The idea of volunteering has become a popular event of late in the corporate world. While some companies may consider it as a marketing boost, form of employee engagement, or filling a void, we at Arrowhead have it as one of the core values that makes us – Move Forward by Giving Back. We post it on our walls – we push it out as desktop wallpaper.
Whichever reason your company may have towards nonprofit volunteering, considerations need to be made on the true reason behind the event as well as how your company plans to be involved in the community. Some things to consider are involving employees in the decision process, whether the activity is remote/in-person, frequency of volunteering engagements, and how many companies to volunteer with for any given endeavor.
Why So Many Considerations?
Many people may think that picking a nonprofit volunteering activity should be a short process, but a company should take time to consider how they want to involve their team with the community. In addition, companies need to consider how beneficial the experience will be for the image of the company as well as the individual employees. Sure, the popular reason behind volunteering from a marketing perspective is to showcase how a company gives back to the community. But, should that be the sole reason? Do we volunteer to make ourselves look good OR do we do it because it is at the core of our being?
The first aspect to consider is how beneficial the nonprofit volunteering activity can be to not only the company but more so beneficial to the work and productivity of the employees. Many employees may not feel fulfilled in their position or think they are making a difference.
Giving employees the opportunity to give back to the community via nonprofit volunteering and help the less fortunate may fill those specific employees’ void. Furthermore, allowing employees to step out of the office and bond with their team while helping the community could have positive effects on team engagement. If nonprofit volunteering engagements can help employees feel more fulfilled and closer to their team, it may be worth the time to consider frequent volunteer activities.
I know I enjoyed working at a local YMCA with my team and painting what seemed to be acres of fences as well as participating in other group building activities – all of which made lasting friendships with others past the point that we worked for the originating parent company.
Another factor to consider is how involved a team should be in deciding how a company can be involved within a community. When employees feel like they have a say in company activities, they will be more involved in such activities compared to employees who didn’t have an impact on the planning process. Involving more employees in the decision process will also allow for more ideas and opportunities. For example, one employee may already be an active volunteer at a specific organization and provide insight on the experience. Lastly, when employees feel like they are involved in a company decision, it makes them feel important and included.
Make Your Volunteer Activity Unique
Of course, it is easier to copy other organizations’ volunteer activities. For example, some companies volunteer once a year to the local food bank and they have done so for 10 years. Your company could follow suit with this other example, but you might want to consider other ways of impacting the community. The consistency is great and shows how loyal a company can be to the food bank, but there are other organizations who need help.
Furthermore, consider aligning your current year goals with the volunteer activity. More specifically a company could set specific volunteer goals each year and find organizations that align with that goal. In the beginning, it does not have to be specific. As the years go on it may be beneficial to see trending volunteer activities or new organizations that recently opened within your local area. This volunteer goal could be communicated through social media outlets, so the public is aware of how your company is making a difference in the community as well as making yearly goals towards helping the less fortunate.
Also, take advantage of connections within the company and look at how your company can help customers or clients. For example, Arrowhead is participating in a clothing drive to help people who are going into the workforce after serving time in prison. Our company provides consultation services with the Department of Corrections. While working with the DOC team, we learned that they help inmates successfully enter the workforce. We wanted to help those individuals and assist the department with finding professional clothing. Of course, not every company has this opportunity to volunteer with clients, but they can make an effort to look for unique paths towards volunteering.
Every company should consider how they want to incorporate nonprofit volunteering activities and the positive impact volunteering can have on their employees. View our nonprofit webpage to see all of the great nonprofits we have worked with.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the positive effects of volunteering. Everyone’s thoughts towards volunteering are different, and I would like to hear how you believe volunteering has impacted your life or company culture.
Next, check out our blog on The P.I.E. Theory of Success