Corporate volunteering both creates an impact in the local community and engages employees with corporate social responsibility efforts. It’s essentially beneficial to the community and your organization—a win-win.
We’ve compiled a list of 22 unique corporate volunteering ideas to point you in the right direction to achieving this double-win. We’ve also got some top tips on how to prepare for employee volunteering projects, and how best to share your efforts and achievements afterward.
In this guide:
- What to do before a corporate volunteering activity?
- 22 unique corporate volunteering programs
- Ideas for online volunteering
- Ideas for field volunteering
- What to do after a volunteering activity?
- Alaya: The corporate volunteering platform
- Corporate Volunteering Ideas FAQs
Before we dive into our comprehensive list of corporate volunteering ideas, let’s take a look at how best to prepare. It’s always a good idea to ensure everybody’s on the same page, so let’s get started.
What to do before a corporate volunteering activity?
In order to understand how best to prepare for a corporate volunteering activity, it’s essential to know what employees want from their volunteering experiences. Once their needs are identified, the company can work to meet them.
The top four factors for an enjoyable employee volunteering experience are:
- The project is clearly organized with a defined scope and expected results: send invites, include an agenda, share catering options, and any other information you think could help your employees volunteer. This is essential for ensuring employee buy-in.
- Ample information about the nonprofit or cause: help employees understand who it is they’re helping with their volunteering.
- No pressure from employer or colleagues: employees don’t want to be pushed or guilted into volunteering activities—they want to make the decision for themselves.
- Ability to volunteer during business hours: give employees paid time off (PTO) in order to encourage them to volunteer without losing out financially.
22 Unique Volunteering Ideas to try in 2022
11 Ideas for online volunteering
Online volunteering enables your employees to complete their volunteering efforts from anywhere in the world. There are plenty of ways organizations can give back to the community online:
1. Tutor a student
This is a great virtual volunteering opportunity and one that creates a positive impact from day dot. You can tutor kids in the community, or you can get involved in helping educate communities around the world. It’s entirely up to you and your employees.
2. Provide support for virtual projects
Corporates are in a great position to offer skill-based volunteering opportunities to employees. It’s rewarding for employees to share their unique skills, and beneficial for nonprofits to receive them. Providing support could be any number of activities, but the main goal is to harness employee skills for good.
3. Run a workshop online
This approach is a fantastic way for employees to engage in some self-directed volunteering. In this instance, employees can use their skills to create their own workshops.
This workshop is then shared with the relevant groups and put on free of charge. For example, a CEO could create and share a workshop on managing a business to help those in need of advice, such as solopreneurs and small businesses. This is impactful and self-driven—a brilliant volunteering opportunity.
4. Run online movie/book club
This is another great opportunity for virtual volunteering. It’s also a great example of how organizations are expanding their definitions of volunteering to encompass less traditional forms of volunteering. A book or movie club is a unique way to engage employees with online volunteering.
Not all volunteering sets out to change the world; giving people a space to share thoughts and feelings over a common interest, or simply connect with others in an effort to battle loneliness, is often enough to brighten someone’s day.
5. Share your creative skills
Employees can use their creative skills to support a number of different nonprofits around the world. It’s also a great opportunity for employee team-building.
Your team could get together to create art—maybe that’s a painting, maybe it’s ceramics—to be sent over to your nonprofit of choice.
The nonprofit can then sell the art in order to raise funds for their charitable activities. It’s a win-win, and a great way to support a cause you care about.
6. Become an online mentor
Joining a mentorship volunteer program can be rewarding for all parties involved. The mentee benefits from guidance and learnings, while the mentor gets to share their expertise and give back to the coming generation of workers.
It’s also a great start to longer-term volunteering, and an opportunity for your workforce to create meaningful connections with upcoming talent.
7. Create content for a nonprofit
Nonprofits are often limited when it comes to resources but need help getting the word out. Helping to create content is a great way to relieve some of this pressure. Visuals are time-consuming and often difficult for those lacking experience.
There’s no need to assign a team of graphic designers, just a team of employees who have the skills and creativity to design something new and fresh.
8. Write for nonprofits
Writing is another time-consuming task for nonprofits. It requires hours of research and countless edits to create a great piece—great writing is difficult to come by. Plus, if they want to create impact they’re going to need some serious SEO efforts.
Harness your team’s talents by creating written content for a local nonprofit. This could be articles for their websites, templates for their emails, or maybe even social media posts for their online efforts.
9. Host an online fundraiser
An online fundraiser is a great alternative when the real thing is out of reach. However, the fact it takes place online doesn’t mean there’s less planning required.
Your employees will need to ideate, plan, and execute a wide range of actions to ensure a successful event. Alongside its benefits to the community, it’s also a great way to engage employees, boost morale, and foster a little friendly competition for everyone across the globe.
10. Promote a cause
Employees can use their personal and professional accounts to raise awareness for the cause and issue. Getting the conversation started around a certain issue can often be enough to get the ball rolling in terms of action.
For example, every month your organization could pick a cause they’re passionate about—be it Wildlife Rescue or Epilepsy Research—and focus on spreading useful information and resources.
Publicize all volunteer opportunities and partners on corporate socials to ensure all stakeholders are aware of the cause you’re supporting.
11. Translate documents or content
Multilingual employees can be of great help to nonprofit organizations that need translating medical or legal documents and fundraising drives, social media initiatives, or web projects.
11 Ideas for field volunteering
Many companies choose to have employees volunteer in their local communities. Whether this is with local families or local charities, it’s a way for the entire team to get involved.
We’ve put together 11 ideas for field volunteering to inspire you and your team to take part in exciting volunteer opportunities.
12. Cook for the homeless community
Assembling care packages at a local shelter is a great way to give back and create impact within the immediate community.
Food insecurity—in which individuals cannot guarantee access to reliable, affordable, and nutritious food—affects 10.5% of the population in the US. It’s a great way to create a meaningful impact.
13. Clean the local beach or park
Employees can join an existing clean-up activity or create their own. It’s a great opportunity for employees to see the direct effect of their actions.
It also acts as a great team-building exercise by getting employees to work together towards a common goal. You can also make it fun by turning it into a litter treasure hunt—first to fifty bottle tops wins!
It’s also a great opportunity to get your team engaging together and working on developing teamwork skills in a new environment.
14. Pick litter in the city center
This may be a more accessible version of the previous volunteering opportunity for you. It can also be completed at any time and in small chunks.
Employees are able to make small contributions on a daily basis that provide a more enjoyable experience for everyone enjoying the outdoors.
15. Donate non-perishables
A food drive that focuses on collecting non-perishables—such as canned goods—for your community is an easy and effective volunteering effort that creates impact from day dot.
Employees can either donate food at work—if a donation point is set up—or directly to nonprofits.
16. Hand out care packages
Care packages include items such as non-perishables and hygiene kits. They’re a lifeline for people without housing, and a direct way to cause impact in the local community.
It’s also a great step to take towards ending the stigma around homelessness, and an opportunity for your employees to be educated on the realities of living without shelter.
17. Create a babysitting club
This is a great opportunity for your employees who are parents to both give and benefit from volunteering time. Employees can group together and create a rota for hosting babysitting evenings.
This gives employees the opportunity to enjoy some time off and also offers them the opportunity to socialize their kids from an early age.
This volunteering opportunity requires ample organizing and trust to be a success. Starting small and scaling up gradually is the way forward.
18. Donate blood
Donating blood is a quick and easy way to give back that creates a whole lot of impact—just one donation could save up to three lives.
Your company can host a blood donation drive or employees could attend an established event. Check out your earliest opportunities to donate and remind employees of the benefits of donating blood.
19. Get crafty or donate something warm
Staying warm during the winter months is a cause of great concern for many people without homes. If your employees enjoy getting crafty in their spare time, they could direct their efforts towards knitting hats and jumpers for people who sleep rough.
Alternatively, if your workforce isn’t artistically inclined they can always donate from their existing wardrobe. Pick a day to collect clothing donations and encourage employees to donate anything they can—a pair of mittens is enough.
20. Create and care for green spaces
Another great way to volunteer in the local community is by creating and caring for a green space. Green spaces are essential for combatting carbon emissions and they’re a brilliant project for your green-fingered employees.
Maintaining these spaces is a fun, team-building experience for your employees, and time with nature breathing fresh air does wonders when looking to boost morale. Engaged employees are more likely to be happy employees, and happy employees stick around.
21. Collect and donate school supplies to the community
Collect school supplies, such as pens, pencils, SAT books, calculators, and more. Corporations can make a huge impact by offering these items to schools in vulnerable communities.
Organizations are also in a strong position to provide this support. Surplus resources can be put to great use in schools, where they’ll support students throughout their education.
22. Host a fundraising event
Finally, an in-person fundraiser both supports the community with efforts to raise money and allows employees to let their hair down. There are ample fun activities to encourage giving and it’s hard to go wrong with a good raffle!
Organization is key when it comes to planning a fundraising event and ensuring exposure is essential for its success. Employees could invite friends and family to participate and contribute to the nonprofits involved.
What to do after a volunteering activity?
A best practice after a volunteering activity concludes is to continue involving employees in this process.
For example: circulate a post-volunteering survey to see how employees feel the event went. What worked well? What can be improved? This feedback can help plan future activities and keep employees engaged.
Employee engagement doesn’t end with the volunteering action, however. Engaging employees with volunteering opportunities is an ongoing effort. Here are a couple of steps to encourage continued engagement with corporate volunteering initiatives:
Publicize the efforts
Celebrate your team’s volunteer efforts and achievements by sharing content around the event. This requires the foresight to take some pictures and notes during the events, and report on their achievements.
These pictures or graphics should be shared with stakeholders to keep them involved and to show how the company is making an impact in the community.
Engage employees after the volunteering events by encouraging them to share their experiences. Ask them what they enjoyed about the activity and what they didn’t. Find out what they’d have done differently—whether they encountered any issues whilst performing the activity.
Corporate volunteering shouldn’t be performative. It’s an opportunity to engage employees around an impactful cause or activity. It’s about finding the best way to serve the local community.
Share the impact
Create and share an impact report with your employees to remind them of the difference they’ve made. Volunteering is a rewarding activity and they should be proud of their contributions.
You can do this manually by assigning someone to report on the activities, or by enlisting an employee engagement tool to do it for you. Employee engagement tools are made to help you manage and optimize employee experience, and there are many on the market.
Use a Corporate Volunteering Platform
The employee engagement tool you choose should meet your specific employee engagement needs. When it comes to employee volunteering, Alaya offers all the tools necessary to organize and execute impactful employee volunteering programs.
The gamified experience in Alaya makes employee volunteering fun, and the ample volunteer opportunities available make it simple too. Like, comment, and share to build community and set Purpose Challenges to create impact and encourage positive change.
To find out more about how Alaya can help you improve employee experience, create meaningful corporate volunteer programs, and meet Corporate Social Responsibility goals—try it out. There are many opportunities to complete volunteering programs like the ones listed above, as well as so much more.
Corporate Volunteering Ideas FAQs
Here are some good volunteer ideas to try with your team:
Tutor a student
Hand out care packages
Volunteer at a homeless shelter
Organize a cleanup activity
For more great volunteering ideas, check out our list of 22 unique corporate volunteering ideas.
The best way to engage corporate volunteers is with an employee engagement platform. It does all the hard work—like sourcing opportunities, tracking impact, and managing employees—so you can enjoy the volunteering experience. Try Alaya to find out more about how you can engage your employees.