A survey of employees showed that 71% say it’s essential to work somewhere supportive of volunteering. Try these ideas for volunteer days at your organization.
Here's what you need to know:
- Ways your organization can give back to the community include volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
- Consider helping animals in need, donating blood, volunteering with Meals on Wheels, or organizing a local race
- School supply drives, holiday toy drives, and putting together care packages for soldiers are additional ways to give back
Want to improve engagement and retention rates at your organization? Company-wide volunteer days may be just the ticket. A recent survey of employees showed that 71% say it is imperative or essential to work somewhere supportive of giving and volunteering.
Volunteering is an excellent way for businesses to get involved with the community, show their company’s commitment to social responsibility, and build a more robust team culture.
In this post, we’ll explore some creative ideas for your next company-wide volunteer day that will help you maximize impact while also having fun.
10 ideas for company-wide volunteer days
A Deloitte volunteerism survey found that 89% of the American workforce thinks companies that offer volunteer activities offer a more positive working environment than companies that do not. Here are some ideas to get you started with company-wide volunteer days.
1. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, there are about 553,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night, per 2018 data. Most major cities are experiencing a homeless crisis, and many shelters and soup kitchens desperately need volunteers.
An excellent option for company-wide volunteering is to partner with a local food bank or homeless shelter. Volunteers can help prepare meals, organize care packages, or set up sleeping cots. Click here to find an organization in your local area.
2. Help out animals in need
For companies with animal lovers, helping out a local animal shelter can be a rewarding volunteer activity. Many shelters need help collecting supplies like treats, toys, and dog/cat food.
Businesses that would like to contribute may consider implementing an internal animal supply drive. Your company could even hold a contest for the worker that collects the most supplies to motivate some competitive spirits.
The Animal Humane Society, for example, collects items from donation drives. You can view their wish list here to start collecting.
3. Donate blood
Blood donations are critical to hospitals that aid cancer patients, trauma victims, people with sickle cell disease, burn victims, and those that have chronic illnesses.
Your company can plan a blood drive at your business, and workers can donate blood on site via a mobile blood donation van or inside a conference room if there’s space. Visit the American Red Cross for more information.
4. Organize a local race or marathon
Local races are a terrific way to get fresh air and boost team bonding. Coordinating a race or fun run for a local charity like a food pantry or humane society shows the community how much you care.
If planning a race isn’t feasible, your company can always support a current event by volunteering to hand out race bibs, water cups, or make t-shirts.
5. Earth Day cleanup events
Feeling green? Earth Day is Saturday, April 22, and offers an excellent excuse for businesses to volunteer in their local communities. Some earth-friendly ideas include picking up litter, planting trees, or building a community garden.
Parks, trails, and gardens are essential for combatting carbon emissions, so maintaining these spaces is the ideal way to contribute to a healthier planet.
6. School supply drives
School supply drives are a fantastic way to get the entire company involved in helping children and teachers at nearby schools. Schools in vulnerable communities struggle with having enough supplies, so coordinating a supply drive can make a huge impact.
According to the Kids In Need Foundation, these are some of the most in-demand items:
- Washable Markers
- Pencil Pouch
- Glue Sticks
7. Clean up the park in your city
Want your employees to see the direct effect of their volunteer work? A park clean-up day is a great team-building exercise that offers workers a sense of satisfaction.
Find a local park that needs some cleanup assistance and give employees gloves and garbage bags to collect trash. You can even offer a reward for the most trash picked up by weight for some added motivation.
Check out your local Adopt-A-Park Program for even more cleanup ideas.
8. Put together care packages for soldiers
Show your appreciation to the brave men and women overseas by volunteering to make military care packages.
Here are some military care package ideas:
- Homemade foods
- Photos and notes
You can host a collection drive throughout the holidays and plan a dedicated day to assemble the boxes. Organizations like Operation Gratitude can help you send out your packages once you finish.
9. Do a toy drive for Toys For Tots
The holiday season is a time to be with friends and family and remember the blessings in our lives. The holidays can also make us realize that some families cannot afford what many of us take for granted.
You can make your employees’ holiday season more meaningful by coordinating a holiday toy drive to provide gifts for needy children. You may want to set up a winter tree where staff can place gifts around, or set up a table at a local retailer where shoppers can drop off donated toys. Learn more about Toys For Tots here.
10. Volunteer with Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a nonprofit program that supports older adults who may have trouble preparing their own meals or moving around. They may also have limited social interactions.
Meals on Wheels helps them by providing healthy meals, friendly visits, and wellness checks at their doorstep. As Meals on Wheels is nationwide, this volunteer opportunity could work for remote teams in multiple places.
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Volunteering can help build community and morale
Volunteering is a great way to build community and morale within your company and make you feel better about your company’s impact on the world!
If you’ve ever been part of a volunteer group that helps people in need, then you know just how powerful it can be. When we join together with our coworkers and put our efforts into something bigger than ourselves, we truly feel like we’re making a difference in the world (even if only for 1 day).
When staff members volunteer, it can help build a culture of giving back within your business and help create connections between employees who might not otherwise interact regularly.
Volunteering can help build a culture of giving back within your business and help create connections between employees who might not otherwise interact regularly.
Plus, besides feeling good about what they’re doing, volunteers will also often receive personal benefits such as increased job satisfaction, better work performance, and improved health outcomes — all while giving back to their communities at large.
Giving time off for volunteering is another option
We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for your company’s next volunteer day. Working together as a team is an excellent way to build morale, improve relationships with coworkers and partners, and increase overall happiness within an organization.
Can’t coordinate company-wide volunteer days? Consider implementing VTO, also known as volunteering time off, instead. VTO policies allow employees to get paid while giving back to the organizations that mean the most to them.