Does your company host an annual or occasional day of service for its employees in conjunction with a local nonprofit? If not, creating one is a great way to foster greater team unity, give back to your community, build some positive PR, and have a blast!
If you’re part of a community-minded business, here are some tips to help shape your first (or fiftieth) company-wide or local branch employee service day.
1. Define your goals: Imagine the group photo. Beginning with the end in mind, one helpful way to help determine what you want to accomplish is to start with visualizing what a photo of the group serving would look like. Ex. Is it an army of paint-covered co-workers or a few folks reading to elementary kids?
Typically, companies are looking to:
a. Have fun together.
b. Do something that actually makes a difference.
c. Connect their employees to cool local volunteer opps
d. Show their commitment to their community
2. Find your partner(s). If you come across a nonprofit doing cool work that could fit within your company’s community impact goals but you’re not sure if they could accommodate your group, just ask. Some are obviously more suited to volunteer engagement than others, but even those which on the surface might not look like it, might jump at the chance to accomplish a strategic or seasonally driven project through your group.
Ex. 2ndSaturday is able to accommodate a number of local companies on a case-by-case basis, depending on our current roster of ongoing projects.
3. Get sweaty/dirty. We recommend taking on projects that as much as is possible, have a clear start and
finish, so your group can feel the sense of seeing the tangible difference they’ve made. Remember: dirt/mud/paint/sawdust is always fun, and chicks dig scars.
4. Eat together. Food brings people together, period. Provide a hearty meal for your crew either on-site, or plan to go out to eat and be intentional about debriefing everyone’s experience.
5. Encourage engagement. Talk with the nonprofit beforehand to understand their on-ramps for service so that on the day of you can provide ways for your people to get more involved. Encourage your team members to ask questions of the nonprofit staff, volunteers, and clients to gain greater understanding.
6. Give. There’s a reason they call them “nonprofits” (Hint: they rely on people’s generosity to change the world). You are providing valuable community service; but keep in mind that in a sense, they are providing a service for your company: a potential team building experience, PR material, etc. And that takes preparation and effort; while it’s certainly not required and often not asked for, your company should consider giving financially to those you serve through. They’ll love you forever.
Hope to see you and your coworkers out serving soon!
At 2ndSaturday, we love when local businesses send their employees out to serve together. If you'd like to speak to someone about how your company can get involved, we'd love to connect!