Today, 93% of employees believe that companies must lead with purpose, and more than 70% of employees are now demanding social responsibility for companies, making it vital for your organization’s ability to attract and retain top talent to create and run social campaigns and give back to the community.
The holiday giving season is a time when most people are motivated to give back to their communities. This is the perfect time to engage your employees in volunteering events – allowing them to give back to their community and feel connected to their organization and each other.
We understand that planning, preparing, and launching a new volunteering campaign requires time and creativity. To help you amplify your team’s impact, we want to share with you 14 volunteer ideas you can start implementing to engage your team and give back to the community. If you have a remote team, encourage them to find a local opportunity through Bright Funds 450,000 options.
Give Back this Holiday Giving Season
Here are some campaign ideas to get you and your team started:
1. Clean up a community
Depending on where you’re located, this can be anything from removing the trash from your local beach or cleaning up the nearest park or school.
2. Host a toy drive
Toys for Tots, a national organization, works to ensure that no child goes without a present during the holiday season. Work with the organization to set up an official drop off location at your office.
3. Complete a 5k charity run
This is another great option for remote teams since employees can log their miles and time online. Make it a competition between departments or ask employees to form their own teams. Winners could be rewarded with a credit grant or additional match for the nonprofit of their choice.
4. Hold a food drive
Go a step further by matching a dollar amount per every item donated. Depending on the size of your team, you may be able to help multiple food banks. Items that are commonly given include dry and canned foods that haven’t reached their sell-by date.
This is also a great activity to involve other companies in your community, amplifying the impact of your campaign.
5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
Food charities like the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen in Michiganii have seen a significant rise in the number of people in need of food. At the same time, the cost of providing meals has increased while the number of volunteers has decreased, making it hard for the food to be distributed effectively.
Check with your local soup kitchens to see how your team can help.
6. Volunteer at an animal shelter
There are plenty of tasks to go around from walking dogs to cleaning cages to sharing photos of the animals on social media to help them find a “furever” home. Turn it into a family day for employees: some shelters encourage children to improve their literacy skills by having them read books to the animals!
Integrating your employees’ families into your company’s culture and activities will keep them engaged and connected to your organization.
7. Visit care homes and senior centers
Spend an afternoon visiting the residents at your local senior center or care home. Patti Naiser, owner and founder of Senior Home Transitions, says that they’ve “seen first-hand how the elderly can be neglected by family during the holidays and feel lonely. This is why [they] volunteer to go out and visit multiple care homes during the giving season… from lending an ear to participating in their various hobbies with them, [their] employees are there to help reduce loneliness.”
Patti Naiser, Founder of Senior Home Transitions
8. Deliver food to those in need
With the number of seniors projected to double over the next few decades, organizations like Meals on Wheels depend on volunteers to help deliver meals to homebound seniors. You can also look into local opportunities to serve those with disabilities or those without a home.
9. “Adopt” a child or family
Depending on the size of your team, you may be able to “adopt” a family or multiple families for the giving season. Your team can work together to fulfill their wish list, which usually consists of things like household essentials and toys.
10. Create hope kits for the homeless
Host an office event to put kits together or go virtual (and compensate your employees for the supplies). Typically a hope kit contains personal hygiene items, clothing like socks and gloves, food, and water. You can also personalize them with a handwritten note of encouragement along with a list of local homeless resources. If you don’t hand these all out at once, keep the spare kits in the trunk of your car to donate later as the need arises.
Morgan Dickerson’s team at buildOn is putting on a virtual version where employees can create kits at home, and through this service employees “will learn about the impact of homelessness, housing disparities and other systemic issues in [their] community. Kits are then delivered to a local service partner for distribution.”
Morgan Dickerson, Community Engagement Manager at buildOn
11. Write letters
Due to the pandemic, many are feeling more isolated than ever. Unlike a text message, a physical hand-written note is a tangible way to help alleviate some of that loneliness. Provide supplies to your team like envelopes, note pads, stamps, and pens. From there, they can choose to write to senior citizens, soldiers, veterans, inmates, and others who may need support.
12. Host a lunch and learn
This is a great opportunity to partner with other experts in your industry to host a lunch and learn, and donate the attendee fees to a nonprofit. If you’re a marketing agency, host a “Marketing 101” for local businesses. If you’re a financial tech company, host an “Intro to Cryptocurrency” event. These can be structured as both in-person and virtual events.
13. Donate your services/skills
Every team has a unique set of skills! If you’re a photography agency, offer a free photoshoot and headshots for a nonprofit so they can better represent their services. If you’re a web development company, offer a free website to a nonprofit of your team’s choice. If you’re unsure of what to offer, hold a brainstorming session with your team.
14. Sponsor and volunteer to place wreaths for veterans
Sean Sullivan, PR Liaison at Wreaths Across America says that “It’s all hands on deck for Wreaths Across America as [they] work to place over 1.7 million veterans’ wreaths at over 2,800 locations nationwide and abroad.”
However your organization chooses to give back this season, Bright Funds is here to help you make an impact in your community. Find out more about the 450,000 volunteer opportunities available on our platform and learn more about how to engage your employees while giving back.