Every corporate organization wants to make a positive environmental impact. They also want to contribute to the community. While they are aware of the same, they are unaware of how they can positively impact others. While there are many ways to contribute positively, organizing a fundraiser or donation drive is the best. Business owners have always appreciated those programs that have allowed them to give back to others in need.
Fundraiser programs are an excellent way to bring together business people from different firms, thus paving the way for cross-firm relationships that can last as long as you want them to. While making a fundraiser program successful can be challenging, it is not impossible. Here's how you can do that.
Be Strategic About What You Choose to Do
When planning your fundraiser program, it is essential to be strategic about what you choose to do. Your chosen cause or organization should be personally important to your business and its employees. Here are some questions that can help guide your decision:
- What's important to us? Who are we as a company? What values do we want to embody in our workplace? What cause would reflect these qualities?
- How can this benefit the community and society overall? How does this align with our mission statement and goals for social responsibility/charitable giving (if applicable)?
- Are there any events or causes that will help us connect with other like-minded businesses in the area who could potentially become clients for future collaboration opportunities (and vice versa)
Lean on Your Network
Everyone knows the power of networking when it comes to job opportunities. Job seekers use networking to find new jobs. You can use the same to find them. Many businesses ask their existing employees for referrals. Tapping into the network's potential can help your corporate volunteer event succeed. For instance, you can:
- Talk to your employees. If you don't have a list of corporate volunteers, ask them to volunteer their time. This is a great way to get things started and ensure people know about it.
- Talk to your customers and suppliers. You can go beyond just your employees and talk to customers or suppliers willing to participate in the cause. This also allows you to connect with your customers and show them how sustainability-focused your brand is.
Find a Nonprofit Partner
You have the right intention and cause to host a fundraiser or donation drive. However, what about the expertise? While it may seem surprising, even helping others the right way needs some expertise. For example, if you want to help children with their reading skills, you need someone with experience working with them. Similarly, if you're going to help people with disabilities, you need someone who has worked with them. This is where finding and partnering with a nonprofit organization comes into the picture.
Finding the right nonprofit partner is essential for success. Finding a nonprofit organization in line with your company's overall mission and values is important. Consider the recent example of CVS pharmacy. The company partnered with a local nonprofit to provide food-allergy-safe treats during this Halloween season.
Partnering with a nonprofit will give your fundraiser program credibility. It will show the volunteers and potential donors that you are serious about helping those in need. This will encourage people to donate funds and make your event successful.
To find the right partner, you'll want to ensure that any organizations you're considering are doing work that directly aligns with what matters most to you and your employees. For example, if sustainability is essential for your business, look for an organization primarily focusing on environmental protection, conservation, or both.
Researching local nonprofits is the first step in determining where your corporate volunteers should go and how they can best serve. Research the causes that each nonprofit supports and how those causes align with your company.
Do not simply look at the size of a nonprofit or its reputation; instead, look at what they are doing in their community and how you might help them to do it better. Consider asking potential hosts questions like:
- What projects do you have underway?
- How many volunteers do you typically work with at one time?
- What kind of opportunities would be best for my team?
Insure the Volunteers
One of the best ways to ensure your fundraiser is successful is to insure the volunteers. This can be done in two ways: through a third-party insurance agency or your corporate insurance agency. If you choose to go with a third-party insurance agency, you will need to provide them with information about your organization and its volunteerism and risk management policies. The company will then send an application for approval before issuing policy documents for their services.
If you decide to use your corporate agency instead, be sure they understand what coverage is necessary for all employees who plan to participate in any community service activity and tailor their policies accordingly.
It is advised to go with third-party insurance for comprehensive volunteer risk management. You can choose a reliable volunteer insurance provider for your employee volunteers. It will protect your volunteers from various liabilities with a liability claim. Moreover, it will protect your organization against any volunteer-related claims. This can be extremely useful if you partner with another company for your fundraiser.
For example, if you partner with a company and its employees join your workforce for the work, your company gets protected from any claims against those employees. It also protects you against lawsuits due to the fault of your employees, but since you have insurance coverage for your employees, the insurance will cover the liabilities as per the decided terms and conditions.
Follow Up and Appreciate the Work of Volunteers
After your corporate volunteers have completed their time, it's essential to follow up with them and appreciate their work. This can take several forms:
- A thank you letter or email thanking the volunteer for their time and efforts. This will go a long way to show appreciation for their actions and may even encourage other employees to get involved in future events.
- Reports and updates on how their efforts are making a difference. For example, if you're working with Habitat for Humanity on a home build, give your corporate volunteers an update when they return from the work day that includes photos of what they built and information about how families will benefit from the construction of these homes.
- Give them recognition through awards. For instance, you can monitor their work and award the most active employee volunteer. You can take the example of Louisville Business First which recognized GE Appliances' Brian Mallory as the year's volunteer because of his hard work. You can do something similar and reward your best employee volunteer with something that he or she appreciates.
Volunteering is best when it addresses real needs and connects with the passions of workers. With the right approach and careful planning, your company can create a unique volunteer program that benefits both the company and its employees. This can be essential to building a sense of community among workers while giving back to society. It's also a great way to promote goodwill between business owners and their communities.