Thanksgiving is that time of year when gratitude and giving back go hand-in-hand. It’s the perfect time to try out one or two new company volunteer ideas with your team.
And the benefits go way beyond helping those in need – though that’s, of course, important. Volunteering with your team is a great way to learn new skills, boost camaraderie and engagement, and connect with the community (and get some great new company pics up on Instagram, for that matter).
There are, of course, the usual ways of teaming up to do good. Helping out at a food shelter, for example, or collecting for a relief program.
But if you’re looking to take things up a notch, here are five creative company volunteer ideas to consider.
Organize an event
Lots of shelters and organizations will do all the planning for you – your team simply shows up and donates their time. But if you want to try a project that’s a bit more long-term, consider working with your team to plan an event yourself, like a blood drive or community outreach project.
To get started, talk to your team members about the causes they care about – then start assigning roles and making a plan. Try to get employees working with team members that they don’t usually connect with – it will help to forge new relationships along the way.
Sponsor an event
Sponsoring a community event allows you to give back while creating brand awareness. You can sponsor an event by donating funds, but if your budget won’t allow that there are other options. Your team can donate their time, or even their expertise.
For example, if you run a graphic design studio, your company could offer up its services to design a charity event’s program or invitations.
Put your skills to use
Speaking of your team’s skills, using them to help those in need is probably one of the most gratifying ways that a company can use its professional expertise.
If you’re employing great writers, see if they would be interested in volunteering their time to help young students in low-income areas create a great resume. If you’ve got a team of expert coders, see if you can pair up with a school to do workshops. Figure out your company’s strengths and use it to foster learning and growth in the future workforce.
If your team is down for getting its hands dirty, try taking part in a construction project. Habitat for Humanity, for example, gives companies the opportunity to participate in all kinds of ventures, from one-day builds to longer multi-day trips to work with communities abroad.
…Or clean something
Spending a day cleaning up a local green space, beach, park, or other public area will win you brownie points with the neighbourhood while giving your employees a memorable experience outside the office.
There’s a number of organizations that can help you organize your clean-up project (the World Wildlife Fund, for example) but you can also connect with your local government or community leaders.
Whatever event you decide to take part in, giving back as a group is a great way to foster a healthy team spirit, build morale, and remind your employees that their everyday purpose goes beyond the office.
Remember that posting photos about your activities to social is a great way to help build your employer brand (more about that in our recent podcast episode). Now more than ever, people are looking for a sense of purpose through their work, and they value community involvement. It’s truly a win-win activity.