Why should I volunteer?
There are many reasons to volunteer, including:
- AGL is proud of its corporate social responsibility program, Energy for Life, which provides all employees the opportunity to take one day of paid volunteering leave each year. It values the importance its employees place upon contributing to the communities in which AGL works.
- Volunteering provides an opportunity to make a difference in your local community and it can be an extremely rewarding experience.
- Volunteering offers new ways to develop your skills and increase your experience. For example research shows that volunteering can help with developing communication skills and improving an individual’s ability to adapt to different environments and balance competing priorities.
- Importantly, volunteering can contribute to your overall wellbeing and helps to instil an attitude of care and responsibility for the wider community.
What types of volunteering are there?
The Energy For Life volunteering platform helps to match your skills and interests to hundreds of volunteer opportunities across more than 1,000 charities and community groups. The website includes both skilled and hands-on general volunteering for individuals and teams.
Skilled volunteering puts your professional skills and talents to work for the benefit of the community. Examples include project management, public relations, administration, event management, legal and governance or even advising on a Board. Hands-on general volunteering includes roles like tree planting and cooking for the homeless.
Please use the drop down menu or the Search functionality to find an opportunity that suits you best.
Do I have to use the website to find a volunteer opportunity?
You are welcome to source your own volunteer opportunity. However, we encourage you to browse the website before you choose which volunteer opportunity is right for you.
What is the process for taking volunteer leave?
Please apply for leave via Connect on the Grid, selecting ‘volunteer leave’ from the drop down options.
Who approves my volunteer leave?
Approval of volunteer leave is provided by your Manager (as per all other leave requests) and is subject to operational requirements.
My manager won’t approve my volunteer leave. What should I do?
AGL will try to accommodate all requests for volunteer leave where possible. Please ensure that you provide your manager with suitable notice to ensure we can accommodate your request within the bounds of our business requirements.
How do I apply for a volunteer opportunity?
- Obtain approval for taking volunteer leave as per 'What is the process for taking volunteer leave?' above.
- Select ‘Volunteer’ from the homepage or on the right hand side of the navigation bar.
- Under ‘Find volunteer opportunities’ fill in the boxes - select your skill, location, availability and suitable for.
- Select an opportunity that appeals to you and click ‘view’.
- Click ‘volunteer’ at the end of the description.
- Fill in the details on the application page and click ‘apply as volunteer’.
- Your application will be sent to the charity who will respond to you directly.
How do I organise a team volunteer activity?
Team volunteering can be organised through the same Energy For Life volunteering platform. When you’re applying for a volunteer position, tick the box which says ‘team application’ and enter email addresses for your team members.
Goodcompany will coordinate team volunteering activities between your team and the community organisation. If you’d like to discuss team volunteering with Goodcompany, please email them here.
Will AGL cover my expenses for volunteering?
Some volunteering opportunities may incur a charge to cover costs of establishing the event. For example, a community centre may ask for a monetary contribution to cover the costs of a team volunteering activity where employees prepare meals for homeless people. If costs are incurred to undertake the volunteering activity, these should be covered by the individual or team’s cost centre, with the approval of their manager.
I am involved with a charity outside of work and would like to advertise a volunteer opportunity on the website. What is the process?
All volunteer opportunities are housed on the Energy For Lifevolunteering platform. To find out how to list a volunteer opportunity contact Goodcompany.
How can I track how much time I’ve given?
You track the volunteer opportunities you’ve applied for and how much time you’ve volunteered, by clicking on your name in the top right hand corner on the Energy For Life volunteering platform, and then clicking on ‘volunteering’ on the left hand side.
Can I ask my colleagues to help me?
Absolutely. When you apply for the role, simply tick the box for ‘Team Application’ and add the names and email addresses of your team members. Goodcompany can also help to coordinate team volunteering activities.
How much time do I have to commit to the project?
All volunteering opportunities vary in length. Some will require only several hours of your time, others may involve several hours over weeks or months and some may involve an ongoing commitment such as joining the board or committee of a not-for-profit. Each volunteer opportunity on the site includes some information about the time commitment. Please note that AGL provides employees with one day of paid leave each financial year for volunteering. Employees wanting to volunteer more than one day or on an ongoing basis will need to do so in their own time.
I’ve applied for a volunteer opportunity but haven’t received a response. What should I do?
Please contact Goodcompany if you have not heard back from the community group within two weeks of applying, or within a few days before the volunteer opportunity is meant to occur. It is possible the contact person is away or otherwise unable to check their emails. Contact Goodcompany on 03 9686 7400 or email them here.
What if I have committed but I can no longer help out?
Single day volunteer opportunities
Once you commit to participating in a volunteer event, every effort should be made to honour this commitment as community organisations rely upon the commitments we make. Often these events require community organisations to put in place specific arrangements to accommodate volunteers, and it can be costly for them to re-organise these events, particularly at short notice. If you have no choice but to miss a volunteer opportunity that you have signed up for, ask your colleagues to see if they are able to take up the opportunity instead. If you cannot find a colleague to fill your spot, then talk to Goodcompany to see if they can fill the opportunity elsewhere. The most important thing is to communicate this as soon as you know that you will be unable to participate in the event.
Ongoing volunteer commitments
When you first meet with the community group, be open and honest about your level of commitment (keeping in mind AGL will support only one day of paid volunteering leave). If you think that it’s too much of a commitment then you are entitled to withdraw at this stage. However, once you agree to proceed with the volunteering opportunity, the community group will be relying on you and it costs them time and money if you pull out of the volunteering opportunity.
If you need to withdraw once the volunteering opportunity is already underway, ask your colleagues if they are interested in helping out and talk to Goodcompany to see if they can help find someone else. The most important thing is to communicate with the community group and/or Goodcompany about your situation.
What if I have a genuine interest in the area the volunteering opportunity falls under but don't necessarily have the skills or experience in that particular area, can I still be considered?
Yes. You can still apply for the volunteering opportunity (particularly if you are passionate about the cause/issue) and Goodcompany might be able to find you another volunteering opportunity at that same organisation if you are not the right match for that particular opportunity.