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” This is a cost to our company but it’s not the same as writing a cheque” says Emily Rothberg of Deloitte speaking of a new and what I believe is a welcome trend in community service. Organizations are not too well placed to make the generous donations they used to give in the past to non-profits and other avenues for community service. Instead they are permitting their employees to volunteer for community projects on company time.

A departure from the past when such time was usually out of the person’s out-of -work time. Deloitte, Marriott and Verizon are three amongst other organizations mentioned in this article in the Washington Post.

It’s encouraging to see that companies have looked at alternate forms of assistance such as skill-based volunteerism. One school of thought is that many beneficiaries of such volunteer efforts would not have normally been able to afford such services considering the high costs.

For the employee volunteers, this kind of activity gives them an avenue to do some good for society. Granted that some would have done it anyway -but this format makes their efforts easier as they are not being taxed at the end of a long day’s work. It is reported that Deloitte contributed $ 250,000 and more than 1500 hours of professional time over two years to help non-profits with their disaster preparedness plans.

As the economic crisis looms large, such volunteer work can bring help to those organizations which need it as also make for a better way of life for the volunteers themselves.

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This is Post No: 355 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.