Employee Paid Volunteer Hours

Question: I wanted to ask about a suggested percentage of volunteer hours to capture as community benefit. Over the last year Mercy has given all coworkers 8 paid hours to volunteer in the community for either a nonprofit or in a community activity annually. Our policy states that volunteer activities should be related directly to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, demonstrate direct co-worker involvement, and support Mercy’s ethical and social values, as well as provide value to individuals and communities we serve.

  • Examples of activities included by this policy may include:
    • Serving meals at a homeless shelter
    • Volunteering at a food bank
    • Cleaning up a section of land near a road or highway

Would you have any guidance on a percentage of VTO to be counted or maybe our workgroup has input?

Recommendation: We commend your program to support your community by providing all employees 8 paid hours annually to volunteer in the community.

We recommend you report as community benefit only the paid employee community volunteer hours spent on activities that meet an identified community health need and qualify as community benefit. To determine if the paid volunteer activities qualify as community benefit, you may wish to enhance your current process to include employees providing documentation on their volunteer activity and how it connects with the needs identified in your CHNA and Implementation Plan. As a reminder, employees volunteering on their own time is not reportable as a community benefit.

(November 2023)

Please Take Note: The information provided does not constitute legal or tax advice. The material is provided for informational/educational purposes only. Please consult with counsel regarding your organization's particular circumstances.