As the early morning sun cascades over a small town, a group of employees in company t-shirts gathers in a local park. Their chatter fills the air as they prepare for a day of thoughtful volunteering.
Corporate volunteer ideas like the example above can be a wonderful way to engage employees, recruit talented individuals, and positively impact your community. In fact, CSR research shows that 93% of employees believe that a company must lead with a purpose, while 76% say it’s important for their company to make a difference in local communities.
However, you need the right corporate volunteer ideas if you want employees to participate and truly make a difference through your programs. To help, we’ve put together this ultimate guide of winning ideas employees will love. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How To Make Your Corporate Volunteer Ideas Enjoyable
- 13 Corporate Volunteer Ideas In The Field
- 10 Virtual Volunteer Ideas For Companies
- Using CSR Software to Increase Volunteer Impact
How To Make Your Corporate Volunteer Ideas Enjoyable
Before lining up volunteer opportunities, companies need to consider how they’ll appeal to employees and inspire them to get involved. To get employees to participate in your corporate volunteering activities, make it a point to create an enjoyable experience.
Take the following tips into account to boost participation and create an impactful program:
- Choose corporate volunteer ideas based on employees’ preferences. One of the driving forces behind successful corporate volunteer opportunities is your employees’ interests. Survey employees to learn what causes and types of activities they’re interested in. Maybe they want to develop specific skills, or they love animals and would enjoy working with them.
- Provide information about the nonprofits you work with. Help your employees understand who they’ll benefit by lending a hand. This will enable employees to understand why they should volunteer through your corporation specifically and how that work is meaningful.
- Don’t pressure people to participate. A good way to ruin good corporate volunteer ideas is required participation. Instead of pushing or guilting them into volunteering, let your employees decide whether they want to join in for themselves!
- Set aside time to volunteer during work hours. Many socially responsible companies offer volunteer time off (VTO) as part of employees’ compensation. This allows them to volunteer during business hours without giving up part of their salary. When offering VTO, you’ll likely want to take a more structured approach by picking the nonprofits, ensuring time outside the office is well spent.
- Hash out the details for your volunteer opportunities. Before sending invitations to employees, create an agenda and compile the information people will need to participate. This will go a long way in generating buy-in across your company and eliminating confusion.
- Offer corporate volunteer grants. With this type of CSR program, your company donates to nonprofits where employees regularly volunteer. You might donate based on each hour volunteered, or you might donate a set amount once they reach a certain number of hours. This type of program is so impactful that 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grant programs to employees.
Taking these extra steps means more employees will be excited to participate. From choosing the right volunteer ideas for companies to elevating impact with corporate donations, there’s a lot you can do to make your volunteer program meaningful and enjoyable.
13 Corporate Volunteer Ideas In The Field
In-person corporate volunteer activities provide opportunities for promoting team bonding, engaging with your community, and making a tangible impact on local causes. Your efforts will be especially impactful when you organize group volunteer opportunities and offer team volunteer grants.
In any case, it’s essential to coordinate with local nonprofits to find volunteer opportunities that align with your community’s needs and priorities. Let’s explore several in-person volunteer ideas for companies like yours.
Become a Mentor.
Nothing compares to connecting in person and establishing face-to-face relationships. Establish or join a nonprofit’s mentorship program where employees guide and support students or young professionals in their career development or education. Mentors can provide valuable support to help mentees achieve their personal or professional goals.
Participate In An Environmental Cleanup.
Organize a team to clean up a local park, beach, or nature reserve to promote environmental sustainability. Employee giving activities like this help preserve your local ecosystem, which benefits your community and your company!
In fact, companies that focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors tend to outperform industry peers by 4.8% each year (Source: Zipdo)
Environmental cleanups are a great way to inspire employees to band together and make a tangible difference in the community. Everyone who participates will enjoy preserving natural spaces and seeing their collective effort benefit their community.
Host A Food Drive.
Hunger is a serious problem facing many communities across the globe. 33.8 million Americans have lived in households that struggled with food insecurity or food deserts, which are areas with a lack of access to affordable and nutritious meal options (Source: Food Research & Action Center).
Host food drives to combat hunger in your community. For this group volunteer idea, employees will collect non-perishable food items and donate them to a local food bank or shelter.
Volunteer At An Animal Shelter.
Employees with animal handling and training experience can assist at a local animal shelter. Tasks might include:
- Feeding animals and filling up their water bowls
- Taking dogs on walks or otherwise socializing them
- Helping the shelter with maintenance
- Assisting with adoption events
Animal shelter volunteering is a common type of corporate volunteering, so chances are that people at your company will want to participate.
Build Homes For Those In Need.
This group volunteer idea entails employees participating in construction projects to build homes for disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community. Examples of beneficiaries include low-income families and disaster-affected communities.
This type of project provides employees with a hands-on opportunity to address housing challenges and make a lasting impact on individuals’ lives. To get started and help build homes for those in need, you’ll need to partner with an organization like Habitat for Humanity.
Visit A Senior Center.
Arrange visits to local senior centers to engage with and provide companionship to elderly residents. This corporate volunteer initiative involves employees engaging in activities such as:
- Playing games
- Listening to residents stories
- Assisting with recreational events
- Providing social interaction and emotional support to senior residents
As part of this volunteer opportunity, your team might even assemble care packages for seniors in assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
Participate In Environmental Initiatives.
Anyone with a green thumb will enjoy this corporate volunteer idea. Environmental initiatives can include a variety of activities, such as:
- Planting trees
- Restoring habitats
- Hosting recycling drives
- Participating in local conservation projects
If your company has a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, this idea will naturally align with your stated philanthropic mission.
Work At A Homeless Shelter.
Your employees can work at homeless shelters to do the following:
- Serve meals
- Distribute clothing and other donated supplies
- Assist with shelter operations
- Provide professional services like résumé building
These types of initiatives address immediate needs and contribute to efforts that combat homelessness in the community, making them a great way for employees to connect with those experiencing homelessness in their community.
Volunteer At A Blood Drive.
Either find a local blood drive or organize a company-sponsored blood drive for healthcare organizations in your community.
Employees can donate blood or assist with organizing and running blood drives, ensuring a stable supply for medical emergencies and treatments.
Visit A Children’s Hospital.
Employees can spend time with young patients who are undergoing medical treatment at local hospitals. Volunteers can read stories, play games, or make crafts with the children, providing much-needed emotional support and companionship during their hospital stay.
Tend To A Community Garden.
Tending to a community garden is a hands-on corporate volunteer idea where employees work together to plant, maintain, and harvest produce in a shared community garden.
This initiative not only promotes teamwork but also contributes to local food sustainability and beautifies the community. After growing fresh produce, you can donate it to a local food bank to help those in need.
Work On School Improvement Projects.
Collaborate with local schools to paint classrooms, renovate facilities, landscape, and create outdoor learning spaces. With this group volunteer idea, your company’s team can help enhance children’s learning environments and make their schools engaging places to learn.
Volunteer At A Food Bank.
Volunteer at a local food bank to sort, pack, and distribute food to those facing hunger in your community. This corporate volunteer idea enables employees to directly address hunger and support the well-being of their community.
10 Virtual Volunteer Ideas For Companies
If your employees work in hybrid or remote work environments, we have excellent virtual ideas for CSR. Just because your workforce can’t come together physically doesn’t mean they can’t make a difference through volunteering!
Know that your company or its employees will need to connect with nonprofits and other organizations to launch most of these volunteer opportunities.
Promote A Worthwhile Cause.
Nonprofits need all the marketing support they can get. Encourage employees to promote a cause they care about online by using promotional strategies like:
- Social media: On their personal social media profiles, employees can share updates, events, and success stories from their favorite nonprofits. Encourage them to tag the nonprofit to increase visibility.
- Online Reviews: Encourage employees to leave positive reviews for the nonprofit of their choice on platforms like Google, helping to boost the organization’s online reputation.
- Content Sharing: Have them share a nonprofit’s content, such as videos, infographics, and fundraising campaigns online.
However they go about it, marketing charitable causes is an easy way to engage in corporate volunteerism.
Create Content for Nonprofits.
If your employees enjoy the idea of marketing for nonprofits, they might enjoy this corporate volunteer idea, too. They’ll need to work closely with nonprofits to determine what types of content would be helpful.
Here are some types of content they might create:
- Blog Posts: Employees with writing and research skills can write blog articles about a nonprofit’s mission, impact, or other relevant topics in the sector. Then, they can share them on their personal blogs or offer them as guest posts on the nonprofit’s blog.
- Videos: Employees with videography skills can create short videos about the nonprofit’s work, showcasing its impact or featuring interviews with staff, volunteers, or beneficiaries.
- Email Campaigns: Employees who enjoy advertising and persuasive writing might craft email campaigns for their favorite nonprofits. Their emails can highlight specific fundraising initiatives, events, projects, or volunteer opportunities. Then, the nonprofit can send those to supporters.
From written content to videos, creating content for nonprofits can be immensely helpful. As we mentioned, these organizations are often limited when it comes to spreading the word about their cause, and creating content is a good way to relieve some of this pressure. Plus, it’s a great way to put employees’ creative skills to the test, making it a rewarding corporate volunteer idea!
Offer Graphic Design Services.
Sticking with the theme of content creation, anyone with graphic design skills can offer graphic design assistance to nonprofits in need of promotional or banding materials.
For one, they could create visually appealing infographics that convey key statistics, facts, or other valuable information in a compelling and easy-to-digest format.
Tech-savvy employees can also help with web design. A nonprofit website is a crucial marketing tool, but smaller organizations don’t always have the expertise to create ones that are appealing and drive engagement. If any of your employees have web design experience, help set them up with nonprofits in need of website support
Host A Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser.
A peer-to-peer fundraiser is a fantastic way to combine the power of corporate volunteerism and fundraising.
As Bloomerang’s peer-to-peer fundraising guide explains, individuals can organize personal campaigns to raise money for a nonprofit. These campaigns rely on volunteers to create a personal campaign page and reach out to their friends and family, usually via social media, to collect donations for the nonprofit. To boost results, encourage employees to express their connection to the cause on their campaign pages when asking their networks to donate.
As part of your corporate giving initiatives, your company might even offer fundraising matches, in which you match the amount that employees raise for charity.
Corporate Spotlight: CVS
In addition to offering volunteer grants and matching gifts, CVS also matches the amounts their employees raise for nonprofits through peer-to-peer fundraisers. The company will also match up to $1,000 whenever an employee fundraises and participates in charity walks, runs, rides, or similar events. As long as they surpass the $250 threshold, the employee can make a bigger difference for the cause they support.
Translate Documents or Content.
Multilingual employees can help out nonprofits by translating documents and content. Nonprofits often serve communities with diverse backgrounds, so this corporate volunteer idea enables these organizations to make their materials more accessible to their different audiences.
Your employees will need to work closely with nonprofits to receive materials that require translation, such as marketing materials, educational content, legal documents, and website content.
Tutor Students Online.
Offer an opportunity for employees to tutor students in subjects they excel in via video conferencing platforms. This corporate volunteer idea enables employees to help students facing educational challenges in their community.
To get started, your company can connect with local schools and nonprofit organizations that work in the education sector. These organizations might lack the resources for one-on-one tutoring sessions, and your company can eliminate those barriers by providing assistance.
Host Skills-Based Workshops.
If your employees like the idea of teaching adults as well as students, this online volunteer idea for companies is another wonderful option. Line up opportunities with nonprofits for employees to share their expertise by conducting virtual workshops or training sessions.
For example, they might teach the following skills:
- Résumé Building: Employees can provide guidance on creating résumés and cover letters to help job seekers stand out to employers.
- Financial Literacy: Help individuals and families looking to improve their financial well-being with workshops that cover personal finance, budgeting, and savings.
- Entrepreneurship Skills: Employees can meet with aspiring business owners to help them explore topics like business planning, marketing strategies, and financial management.
These are just a few examples of the diverse range of topics that your company’s volunteers can cover. These ideas should get the ball rolling but also consider the unique skills your employees bring to the table. This will help you locate different volunteer opportunities that suit their abilities.
Lend Your Coding Skills.
Your employees can offer coding and programming assistance to nonprofits or anyone seeking to learn these skills. They can focus on introducing basic coding languages or programming skills, encouraging people to explore careers in technology.
Manage A Nonprofit’s Social Media.
Employees who have a knack for social media might enjoy helping nonprofits with their social media presence. They can work with nonprofits to create social media content, schedule posts, and engage their audience.
Host Virtual Fundraising Events.
Employees looking to go the extra mile in their volunteering can help nonprofits host a digital fundraising event. Alternatively, your company could coordinate with a nonprofit to organize an event or campaign that employees participate in or promote.
Examples of fundraising events your company might host include:
- Virtual charity runs: Organize a virtual charity run where employees can participate from wherever they are located. They can register, create personal fundraising pages, and solicit donations from their loved ones. Then, they can run the race in their own neighborhood and report their time.
- Online auctions: Host a digital charity auction and task your employees with procuring items and promoting the event. They might even offer their skills or donate items to auction off.
- Online charity concerts: Arrange a digital concert featuring local musicians. If any of your employees are musically talented, they can perform. Others can promote your event or purchase tickets to attend!
Whichever event you host, ensure employees have options for getting involved. Some may prefer active involvement as participants or performers, while others might want to help behind the scenes.
Using CSR Software to Increase Volunteer Impact
Corporate giving software is designed to optimize the various aspects of your corporate giving program. That includes managing volunteer initiatives, matching gift programs, corporate donations to nonprofits, and payroll deductions.
Leveraging dedicated CSR software to manage your corporate giving initiatives means you can access features like:
- Volunteer Management: CSR software streamlines volunteer recruitment and scheduling, making it easy for companies to manage large groups of volunteers. Plus, you can use it to track volunteer hours, helping keep your volunteer grant program organized and accountable.
- Communication Tools: Send event reminders, updates, and thank-you messages to employee volunteers through integrated communication tools.
- Recognition and Rewards: Recognize and reward employees for their volunteer efforts through built-in acknowledgment capabilities.
- Reporting and Analytics: Choose a software solution that provides detailed reports and analytics on volunteer hours, impact metrics, and participation rates. These insights can help your company measure the success of its initiatives.
- Integrations: Different platforms offer different integrations. For example, you might prioritize choosing software that integrates with your existing HR and communication systems for seamless data flow and communication. You might also choose software that integrates with matching gift tools to enable auto-submission and encourage employees to participate in your corporate match program.
CSR software can help your company effectively manage and optimize its corporate volunteer ideas, leading to improved employee engagement and community impact. With the right software, you can expand your programs and offer valuable opportunities other than volunteering, like matching gifts, to your employees. Overall, CSR software will power your programs, enabling your company and its employees to do more good in the world.
Making A Difference: Final Thoughts on Corporate Volunteering
Corporate volunteerism is a wonderful way to promote team building and enhance your company’s reputation. It’s up to you to pick the right volunteer ideas that will entice employees to participate, though.
By carefully selecting ideas that align with your values and choosing software to power those initiatives, you’ll make a meaningful impact in your community. The corporate volunteer ideas we shared are a solid start, but if one didn’t strike your fancy, keep brainstorming. Ultimately, you’ll wind up with the right idea by listening to your employees, considering their skills, and considering your community’s most pressing needs.
In the meantime, dive further into the world of corporate philanthropy with these resources:
- Engaging Your Employees With Employee Engagement Software. If you’re prioritizing workplace satisfaction at your company, you might be on the prowl for new software. This buyer’s guide shares everything you need to know about leveraging dedicated employee engagement software.
- Employee Giving Guide: How to Empower & Engage Employees. New to the corporate philanthropy space? This guide shares the essentials of running an employee giving program, so you can bring your corporate volunteer ideas to life.
- Workplace Giving Software: The Ultimate Guide for Companies. Giving back to nonprofits is the key idea behind corporate philanthropy. Software can help simplify workplace giving, so explore this guide to learn what to look for in the perfect solution.