Employer-supported volunteering benefits: Gift exchange among employers, employees, and volunteer organizations

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Using gift exchange theory to explain the growing trend of employers offering employer-supported volunteering (ESV) benefits, this article discusses the creation of exchange relationships between the employer and employee and between the volunteer organization and employee. Hypotheses derived from the employee's perspective are tested with a nationally representative sample of volunteers (n = 3,658). Findings suggest that ESV benefits are positively related to hours volunteered by the employee. Volunteer hours predict employee perceptions of skill acquisition, and such perceptions are positively related to perceptions of job success and employer recognition. We discuss the implications of these findings for business, employees, and volunteer organizations, with an emphasis on human resource management policy and practice.