stakeholder table

Mapping Voluntary Human Capital By Region Around The World


The Capacity Mapping Project is an innovative effort to map the capacity of employee volunteers to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 on a regional level. Employee volunteering has tremendous potential to be a positive vehicle for business involvement in local and international development initiatives. Employee volunteering is an evolution beyond traditional corporate philanthropy and a one-way flow of investment in communities to enable a more dynamic exchange between corporate employees and key stakeholder groups representing community and civil society.

Achieving real and lasting change in the world is neither simple nor cheap. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals represent an historic effort “to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.” Yet by the UN’s own admission, “it will cost $1.4tn (£920bn) a year to end extreme poverty for 700 million people and meet the other ambitious targets enshrined in the world’s new development agenda” (read more here). This kind of capital investment demands that we rethink our approach to sustainable change.

Currently, there is limited insight as to the scale, scope, and overall practice of employee volunteering around the world. Complicating matters further, there is a lack of understanding as to the overall awareness of the SDGs among employees who are active in corporate volunteering and community investment programs

In order to properly assess the capacity and potential of the private sector to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through the voluntary efforts of employees, the following questions must be addressed at a regional level:

  • What companies currently have some form of employee volunteering?
  • What is the valuation of employee volunteering as part of overall corporate community investment?
  • How many other companies are likely to develop a formal employee volunteering program supported by broader corporate community investments?
  • What is the current awareness of, and/or active alignment to, the SDGs across employee volunteering programs?
  • What are the barriers to increasing the application of employee volunteering programs to helping achieve the SDGs by 2030?

The Realized Worth team and RW Institute have been active in regions around the world to begin mapping the capacity of employee volunteering to help achieve the SDGs. This work, when fully realized, has the potential to bring the efforts of millions of professionals across the globe and the resources to bear in creating sustainable solutions to challenges that require a mass response.


The UAE is the first region to undertake this project as His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE President, has declared 2017 as the “Year of Giving”.