Huskies Give Back (Volunteering Leave)

Paid volunteering leave provides employees with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to service and stewardship, one of the university's core values. Full-time employees are eligible to take up to 7.5 hours of paid time off each fiscal year (July 1 –⁠ June 30) to volunteer in the communities in which they live and/or work. This is a great way to make a difference at your child’s school, support your favorite nonprofit or explore new ways to make a difference. Choose any organization that means something to you, so long as the organization is not political in nature or requires you to engage in religious activities.

How to Volunteer

  • 1

    Step One

    Follow your normal departmental procedures to request the time off for volunteering.
  • 2

    Step Two

    Perform your volunteer service.

  • 3

    Step Three

    Report your Huskie Give Back volunteer service time on your timesheet or benefit usage form in the designated column. Include a comment with the date, time and organization with which you volunteered.  If your volunteer service is performed outside of your regular NIU work hours, you may make arrangements with your supervisor to apply the volunteer leave time off as comp time or as flexible scheduling during your work week.

Frequently Asked Questions


Program Logistics

Do I have to take a full day to volunteer or can I volunteer for a few hours over multiple days?
Employees can volunteer multiple times over the course of the fiscal year as long as the following occurs:
  • Total volunteer time cannot exceed 7.5 hours.
  • A Huskies Give Back Time Off Request must be submitted for each occurrence and receive supervisor approval.
  • Departmental procedures for requesting time off must be followed for each occurrence and receive supervisor approval.
  • Time spent volunteering must be listed on a timesheet or benefit usage form for each occurence.
Can an employee's request for volunteer time off be denied?

The decision to accept a request for volunteer time off is within the discretion of the supervisor, based on the business and operational needs of the department. If the supervisor determines that the requested time will conflict with business needs, they are encouraged to work with the employee to find a time that works for both the department and the employee. Faculty are not permitted to cancel class to participate.

Do I need to complete a Workers' Compensation Injury Report if I'm injured while volunteering or while traveling to the volunteering site?

As with any activities that occur outside of NIU employment while an employee is using paid time off, NIU is not liable for injuries incurred during volunteer time off. Therefore, it is not necessary for the employee or supervisor to complete the Workers' Compensation Injury Report. Of course, in the event an employee sustains any injury at any time, employees are advised to seek medical attention appropriate to the injury.

Volunteering Opportunities

Can I volunteer in a private school?
Yes, although this program does not apply to activities designed to promote religious beliefs. For example, volunteering for a class party would likely be approved, but volunteering to give a class prayer would not be.
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