Nationwide has launched the On Your Side Volunteer Network Program, which will encourage its 33,000 employees to increase their personal volunteer efforts.

To encourage their work for nonprofit organizations, Nationwide, Columbus, Ohio, is offering incentives like vacation time, grant money and internal recognition.

In the first 8 months after the pilot program was started in 2005 for home office associates, Nationwide’s central Ohio employees logged nearly 8,000 volunteer hours. The program helps associates find time in their schedule, matches their contributions of time with grant money and gives them professional development opportunities.

The program also includes and online search tool for volunteers that matches their location, personal interest, skill sets and time available.

For every 25 hours of community or charitable service, employees can earn a half-day of paid time off (up to 2 full days per year). In addition, the Nationwide Foundation will provide $100 grants to the nonprofit organization for which the volunteer works. Nonprofit organizations looking for volunteers can make opportunities available to Nationwide associates and others through .