on traditional public sector funding avenues, many third sector organisations are now seeking to engage with the business community for funding and support. However, many of these organisations find it difficult to market their organisations and the accompanying volunteering opportunities to the business sector. The brokerage model will help provide a bridge for engagement. Similarly, the resulting toolkit will provide third sector organisations with guidance and advice in identifying, marketing and costing the volunteering opportunities that they can offer. As currently many third sector organisations suggest that engaging with business around ESV can actually be costly to their organisation, both in terms of supervising and training volunteers, and utilising staff time that could be spent elsewhere, making engagement more effective will have a significant impact.
3) Organisations undertaking, or seeking to develop, a brokerage role for ESV. As the number of companies engaging with ESV increases, so the demand for suitable volunteering opportunities expands. Organisations that have traditionally co-ordinated volunteering activities are finding it increasingly hard to keep up with the current demand; this has been exacerbated by increasing government emphasis upon developing volunteering activities for the long-term unemployed, young people, etc. In addition to these traditional groups, brokerage roles are being developed by consultancies and other organisations, seeing this as a significant potential source of revenue or as part of the reshaping of infrastructural support for third sector organisations. Again, this project will provide invaluable material for these groups.
4) Government Policy makers. The increase in volunteering activity and the greater involvement of both individuals and businesses within their local communities has been a cornerstone of the governments 'big society' agenda. The findings from this project will have direct relevance for policy-makers within this field, both at a national and local level. With major budgetary cuts and large scale infrastructural reductions, the successful development of brokerage frameworks such as this may provide a valuable tool in effectively directing support to local community groups.
5) Company Employees undertaking ESV activities. Because the brokerage framework focuses upon creating a more successful connection between the volunteering opportunities available, the company aims for ESV and employees motivations to engage with the schemes, the project will also have an impact on the employees actually undertaking the volunteering activities.
While the project itself focuses upon activities being developed and undertaken within the Humber region, the application of the brokerage framework and toolkit is of far wider relevance. Through the ongoing activities of the Employee Volunteering Network and strong links with business and community organisations such as Business in the Community, there will be excellent opportunities to publicise and expand the impact of the project nationally.

Publications


10 25 50
Cook, J Bridging the Gaps: Fulfilling the Potential of Employee Volunteering in ESRC Public Policy Seminar Series on How does volunteering link to paid work hosted by National Centre for Voluntary Organisation
 
Description This has not changed since the last submission
Exploitation Route same as previous submission
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
URL http://www2.hull.ac.uk/hubs/research/research-impact/case-studies/full-employer-volunteering.aspx
 
Description Impact and policy implementation from this research has continued over the last 12 months and has resulted in new national initiatives to utilise and extend the policy related research findings. Three keys stages of non-academic impact have resulted; 1) The project team has joined the Skills Exchange network coordinated by the Office for Civil Society (OCS) and we are leading with OCS on developing infrastructural support and brokerage for Employee Sponsored Volunteering. The research findings have underpinned this strand of the Skills Exchange programme. 2) in partnership with OCS, Business in the Community and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations we are running 12 regional events to develop cross-sectoral dialogue on ESV. This is a scaling up of the original project which undertook these processes in one regional now extended to national policy strategy. 3) the research from the original project and these new workshops will be used by OCS to inform the 3-days a year volunteering leave policy development, via OCS and Business Innovation Skills departments. Adding to this new work is underway with Chartered Institute Personnel Development (CIPD) on using the findings on HR and Skills to develop recommendations for CIPD members in developing ESV under skills and development strategies in firms.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Pharmaceu
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services
 
Description Evaluation of KC (formally Kingston Communciations) Employee Volunteering Practices
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact This work in going, KC have received the projects evaluation report and we will engage further in early 2015 around policy and practice impacts.
 
Description Evaluation of Two Heads Marketing and Design (an SME) Employee Volunteering Practices
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact This work is on going, Two Heads Received the Project Evaluation report and we will engage further in early 2015 around policy and practice impacts.
 
Description Evaluation of William Jackson Food's Employee Volunteering Practices
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact This work is still underway, the project evaluation report has been submitted to William Jackson and we will engage further in early 2015 around policy and practice impacts. Initially thought, through the projects Employee Volunteering Network, the CSR manager at William Jackson food began working with Hull City Councils Community Partnerships team. Through meeting and discussion issues at these workshop, they developed a partnership around the city council giving land to the business to plant community trees as part of it 100 year centenary celebrations. This project has involved a further partnership with Meyersbeck Community centre (one of their ESV partners) is growing the tress in their nursery (manned by young people with learning difficulties) for William Jackson's which will be planted on public land in the city.
 
Description Hull and East yorkshire Community Foundations CSR and borkerage policy
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The projects impacts on Hull and East Yorkshire community foundations policy and practices were two-fold, first, their business/third sector brokerage manager received training in ESV from our team through our joint work, which shaped the way in which she approached local organisations to offer brokerage and her understanding of the needs of business. Second, the organisation realised through our joint work that brokerage specifically on ESV would be highly difficult to make economically sustainable (without government subsides) in the Hull and East Yorkshire area. Consequently they widened their brokerage models to include offering CSR policy development support to business, which was particularly well received by the public mutuals and heath care sectors in Hull.
 
Description Role on the Skills Exchange Alliance Steering Committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Working with the skills exchange alliance members to encourage increased engagement with the skills volunteering agenda across companies and third sector. Also helping them to consider how to measure and evaluate the impact of skills volunteering on community groups and employees
 
Description Skills Exchange prgramme and 3-day per year volunteering leave policy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact This is still work in progress and will be more extensively reported on next year.
 
Description ran a series of national consultation workshops on ESV with Office for Civil Society
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact Findings from the eleven consultations were utilised to reshape policy development on ESV, moving the focus towards supporting and enhancing regional infrastructural support, brokerage training and developing stronger cross-sectoral networks. Workshops also sparked new regional initiatives as a result of creating cross-sectoral engagement opportunities. Office for Civil Society have invited the research team to partner with the policy team to launch a series of new pilot initiatives.
 
Description Hull University Impact investment
Amount £5,700 (GBP)
Organisation University of Hull 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 11/2015 
End 07/2016
 
Description Sheffield Univeristy Managment School Impact Investment
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Sheffield 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2015 
End 06/2016
 
Title Development of Participatory Action Workshops 
Description Designed a participatory workshop based around action research methods, which was utilised by office for civil society as a process of open policy consultation and which encouraged cross-sectoral engagement and collaboration, through framing activities within a research based context. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Findings from workshops directly impacted on future policy development. Also in discussion with other policy teams within OCS regarding its utilisation in other areas. 
 
Title Participantory Research and Cross-Sectoral Dialogue 
Description Draw upon and developed new tools for research impact and working in partnership with non-academic agencies. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Impact collaboration and eventually research methods publication. 
 
Description Policy Partnership with Office for Civil Society 
Organisation Cabinet Office
Department Office for Civil Society
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We organised designed and ran a series of eleven regional cross-sectoral workshops based upon the gaps framework from the initial research. We produced summary reports and a comparative report and developed a policy recommendations paper as a result. We are now in the process of working with OCS to implement the policy recommendations and support and evaluate the ongoing activities
Collaborator Contribution OCS staff helped to co-ordinate the regional events, identify host organisations and participants and summarise the policy context. Utilised the workshops as direct consultation and open policy initiatives. OCS team then utilised the findings to develop a series of policy initiatives which they are implementing in 2017.
Impact Summary workshop reports and a comparative workshop report. A cross -sectoral workshop hosted in whitehall by the office for civil society Series of new policy initiatives
Start Year 2016
 
Description Skills Exchange Programme 
Organisation Business in the Community
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research team has joined the Skills Exchange Programme which is coordinated by OCS, BITC and NCVO are partners. The ESV research project has been used to inform the brokerage and infrastructure strand of this programme with the findings directly shaping the new set of 12 regional workshops in the English Regions. The research and these new workshops will be used to inform UK government policy around ESV and cross-sectoral collaboration and the associated 3-day a year volunteering policy and legislation. research team have also joined the broader Skills Share Steering Group.
Collaborator Contribution First collaboration ESV Policy breakfast hosted by OCS in January 2016. national event designed to develop the debate on ESV infrastructure and set the frame for the regional workshops. Matching in-kind resources from OCS local and the cabinet office, BITC and NCVO. Jointly run regional workshops with a OCS local lead with the research team from March 2016-July 2016.
Impact Outputs are pending the new series of regional workshops on ESV brokerage.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Skills Exchange Programme 
Organisation Cabinet Office
Department Office for Civil Society
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Research team has joined the Skills Exchange Programme which is coordinated by OCS, BITC and NCVO are partners. The ESV research project has been used to inform the brokerage and infrastructure strand of this programme with the findings directly shaping the new set of 12 regional workshops in the English Regions. The research and these new workshops will be used to inform UK government policy around ESV and cross-sectoral collaboration and the associated 3-day a year volunteering policy and legislation. research team have also joined the broader Skills Share Steering Group.
Collaborator Contribution First collaboration ESV Policy breakfast hosted by OCS in January 2016. national event designed to develop the debate on ESV infrastructure and set the frame for the regional workshops. Matching in-kind resources from OCS local and the cabinet office, BITC and NCVO. Jointly run regional workshops with a OCS local lead with the research team from March 2016-July 2016.
Impact Outputs are pending the new series of regional workshops on ESV brokerage.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Skills Exchange Programme 
Organisation National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research team has joined the Skills Exchange Programme which is coordinated by OCS, BITC and NCVO are partners. The ESV research project has been used to inform the brokerage and infrastructure strand of this programme with the findings directly shaping the new set of 12 regional workshops in the English Regions. The research and these new workshops will be used to inform UK government policy around ESV and cross-sectoral collaboration and the associated 3-day a year volunteering policy and legislation. research team have also joined the broader Skills Share Steering Group.
Collaborator Contribution First collaboration ESV Policy breakfast hosted by OCS in January 2016. national event designed to develop the debate on ESV infrastructure and set the frame for the regional workshops. Matching in-kind resources from OCS local and the cabinet office, BITC and NCVO. Jointly run regional workshops with a OCS local lead with the research team from March 2016-July 2016.
Impact Outputs are pending the new series of regional workshops on ESV brokerage.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Sustainable Brokerage partnership 
Organisation Hull and East Yorkshire Community Foundation
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Supported the mapping of local ESV needs, evaluated brokerage practices, developed research findings on brokerage models, made practice recommendations to the organisation, produced detailed research reports.
Collaborator Contribution Mapped and scoped local needs, developed and implemented brokerage systems, supported the research process at every stage, including negotiating access.
Impact Three reports on Brokerage available to download from the URL. 1) Employee Volunteering Research Briefing Guide, 2) Employer Sponsored Volunteering: A Comparative Analysis. 3) Brokering Employer Sponsored Strategies: Research Report.
Start Year 2012
 
Description CIPD Business Breakfast on Skills Volunteering 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact CIPD asked if we would help them to design a business breakfast focused around the skills gap from the research. The aim was to bring together business experts who had been involved in the research process to talk about how to build volunteering activities into HR and L & D activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description ERSC Public Policy Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact After the seminar the National Council for Voluntary Organisations asked us to write a blog for their website about the core learning from the project. Participants at the workshop engaged in twitter updates throughout the presentation picking up on and disseminating some of the key aspects of the research to a broader audience beyond those attending the seminar.

Further discussions with National Council for Voluntary Organisations to expand the reach of the findings to a broad third sector audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description End of Project Workshop on 'Employee Volunteering: Building Stronger Relationships through Effective Brokerage' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop examines the challenges around how brokerage organisations improve relationships between the voluntary sector and the public and private sector organisations seeking to engage with employee volunteering. It will present findings from an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research project on Employee Volunteering undertaken by Dr. Joanne Cook (University of Hull) and Dr. Jon Burchell (University of Sheffield) in collaboration with the Hull and East Yorkshire Community Foundation (HEYCF).

Further opportunities for dissemination were developed with London based organisations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www2.hull.ac.uk/hubs/research/research-groups/organisational-behaviour-hrm/projects/employer-...
 
Description Initial meetings to enhance policy impact with DEMOs 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Meeting with Jonathan Bird (Head of Citizenship and Participation at Demos) discusses our shared research interests in this field and the core findings of the research and it implications for policy making and issues of employee participation in civil society. This initial meeting has led to future discussion for joint activities.

Future collaborations under development are;
1) a re-launched findings report under the DEMOS reports programme
2) A joint round table to be held in London in March 2015 on ESV.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Launch event for comparative workshop report and policy action framework (whitehall) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Workshop hosted by Office for Civil Society to launch the comparative report from the regional workshops and the policy action framework which is to be utilised for the next stages of policy development and funding.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Meetings with Regional Cabinet Office to discuss policy impact opportunities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Initial meeting was held with Paul Schofield the Regional cabinet representative for Yorkshire and the Humber. The core findings of the research and its policy implications were discussed; two opportunities were agreed. 1) research team to attend a visit from the minster for Civil Society. 2)Present these findings a regional network of businesses and third sector groups to be organised by the cabinet office. These activities are being followed up and will be reported on in the impact report in March 2015.

In progress
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Partnering with OCS, DEMOS, BITC and NCVO in the Skills Share programme around ESV Brokerage - National Policy Breakfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Policy Breakfast event round table and launch event for the Regional ESV brokerage workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Regional Workshop series 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A series of eleven regional cross-sectoral workshops held across England to discuss the challenges of realising the potential of ESV. Approximately 60 participants at each event. OCS policy team utilised this as an open policy framework and took away policy objectives, while new regional collaborations have emerged from a number of the events
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/esv
 
Description Workshop presentation to Barnsley Human Resource Managers Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The presentation was well received by the HR mangers who expressed that it was useful in informing how they approach ESV in the future.

Informal feedback about how they could draw on the results of the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Yorshire Humber regioanl ESV infrastructure workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop is pending 18th March 2016 in York hosted by Hiscocks and facilitated by York Cares, Universities of Hull and Sheffield and OCS local.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description press release on project findings and Radio Humberside live interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview is scheduled for 28th October, after this I will report further on any related impacts/developments

Project is currently trying try download this interview as a pod cast. for one week it is available on BBC iplayer, Radio Humberside, Lizzie and Carl, 1 hour 47 minutes into the broadcast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014