Corporate social marketing is changing into something more than cheque book charity, with the concept of corporate volunteering catching up.
Corporate icons Mickey and Minnie Mouse are ready to do some volunteering, along with teh staff of other corporate biggies like Levis Strauss, Samsung, UPS, Citigroup, and the Brazilian firm Vale do Rio Doce.
Walt Disney and the other five firms joined hands in Delhi on Saturday to form the first Global Corporate Volunteering Council or the G-CVC, which will be a forum for world corporates to share ideas on corporate volunteering and make it a widespread phenomenon.
The council was launched at the ongoing World Volunteer conference of the NGO International Association for Volunteer Effort. Companies like Coke, SK Telecom, and Microsoft are the big names which have already begun corporate volunteering.
In India, Intel and Satyam Computers had their models ready on a working corporate volunteering programme. The companies took part in the conference and narrated their success stories.
Said Jeff Hoffman, vice-president, Walt Disney, after the launch of the G-CVC: "When I am working on my strategies for our employee volunteering programme, it helps to know what works and what does not by sharing the best practices. There is so much need in the world. Many companies need an example on how to do corporate volunteering."
Microsoft had sent 50 of its executives to NGOs to improve processing of microfinance loans, who worked out a solution in four months, said Emile Hine of Microsoft's agency liaisoning between the firm and NGOs.
K Balaji of Satyam Computers said the firm had formed seven teams dedicated to goals like HIV eradication and education and given them targets to achieve. The teams worked on weekends or in their free time at its centres at Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, and Bhubaneswar.
Coke has set up an employee volunteering programme in Kenya with the NGO Voluntary Service Organisation.
The latter identifies charities that need skilled people and Coke provides them. "Philanthropy is not just about donating money. We need skills and empowerment," said Eve Lwembe who heads the Voluntary Social Organisation in Kenya.