10 Great Workplace Volunteering Programs | Gagen MacDonald

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10 Great Workplace Volunteering Programs

Apr 27, 2016

Workplace volunteering helps companies achieve many employee engagement goals at a single stroke. Companies who promote volunteerism improve employee retention and loyalty; improve community perception and related marketing opportunities; and boost recruitment of millennial employees. Not only is workplace volunteering effective, it’s rewarding – and fun!

Here are 10 workplace volunteering ideas that are both easy to implement and require minimal startup cost.

  1. New Employee Orientations & Retreats: Fill your orientation itinerary with volunteer opportunities at a soup kitchen, YMCA or painting a school. By getting out of the office and collaborating on a “feel-good” task, teammates can learn more about each other in a stress-free setting. This goodwill can work wonders for employee motivation and teamwork.
  1. Non-Profit Pen Pals: This connects your colleagues with local kids/adults who are less fortunate and looking for inspiration, mentorship or friendship.
  1. Charity Walks/Runs: A win-win for everyone! The charity earns donations towards their cause, and your company gets a visible opportunity to demonstrate its values in action publicly. For instance, our client Astellas created a team for the Annual Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, raising $77,989 to help find a cure and to support those suffering. Pam Maguire of the Astellas Pharma Technologies team said of the experience: “My eyes welled with pride to be a part of an organization with such dedicated employees wanting to make a difference”.
  1. Pro-Bono Cases: By providing service to a group or organization that can’t otherwise afford it, a company demonstrates that its values go beyond making money.
  1. A Day of Service: Every company is busy, but we all could use a day to take a step back and gain perspective. Days of services are the perfect chance for team building, too. Our client Phillips 66 has employee volunteers participating in the Junior Achievement program, offering time and knowledge to K-5 students with hands-on experiences and understanding the economics of life.
  1. Skill-Based Volunteering: Instead of volunteering at a soup kitchen or painting a school, use your expertise in the community. Reach out to a non-profit or school and offer to share your expertise. This could take the form of teaching what you know or pro-bono work drawing on your expertise.
  1. Jar of Good: Employees can contribute loose change to a “Jar for Good”. Those coins add up to a substantial donation to any organization fighting for a cause you and your colleagues believe in. Bonus tip: make it a competition! Have a jar for each team and the team with the highest donations at quarter’s end gets a week of casual dress at work or a happy hour.
  1. Holiday Can Drive: Spread the cheer during the holiday seasons by donating unneeded food, clothing, toys or other essentials.
  1. Leftovers from Events: Did you know that, just like restaurants or bakeries, companies can donate extra water and food from corporate events? You can have a go-to soup kitchen or non-profit that would be able to hand out those goods.
  1. Sitting on a board of a non-profit: This is a great way to spread your company’s name in the community, bring your co-workers to fundraising events, and work with non-profits first-hand.

As we’ve said before, “Love in Business is Good Business”. And there’s no more convincing way to spread the love, live your values, and foster teamwork in a larger purpose than workplace volunteering. There’s a whole range of fun and meaningful activities you can do in the workplace. All you have to do is pick one!

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