Employer Supported Volunteering

A guide for employers and community and voluntary groups

Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) is where the employees of an organisation take paid time off to volunteer during work hours. Employees can choose to use their volunteering time to support a charity or community group of their own choice, or to take up an opportunity provided by their company.

Getting involved with ESV can benefit voluntary organisations by:

  • Creating partnerships that encourage a shared ownership for community wellbeing
  • Access to high quality volunteers
  • Access to volunteers with varied skills
  • Access to volunteers with specialist skills and knowledge
  • Building long term partnerships and stronger relationships
  • Providing a fresh and new perspective
  • Raising awareness and publicity for the voluntary organisation


Benefits to the employee are:

  • They can use their existing skills to support a local voluntary organisation
  • Develop new skills and/or improve existing ones
  • Better understanding of the local voluntary organisation/sector
  • They have a sense of pride and satisfaction
  • New friendships
  • Builds confidence

Benefits to the employer are:

  • Motivated employees
  • Improved relationships with stakeholders and the local community
  • Opportunities for training and development outside of what is usually offered
  • Good PR, maintaining a positive brand image
  • Fun way to develop staff and teams

While ESV can benefit employers, their staff and community organisations, it is important to ensure that the needs of all parties are matched.


For employers looking to set up an ESV programme please go to the NCVO website to see some key things to consider.

Charities and community groups should take the time to think about how this scheme would be of use to them. What is it that you need? Do you need a ‘team’ of people for a one off event, or would you benefit from an individual’s professional skill/s?


Examples of possible types of volunteering:

Team Events

  • Organising/hosting an event or outing for a particular client group
  • Refurbishing community facilities
  • Involvement in an environmental project
  • Developing a sensory garden
  • Careers talks in schools
  • Delivering a workshop

Individual Opportunities

  • Strategic planning
  • Support with financial management
  • Social media
  • Marketing/communication skills
  • Fundraising
  • Participation as a trustee

If you would like to discuss setting up an ESV programme please contact our Volunteering Support Coordinator, Clare Humphreys – clare@devonva.org.