New system recommends service opportunities based on employee interests and skills
DEARBORN, Mich. — COVID-19 has changed how people live, work—and help others. With traditional volunteering not always safe or practical, the Ford Volunteer Corps is launching a new online system that features a growing number of virtual service projects.
From reviewing grants online for women entrepreneurs to staffing a virtual Detroit Census phone bank, employees have new opportunities to give back from home or other remote workplace.
In addition, the new volunteering site, accessed at http://www.fordfund.org/volunteer, allows Ford employees to specify the issues that interest them, find projects that match their skill sets, then track service hours through a personal profile.
"The global pandemic and protests around social justice and racial inequity have profoundly affected our employees, and they are looking for new ways to serve people in need," said Todd Nissen, director, Ford Volunteer Corps and global communications, Ford Motor Company Fund.
"The new site gives us advanced capabilities that will allow us to better respond to employees' interests, and, ultimately, give them more of what they want. At the same time, it allows us to better fulfill the needs of our nonprofit partners and helps build capacity for the critically important work they are doing."
Ford employees are encouraged to visit the new site and complete the personal profile. Once complete, the new system will automatically recommend upcoming volunteering projects based on their personal preferences each time an employee visits the site. Employees can also perform a customized search for volunteering opportunities based on their preferred date, time, physical requirements or project location.
As the world continues to cope with the new realities brought on by COVID-19, the Ford Volunteer Corps is working closely with nonprofits to carve out a new path for what community service looks like moving forward.
In the short term, that means accelerating the availability of virtual volunteering opportunities that can be completed online or via phone. In some instances, virtual projects can provide greater flexibility, allowing volunteers to complete the work at a time most convenient for them.
Even with an increased focus on virtual volunteering, the Ford Volunteer Corps is equally as committed to providing "in-person" service opportunities in a safe way as nonprofits begin to restart their traditional volunteering programs. All volunteer sites are required to follow the recommendations in Ford's Non-Manufacturing Return to Work Playbook, as well as all applicable laws including federal, state, and local orders regarding COVID-19 safety. Employees are encouraged to exercise caution and follow safety protocols before volunteering in person.
Ford Motor Company offers its U.S. salaried employees up to 16 hours of paid time each year to volunteer in community service projects.
Managed by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the company's philanthropic arm, the Ford Volunteer Corps is a network of global Ford employees and retirees that have contributed more than 1.4 million volunteer hours in community service projects on six continents since 2005. To learn more about Ford Volunteer Corps, click here.