Ahead of Giving Tuesday, nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of U.S. employers say they’ve seen an increase in employee volunteer activities this year, according to a new survey by the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals.

However, despite this increase, the survey also found corporate social responsibility professionals have struggled to get participation levels back to a pre-pandemic rate of roughly 34 per cent.

In addition, the survey found in-person and virtual volunteering options have become standard in corporate volunteerism programs as remote work continues to be prevalent. A quarter (25 per cent) of companies said they’ve increased their employee engagement budget and only 14 per cent reported decreased participation in employee volunteerism.

Read: Survey finds Canadian employees who volunteer have better mental health

To help increase participation rates, respondents cited offering increased opportunities for group volunteering (59 per cent) and more focus on in-person volunteering opportunities (48 per cent), while also adding more options for individual volunteering (35 per cent).

Among employers that added a corporate social impact team headcount, more than 90 per cent experienced increased integration with diversity, equity and inclusion departments and reported a higher percentage of increased volunteer participation.

“Our survey data shows today’s workplace is a major source for fulfilling Giving Tuesday’s mission to pursue radical generosity,” said Carolyn Berkowitz, president and chief executive officer of ACCP, in a press release. “Employee giving and volunteerism programs increase engagement and tangibly align corporate values with those of employees. In today’s highly competitive talent market employee volunteerism and giving are essential strategies for recruiting, engaging and retaining staff.”

Read: Organon encouraging employees to volunteer with paid time off