Want to boost company morale and do some good at the same time? Skip the typical team-building events and spend a few hours or a workday volunteering. Volunteer work can build a strong bond among coworkers and create a genuinely positive experience. Plus, volunteering brings your company out into the community.
If you want to plan a corporate volunteer event, follow these tips and have a great, rewarding experience.
Hear From Staff
Opportunities for volunteer work range from manual labor to raising money, benefiting the environment, the homeless, women’s rights, etc. Choosing a volunteer event can get your staff very excited or cringing in their seats. If you want the event to run smoothly, find a cause that speaks to your team members. Volunteer work without passion behind it will leave your staff grumbling. Reach out to team leaders and find out what charities or causes they support. One person’s excitement can rally a whole group of people to get behind the cause and feel positive about the day.
Consider your staff’s abilities and the environment of the volunteer activity as well. While a volunteer trip to plant trees in a local park may sound like a great activity, team members with back pain or who burn easily in the sun may not enjoy the day. Have an open forum or send out a survey to bounce around ideas about different activities or causes to support.
Do Your Research
Even just labeling an event as a volunteer event will persuade people to sign up, but “voluntourism” and companies that make money off of volunteer groups do not help the larger issue at hand. Do not just choose an event that will make for great photos or the illusion of helping out. Employees will quickly see past a one-day event that doesn’t help a cause in the long run. Before you choose a volunteer event, do your research on the company that is hosting the event. Find out where your time and money will go when you volunteer. There are plenty of causes and events that make a lasting difference, so direct your resources to a genuinely helpful event.
Hear From Current Volunteers
Not everyone may be familiar with the cause, and that is okay. If you want to get people to rally around the event, invite someone from the organization you’re volunteering with to come speak at your office. Give them a platform to explain why the organization started, the work they do throughout the year, and how your company’s volunteering will help them with their cause. This gives your staff the opportunity to feel more confident about their volunteer work.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Action
If your staff want to support a cause that isn’t holding any volunteer events, plan one yourself! Host a fundraiser or event that allows your staff, their families, and members of the community to come out and do good. Get creative with the event, but reach out to community leaders who support the cause first. Experienced volunteers can tell you what your company needs to do in order to truly help the issue at hand.
If you are hosting a fundraiser, reach out to local venues and businesses about the event and what you plan on doing. You may connect with businesses who also want to join the cause and contribute. Putting your business behind a fundraiser can help to get your name out in the community and truly show that you want to support a cause.
Figure out Details
Run through this checklist of questions to make sure the day is planned out thoroughly:
- When will the volunteer event take place? How will employees be compensated for their work?
- How are employees going to get to the volunteer site? Carpool? Public transportation? Rideshares?
- Will food be provided at the event?
- Who will be documenting and sharing news of the event?
- What can you do before hand to educate and prepare your employees for the event?
- How will you gather resources to follow up with staff after the event and encourage future participation?
Even if the day is more casual than another day at the office, having a detailed plan (and backup plan) will make the day run more smoothly and help staff be more productive.
Document and Share The Event
Customers and clients who see your volunteer efforts will be proud to know they support a company that gives back. Before you attend the event, choose a team member who will be in charge of documenting the event with pictures or videos.
Think about the cause you are supporting before you post on social media. Include a blurb about the event in your company newsletter. If you are supporting a cause that is controversial, prepare for any negative comments or backlash. Stand by the cause you support and offer resources for upset commenters to educate themselves with. Reach out to the event planners or volunteer cause to show them what you documented as well. This sort of follow up can be a great way to build a lasting relationship between your company and the cause.
Once the event is over, get some feedback from your staff and the event where you volunteered. How did the overall event go? Did the day meet expectations? What would staff like to see in a volunteer event next time? A quick survey or discussion after the event can open up a dialogue about the day and how your company can further support the cause. If the event went well, start planning the next event or hold an event of your own that supports the same cause.
Don’t forget to celebrate your efforts after you are finished with the event!
Interested in booking an event center for your next fundraising event? Reach out to the team at Maverick Whiskey. Our distillery doubles as a great event venue for corporate events, fundraisers, and parties.