Corporate Community Volunteering and Employee Engagement

Actions and Detail Panel

Sales Ended

Date and time



833 Collins St, Core B, Upper Ground Suites

Melbourne, VIC 3000


View map


CSaRO header

Corporate Community Volunteering and Employee Engagement

Keynote Speaker: David A. Jones, Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont

Panel Moderator: Merle Singer, Curve of the World

In an increasingly competitive marketplace attracting and retaining the best talent extends beyond the more tangible aspects such as role, salary, working conditions and brand. A growing body of evidence suggests that job seekers are attracted to organizations with positive social practices (e.g. volunteering, community involvement and ethical governance). In addition studies show that employees within organisation which have active volunteering programs are likely to have higher job satisfaction, greater trust in the company and more co-operative behaviours.

In Australia there is a large amount of employee volunteering, with almost a quarter of the workforce engaged in unpaid work for a community organisation during work hours. Anecdotally however it appears that these programs are not necessarily as effective as they could be. Community and not-for-profit organisations may feel overwhelmed by the influx of volunteers and may find it difficult to use all of their skills effectively. Employers may find it resource intensive to implement these type of programs, difficult to keep track of and challenging to pull together disparate volunteering efforts into a comprehensive story of the organisations commitment to volunteering and the community.

This session brings together representatives from the not-for-profit space, community organisations, volunteering bodies and for profit organisations in order to initiate discussions, brainstorm ways of approaching the challenges and to learn from best practice in this area. If you are reliant on volunteers, if you are serious about attracting and retaining the best talent, if you are interested in social practices this session is a must.


8:00 – 8:30 am

Registration, tea and coffee

8:30 – 9.00 am

Welcome and Introduction – Professor Alex Newman, Deakin University

9.00 – 10:15 am

Keynote speaker – David A. Jones, Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont

Insights from the Science and Practice of Corporate Volunteerism: Enhancing Stakeholder Value through Informed Program Design

10:15 – 10:45 am

Morning Tea

10:45 am – 12:00 pm

Panel discussion

Moderator: Merle Singer, Curve of the World

Chair: Dr Heather Round, Deakin University

Panel Members:

Christine Mathieson, CEO VicDeaf
Roz Wollmering, Member & Corporate Relations Manager, Volunteer Victoria
Maria Golushko, Associate at McKinsey & Company
Vanessa Veldman, Corporate Engagement Coordinator at Save the Children Australia
Liz Malady, General Manager - People & Culture at CPA Australia
Ilona Charles, Aconex, Chief People Officer

12:00 – 12:30 pm

Concluding remarks – Professor Alex Newman, Deakin University

Insights from the Science and Practice of Corporate Volunteerism:
Enhancing Stakeholder Value through Informed Program Design
David A. Jones
Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont, USA
Keynote Address at the Corporate Community Involvement and Employee Engagement seminar
Sponsored by Deakin Business School (November, 2016)

Professor Jones will describe insights that inform the design of corporate volunteerism programs (CVPs) to enhance the value these programs create for employers, employees, and the communities they serve. He will describe common CVP design elements, contemporary practices in the U.S., and “lessons learned” from his work with companies that include Google, Cisco Systems, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Green Mouontain Coffee Roasters, Seventh Generation, and Fidelity Investments. Professor Jones will also draw on scholarly research to inform recommendations about how CVPs can be leveraged to attract applicants, engage and retain committed employees, and promote skill development through emplolyee volunteering.

David A. Jones
David A. Jones (Ph.D., University of Calgary) is a Professor of Management at the Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont, and Co-Director of their Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA program. David is a productive scholar and a recognized thought leader in the study of job seeker and employee responses to companies’ environmentally sustainable practices and community engagement. He has presented over 80 papers at scholarly conferences, and has published over 30 articles, book chapters, and proceeding papers. David’s published work includes literature reviews on corporate volunteerism programs (Henning & Jones, 2013) and other so-called socially responsible business practices (Jones & Rupp, in press; Jones & Willness, 2013; Willness & Jones, 2013), and empirical studies on job seeker and employee responses to corporate volunteerism and community involvement (Jones, 2010; Jones, 2016; Jones et al., 2016; Jones et al., 2014). His articles have appeared in top scholarly journals, such as the Academy of Management Journal, and he serves on the editorial boards of two other leading journals: the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Journal of Management. David is currently co-editing two special journal issues on socially responsible business practices.

David is a passionate teacher who was honored to receive a university-wide teaching award in 2009 from the University of Vermont, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Sustainable Business, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility, and Leadership and Innovation. He regularly works with organizations and conducts full-day leadership workshops through which he has trained over 800 executives and managers in the state of Vermont alone.

Merle Singer
Merle has more than 25 years of senior leadership roles in the technology sector across multi-disciplines. More recently she has stepped into the world of people consulting and coaching and recently completed a 5-month Transformation project in Silicon Valley in the USA. Her experience spans corporate marketing, leadership development, culture & reputation, corporate social responsibility and global environmental sustainability. She holds a BA Honours from the University of Cape Town and Masters in Psychology from the University of Witwatersrand, as well as being a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Merle is accredited in Myers Briggs Type Inventory, Hogan Assessment Inventories and Barrett’s Cultural Transformation Tools and is also a qualified yoga instructor.

Merle believes in fostering teamwork, inspiring champions, and utilising creativity and fun to achieve organisational success. She is able to galvanise multi-disciplinary teams in global matrix environments around a central theme or project using influence and strongly developed interpersonal skills.

Her mantra is “Interrupt the Usual” which she does by bringing to her work a unique blend of corporate knowledge and experience combined with a passion about people, culture and potential.