Four Simple Tips for Effective Volunteer Programs
1. Don’t overlook the basics.
You will always have more people hopping on board when things go according to plan. Simplify the sign up process by clearly communicating the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. It’s the non-profit’s job to share the impact that your service will have on their mission, but it’s your job to make sure your colleagues hear it. After it’s all over, share an email with your team to remind them of the good they did.
Make it easy, make it impactful then remind them it was easy and impactful! Rinse and repeat.
2. Employees get to decide.
Create buy-in with your peers by giving them a voice in the selection of charity to support. If you are trying to drive employee engagement, team building and morale, there is no better way. Bypass the stage where you need to convince someone it’s an important cause and jump to doing good.
This is also a great way to show support for a colleague with a huge personal challenge. One team raised funds to show support for a colleague whose four year old son passed from disabilities complications. It may not be appropriate to get involved in such an emotionally charged issue during the workday, but supporting the cause through volunteer support and fundraising can show empathy in the right way.
3. When management shows up big time.
It’s one thing to have your upper management bless a volunteer activity. It’s a completely other thing to have them show up and volunteer themselves. This sends the entire company a message that taking time out of their schedules should be prioritized. It creates face time opportunities for your colleagues and makes management more approachable. CEO digs a hole, line staff plants a flower… high fives all around. But what if management doesn’t want too…
4. Getting management buy in.
It’s a business, how does volunteering impact the bottom line? Do these feel good emotions translate to revenue? Well, yes. Numerous studies show the benefits between community involvement and results.
MBAs are willing to forgo some financial benefits to work for an organization with a better reputation for corporate social responsibility and ethics (Stanford study). 91% of customers will choose a brand that is socially responsible holding other factors constant (Cone Communications). Investing in the community creates a better workforce for tomorrow while improving your competitive advantage today. Keep checking out the Care2Act LinkedIn Group for more research and ammunition to take up the ladder.
That’s it for today.