Employees keen on volunteering opportunities

One-quarter would be more likely to get involved if encouraged by employer: Survey

Ninety per cent of Canadians feel it is important that their place of work encourages a culture of "community giveback" among employees, yet only 35 per cent of those in a workplace report their employer has a program motivating them to volunteer.

Almost one-quarter (23 per cent) of respondents to a BMO Financial Group survey said they would be more likely to volunteer if their company did more to encourage it.

"Corporate Canada has a role to play in helping in the development of the communities in which we do business and live," said Eric Tripp, president of BMO Capital Markets. "Canadians expect their employers to take a leading role in helping foster a culture of volunteerism in our society."

In the past year, 70 per cent of Canadians said they volunteered for a charitable organization. The top reason they volunteer is a desire to give back to the community (68 per cent), followed by a sense of duty (38 per cent), it is a good way to meet people (35 per cent), it reduces stress (33 per cent) and it is a good professional experience (24 per cent).

When the 800 survey respondents were asked about the causes they support by volunteering, the top categories included:

•local community programs (27 per cent)

•children's charities (19 per cent)

•health programs and disease research (17 per cent)

•poverty (11 per cent).

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