Aug. 25, 2019

5 Steps to Starting an Employee Volunteer Initiative

Employee Volunteer

We are living in an era where the data is telling us that employees are our number one resource and their success is our success. With Diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront, culture is redefined in ways that most of us are still trying to understand. What is the ROI? Is employee health more than just health insurance? Fortune 500 companies are interpreting the data differently, small businesses are trying to keep up, and silicon valley is continuing to push the envelope to attract top talent.

One thing we do know is the workforce population stance is that culture and community matter. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a growing initiative throughout the corporate world. We must acknowledge our obligation to our great community, as well as its internal impact on creating better working environments. Employee volunteer initiatives are crucial for the success of your CSR efforts. If your organization isn’t on board with this trend, you are playing catch up. 81% of employees agree that they experienced stronger relationships amongst co-workers when they have volunteered with their employer.

As experts in the charitable team building space, we’ve helped organizations of all sizes reach their CSR goals. If you are in need of direction, below is our 5 step guide into creating an employee volunteer initiative.

Step 1. Don’t Over Complicate Things

You have to start somewhere and the best place to start is small. Think of a little initiative that resonates with your team and community. Do a can food drive. Raise money for a specific day of giving. Sponsor an in house event. Establish a swear jar for good. Aim for something simple to start.

Don’t overthink it.

If planning is out of your league, ask for help. Most people love giving back so don’t be afraid to poll your employees. Find out what passions for philanthropy they have. How and to whom they’d like to give back.

Step 2. Inclusivity

This should be an initiative that everyone can partake in. Now say it aloud EVERYONE CAN PARTAKE! Regardless of where you are on the org. chart the volunteer initiative is open to all employees. You want these efforts to be “WE” focused because without the full team on board it is just a half baked plan.

Make sure the language utilized presents the new volunteer initiative as team focused. We centered language will help the team feel better about the win and each other.

Step 3. Incentivizing

Not everyone is happy with the reward being intrinsic. “Yay! I feel happy awesome,” doesn’t always cut it. So, for those who need to find a way to get everyone involved, use an incentive. Host the volunteer event during work hours and pay everyone. Maybe offer a luncheon, or casual wear Friday if it’s fundraising based.

Be creative! Get everyone matching shirts. Maybe even match hats to commemorate the event.

Step 4. Start Planning

Right, you now know what type of philanthropy your team is responsive to. Everyone throughout the organization is invited to participate and you’ve got an incentive to encourage them. What’s next? It is time to start planning out the event!

Make sure that you connect with a nonprofit that fits the scope of your project. Whether you are just trying to raise funds or do a volunteer mashup. Be sure that you’ve picked a philanthropy that aligns best with your organization and it’s people.

Plan for a date in the future that is reasonable. Don’t wait too long to get started or the excitement may pass. Make sure you’ve accounted for how many people are participating, the location, and it’s impact. Staying organized or over planning may not be your strengthen so find a nonprofit that can help.

Step 5. Get Your Employee Volunteer Event On!

So the day is here! Your team is ready. You’ve spent that last few weeks hyping everyone up and things are falling into place. Now make sure you document the day and share it with your audience.

Don’t forget to start planning your next volunteer event. Now that you got the ball rolling keep the initiative moving forward into the future. Partner with an organization that has endless ways for you and your team to give back.

If you need help and don’t know where to start, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

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