By Madison Knopik:
Giving back isn’t just for the holiday season. As we move into the modern age, businesses are recognizing we need to give back more by providing time off for volunteer efforts. However, employees and organizations can go beyond just one day of working in the community.
Discover 10 practical ways your business can impact your community:
1. Organize Volunteer Days
Plan an event for your company to spend time volunteering at an organization whose work dramatically impacts the community or correlates with your company’s values and mission. Volunteering is a great way to great your team to bond and boosts morale.Giving back isn’t just a holiday event. Make an impact in your #community with one or more of these ways from @RedBranch: Click To Tweet
2. Donation Jar
Placing donation jars at frequently visited areas of the office is a simple way to gather money for a charity of the team’s choosing. Try allowing different groups to pick a charity every month and donate the collected amount of money in the team’s name at the end of the given period. Also, placing a donation jar in the reception area with an explanation of why you’re raising money will inspire the people you do business with to give back.
3. Encourage Volunteerism
Recognizing workers who volunteer their time outside of the office is a great way to encourage others to do the same. Set up times for individuals who are passionate about their volunteer work to come and talk to your organization about what they do and how you can help.
Another route to take is by offering paid days-off for employees to volunteer at their favorite charities. This seems to be a perk most businesses are supplying to employees nowadays.
4. Holiday Drive
Whether you want to collect stuffed animals for a toy drive or canned goods for your local food bank, you can set up a holiday drive within your organization. Encourage your employees to bring items in during a specific period. To increase donations, try creating a competition between teams, departments, or even floors. A group bearing gifts and visiting their charity of choice can double as a great team-building event!
5. Sponsor a Community Sports Team
Frequently, employees will participate in charity sporting events or may have children who participate in youth sports. Sponsoring a team for either a charity event or season will not only help the participants play in the sport, but it will also make your employees feel good about working for a company that wants to support them and their families.
6. Donate Expertise
When we think of volunteering, most people think of volunteering at a soup kitchen. Regardless of your experience, sharing your expertise on how to help an organization is another excellent contribution. Contributing one’s knowledge is a great way for workers to build their skills and confidence, as well as give back to their community. For example, a social media expert could help a non-profit who is looking to build its social media presence to attract a younger generation of volunteers. In doing so, the social media expert could set up a social media account where they would routinely provide the organization organic content. Not only does this produce a presence for the non-profit, but it provides a resource that many non-profits may not have knowledge in or time in doing so.
7. Sponsor a Charity Event
Sponsoring a charity event can help raise money for a good cause and also help your organization by bringing it into the view of your critical stakeholders – the community. Plus, by donating money and products to the event, you can also have your employees volunteer to maximize your organization’s presence during the fundraiser.A simple way to give back is by setting up a #donation job or offering office space for meetings. Discover other ways you can give back: Click To Tweet
8. Donate Office Space
A simple but overlooked way to give back is by donating office space to nonprofits who need it the most. Often, nonprofits don’t have the funds to pay for space where they can congregate, hold meetings, or to simply work. By donating your space either during office hours or after, you’re able to provide them a resource that they need while helping their organization to grow to their fullest potential.
9. Support Small Businesses
- Buy local – Shop at local boutiques, markets, etc. instead of searching online.
- Eat local – Try a local restaurant instead of hitting up a chain.
- Use local – Hire local businesses when possible.
These are just a few ways to keep things local, but it’s a place to start. By supporting local businesses, you support the livelihoods of a broad cross-section of people across your community.
10. Take the Lead
Building a culture of giving starts with management. Your employees will follow your lead, so it’s important to regularly engage in charitable activities outside of the office and then share those experiences with your team.
Making an impact on your community through volunteering is great for any business. No matter which way you choose to do it, it’s essential to have a plan and opportunities in place.
Have a volunteer opportunity? Tweet @RedBranch and let us know how we can help!