Corporate volunteering is one of the most powerful and rewarding initiatives you can do as a team to raise morale, while also giving back to the community. Efforts made in the name of volunteerism engage employees, promote collaboration, and bring everyone closer together.
However, corporate volunteering has changed dramatically from even a few years ago. Rather than organizing corporate excursions to donate time in person, much of what counts as volunteering these days is a mix of physical and virtual activities. This new form of giving back is fully scalable and sustainable over the long-term, with the opportunity to maximize the benefits for the recipients of your altruism, as well as your employees.
How Corporate Volunteering Benefits Employees & The Company
At work, some days are more difficult than others. And after a particularly grueling week or intense company project, it might be a good idea to re-energize the workplace. Reigniting that spark with a Company Volunteer Day can lead to a handful of crucial benefits that could boost your employees in many different ways.
- Improves Health & Wellbeing. Everyone loves to give back. In fact, studies show that volunteering can actually help to improve mental health.
- Attracts & Retains Top Talent. You’ll bring in employees who align with your values, while holding onto talented team members who want to volunteer.
- Boosts Morale & Engage Employees. When your employees feel good about being at work, they tend to work harder and take pride in their company.
- Builds A Strong Brand. The positivity generated from the volunteering team reinforces the organization’s brand as an employer.
- Contributes To Employee Development. Volunteer work for a charitable cause helps employees develop valuable capabilities that can be put to use at their place of employment. These capabilities include group collaboration, outside-of-the-box thinking, and problem solving.
Now, let’s look at five ideas for a company volunteer day that incorporates virtual volunteer opportunities, or remote volunteering, as opposed to traditional in-person programs.
Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
1. Be My Eyes
Some remote volunteering opportunities lack human interaction, but Be My Eyes presents the unique opportunity to truly be “there” for the blind and low-vision community. The Be My Eyes app pairs sighted volunteers with visually challenged individuals who are in need of assistance with various tasks. The two parties connect via video call on the Be My Eyes app, and the volunteer can help the individual with everything from checking food expiration dates to finding their way around an unfamiliar location.
Volunteers love Be My Eyes—so much so that a quick Google search reveals just how many people are waiting to answer their first Be My Eyes call. Corporate Volunteering is a way to skip the line and ensure that your team is given plenty of opportunities to help the blind and low-vision community.
Different employees have different passions and skill sets. VolunteerMatch takes this fact into account by matching volunteers with specific causes that align with the causes they hold most dear. By grouping different nonprofits into various categories, VolunteerMatch makes it easy for team members to find a cause they want to get behind. Categories include animals, crisis support, disaster relief, homelessness, and justice/legal. Your team can even take a survey to find a nonprofit they would be most interested in helping.
3. Red Cross
With a name that’s become synonymous with charitable outreach, Red Cross has always been a popular avenue to corporate volunteering. The nonprofit now has a virtual advocacy program that enables individuals and groups to volunteer remotely in several ways. Your team members can use social media to encourage contacts to make a blood donation or set up online fundraisers with the Red Cross as a beneficiary and use the nonprofit as your chosen charity when shopping on sites like Amazon.
4. The Trevor Project
Young people who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community often have difficulty getting the transitional healthcare they need to live as their true selves. The Trevor Project exists “to provide life-saving support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, & questioning (LGBTQ) youth.” After training and a background check, volunteers can help The Trevor Project by donating their time to answer calls, texts, and chats. You can also become a fundraiser to take your team’s impact to the next level.
5. Project Gutenberg
Virtual volunteer programs don’t get more academic than Project Gutenberg. A program that grants easy access to thousands of free electronic books (ebooks), Project Gutenberg needs as much help as possible in adding more free content to its platform. The platform regularly recruits remote volunteer proofreaders to review one page at a time, with no minimum amount of work or time required. This makes Project Gutenberg perfect for anyone that only has a limited amount of time to devote to a cause.
Virtual Volunteering On The Company Dime
Corporate volunteer days can be true expressions of the collective passions of all of your team members. No matter the cause, there’s an opportunity for your crew to get together and donate their time to help a host of individuals without ever leaving the office.