Many companies are waking up to the benefits of corporate volunteering. Offering employees a few days of paid leave per year to volunteer with charities of their choice, or organising volunteering days for the entire team, can be a great way for employers to empower their staff to give something back.
At Ethical Angel, we support companies of all sizes to implement corporate volunteering programmes. When working with companies, we always advocate for building a clear corporate volunteering strategy before kicking off any programme, but we understand that some companies want to try a few small-scale volunteering activities first. A quick search online can bring back an overwhelming number of ideas though, so we’ve spoken to our team and put together a list of 20 great digital and in-person corporate volunteering ideas to try out in your business.
Our Top Corporate Volunteering Ideas
1. Content Calendar Development
A great project for any company with a marketing department, content calendar development with a charity can really help them to tell their story and promote their cause. A project like this is also a great way to introduce digital volunteering
2. Brand Strategy
A clear strategy is key to delivering successful marketing campaigns and ensuring everyone is clear about the direction of a brand. So, why not get your senior marketers to work with a charity on their brand strategy so they can really take their marketing to the next level, increase brand awareness and drive engagement.
3. Digital Marketing Expert Advice
As any marketer will know, digital marketing channels are such an effective way of reaching your target customers, but digital marketing expertise is an expensive resource that many smaller charities can’t afford. If your company has a digital marketing team, why not consider offering to help a charity to leverage social media and digital advertising channels to increase their brand awareness or deliver a targeted fundraising campaign.
4. Blog Writing
All marketers know that content is king, so if you have an in-house copywriter this is another great introduction to volunteering as more content is never a bad thing. You can start with just one blog, and if your content writer gives ongoing support, consider offering a blog a month.
5. Website Review
Help a charity make a good first impression online by simply outlining key website review areas (general functionality, usability, accessibility, performance and compatibility) with advice for improvements in a short review document.
6. Flyer Design
Flyers are such an easy and effective way to tell people on the streets about the work of third sector organisations. If your company has an internal design team, why not get them to help a charity to create a top quality flyer to help them spread the word about their mission or a fundraising event.
HR and Operations Ideas
7. Monitoring and Evaluation Advice
As Covid has negatively affected many resources readily available to charities in the last year, advice on monitoring and evaluation would be extremely helpful to them to help identify the most valuable and efficient use of their staff and volunteers.
8. CRM Expert Advice
Anyone who has ever worked with a CRM will know a fresh pair of eyes is always welcome, whether it’s to help get things set up or to improve data quality within a CRM that is already in place. If you have CRM experts within your business, you could volunteer to help a charity to organise a data clean-up, improve their data collection so they can deliver more targeted communications, or put a plan in place for them to get a CRM set up if they don’t have one in place.
9. Policy Advice
Another area where smaller organisations may need additional support is with HR policy as they do not always have a permanent HR team. That means your HR team’s time would be hugely valued when it comes to reviewing policies or giving advice.
10. Project Planning
Project scoping and planning is key to delivering projects in the most cost effective and efficient manner. So, if your company has an operations team why not consider volunteering their time for a few days to help a charity to scope out some of their upcoming projects, or ongoing support with a project to ensure it stays on track.
11. Leadership Strategy
Leadership strategy is a vital part of any successful business or charity, and with Covid-19 changing the business landscape around the world, it’s more important than ever to review your strategy. So, there’s never been a better time for senior leaders within your business to offer their expertise to charities trying to navigate new challenges.
12. Support a Local Food Kitchen
Spending the day working at a food kitchen centre can be one of the easiest but most heartwarming ways to give back. It will give your staff the chance to see first hand what a difference this kind of volunteering makes to people who are in need of support, and is a fantastic way to build a bridge between your business and the local community. To try this, we’d recommend googling for local community food kitchens and speaking with them about how best your business can support in a Covid secure way.
13. Community Clean-ups
If your staff are passionate about the environment, park clean-ups and litter picks are a perfect way to get involved with volunteering. There is no end to the amount of spaces that could benefit from this type of support, and it’s another volunteering project that gives your staff the chance to see the instant results of their volunteering efforts.
Many charities offer mentoring to the communities that they work with, whether it’s to support young people, the elderly, or those that have gone through a change in life situation. Mentoring is, on the whole, a much more involved type of volunteering as it will include training to ensure your staff are fully prepared to give the right support, but it is highly rewarding and something that many charities need additional support with.
15. Event Staffing
Events may feel like a thing of the past due to ongoing covid restrictions. However, as lockdowns ease, we will see the welcomed return of charity events. With that will come the need for corporate volunteers to help staff them. These events are great for teams who are social and operationally minded, and there’s nothing quite like the feel good atmosphere of a charity event to get people enthused about volunteering.
16. Host a Fundraiser
If you’re looking for a low barrier to entry, fundraisers are your go to. They come in all shapes and sizes, but can be as simple as an office bake sale (when we return to the office) or a walking/running/cycling challenge. All you have to do is pick the format and set a target, then your staff can volunteer to take part.
17. Donation Collections
After a year of financial strain, there is no doubt charities will massively appreciate financial donations. Additionally, many charities also accept more specific donations, such as canned goods, clothing, or toys so your staff can either donate things themselves or support with a local collection drive.
18. Festive Gifting
In the spirit of giving and selflessness during festive periods, a company or community collection is a great way to get staff involved with volunteering. After all, festive periods are known to be particularly difficult, adding to existing financial strains with all those things that are seemingly ‘needed’ to celebrate.
19. Care Package Assembly
This one really is as simple as imagining all the essentials you’d need and assembling care packages for individuals and families in need. We all need the same kind of care to get by and through putting together a care package these can provide people in need with the day to day basics we all deserve to have. To ensure your staff’s hard work goes to best use, we recommend reaching out to local charities first to see what items staff should collect for care packages and how to distribute them once they’ve been assembled.
20. Help the Homeless
Helping the homeless is another form of volunteering that can instantly make staff feel more connected to the local community. There are many charities that support homeless people, from donating, collecting or distributing clothes to working at a local shelter, so reach out to them to find out how your staff could volunteer to support.
Getting Started with Corporate Volunteering
That completes our team’s list of ideas for digital and in-person volunteering. Before you go ahead and start volunteering though, there are a few more things we’d recommend:
- Give everyone a voice: Like many corporate decisions, employee buy-in is important when deciding on a volunteer activity. Since this is a company-wide activity, executive leadership should ensure that employees from every level of the company have a chance to comment on the proposal
- Engage with charities: To ensure any volunteering you do truly benefits the cause your team wants to support, that it’s safe and secure for both your team and anyone that they might be helping, and that any other logistical concerns have been factored in, always speak with the relevant charities first.
Want to Get the Most out of Corporate Volunteering?
As we mentioned in the intro to this article, although it’s possible to try a few small scale volunteering opportunities with your staff, to truly take advantage of the benefits it offers for both needy causes and your employees you need a clear strategy.
At Ethical Angel, we can work with you to develop a clear corporate volunteering strategy that will bring structure, scalability, high engagement from staff and tangible results for the causes you support.
Our digital volunteering platform offers access to thousands of causes around the world, taking the strain off of your internal teams to build partnerships with charities, and allowing every single employee in your business to support a cause that means something to them. This 1-2-1 approach also means your staff are able to work on volunteering projects that are specifically matched to their skills, increasing the value that they bring to charities.
To find out more about how we can support your business with corporate volunteering, or get advice on building a corporate volunteering strategy, book a call with our team today.