In this high tech age, one of the first areas of social engagement to be lost in the shuffle is that of giving back to society; be it our community, our sphere of friends and neighbors, or on a larger platform, the world. Organizations, such as the Peace Corp (and many, many church related groups), provide valuable assistance to those who cannot provide for themselves.
As you work to grow your business, it would behoove you (not only personally, but also from a societal and business perspective) to become involved in volunteer organizations. Many of you have done so already by participating in such worthwhile promotions such as the Alzheimer’s Walk. Yet, how many of you have considered fostering your own volunteer organization within your company? This internal volunteer organization can be developed to serve the needs of individual employees to give back to the community, or to allow individuals to offer services for specific causes (Juvenile Diabetes or Breast Cancer Awareness, etc.). And, your volunteer organizations could construct their own fund raisers for support of those suffering losses due to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.
Here are some ideas for developing an internal volunteer organization that can meet many of the needs of your employees (and your company) to “give back” (much of this material was harvested from an article on corporate volunteer programs put forth by the United Way of Greater McHenry County, McHenry, Illinois):
- Develop a sound base for the program with goals and strategies, a communication plan, budgets, and leadership.
- Manage your volunteer program through committee, individual coordination, or even some outsourcing.
- Develop a retired volunteer program by using retired community members to participate.
- Develop an employee “day of service.” This offers team building opportunities, relationship building skills, and a “feel good” activity.
- Host a volunteer fair. This will allow you to connect your employees with existing volunteer organizations.
- Offer invaluable research into volunteer organizations that your employees can review and then decide which are of interest to them.
- Offer volunteer workshops, especially in your areas of expertise (i.e., home care for the elderly or community resources for families of the elderly).
- Structure an online presence of volunteer organizations in the community that your employees can tap into.
- Network with other corporate volunteer programs to offer your employees expanded avenues for volunteer outreach.
Volunteering has been a mainstay of our society from the earliest of times. It offers valuable service to those most in need, and it provides avenues to meet your employees’ personal needs for “giving back” to their community. This is not only good for the community, but also the morale of your employees, not to mention well being and growth of your company.
Please consider beginning a volunteer organization within your agency – It will serve you, your company, your employees, and the community well.