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Getting Corporate Feet on the Street: Developing Employee Volunteering in South Africa

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Although South Africa has a long history of volunteering, employee volunteer programmes are a relatively new trend. Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CAFSA) has been actively encouraging and facilitating employee giving for a number of years. They have recently embarked on a new campaign designed to raise the awareness of employee volunteering and to increase the number of companies offering employee volunteering programmes to their staff.

This article describes the context and tradition of South African volunteering in general and employee volunteering in particular. Then there is a detailed account of the first-ever Employee Volunteer Week run by CAFSA in early 2005, with a thoughtful discussion of the effort’s successes, challenges, and plans for 2006. Also included are a PDF of the how-to toolkit developed for employers and nonprofits, several photographs, and a brief video clip of the public service announcement filmed for promotion.