How Food from the Heart benefits from working with corporate volunteers

Katarina Wagner April 01, 2022


The Story of Food from the Heart How do you coordinate activities with corporate volunteers? And what kind of support do you need most from corporates?   What is your biggest challenge as an organization? Recap: Tips for organizing volunteering activities with corporates Posting appeals for support on the Alaya platform

In our Alaya by Benevity community, we’re proud to have some great nonprofits working towards different causes. And we’re always happy to connect them to companies who want to support their work. 

Let’s get to know one of those nonprofits a little better and see how they take advantage of this opportunity.

The Story of Food from the Heart

Food from the Heart is a nonprofit organization in Singapore delivering food packages to people in vulnerable situations. 

It was founded in 2003 by an Austrian couple based in Singapore, Christine and Henry Laimer. It all started when they read about bakeries throwing away the goods they hadn’t sold during the day – and decided to do something about it. They contacted bakeries to pick up the unsold goods and provide them to people in need. 

Today the organization that started with around 120 volunteers 19 years ago, has grown to an operation serving 10,000 beneficiaries every month!

To keep this service running, Food from the Heart counts on the help of volunteers. Some participate with their university programs, some are retirees, and some are volunteers coming from corporations wanting to give back to society.

We caught up with Bryan Tan from the organization to ask him a bit more about how they work with corporate volunteers. Read the full interview here and a recap of the most important points and tips below.

Alaya by Benevity: Hello Bryan, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us. Let’s dive right in:

How do you coordinate activities with corporate volunteers?

Bryan: Usually the companies they will write to Food from the Heart either via email or calling and then we show them the list of available volunteering activities. Usually, it will be food packing, donating food items, like a food donation drive, to help out with deliveries. And after the corporate sees the list of available volunteering activities, they’ll let me know which one interests them the most, and then we work out the details from there.

And what kind of support do you need most from corporates?  

I guess the best and easiest way would always to be either donating food items to us. We go through tens of thousands of food items each month. So either donating food items or donating money is the most appreciated. But if they prefer to help us with more hands-on activities, the food packing sessions or the door-to-door delivery of the food packs is also appreciated. It really depends on how each company wants to help. We always have some areas where we can use more help from the corporate side.

What is your biggest challenge as an organization?

For us, maybe the biggest challenge would be just raising enough food items and capital to keep the operations going day-to-day. Because we depend heavily on public donations and donations from corporates.

So how do you handle food donations from corporates?

They just email it to us saying that they would like to raise some food items for us and we’ll pass them a food donation toolkit with all the relevant information inside. So they will just have the food donation drive on the company grounds and after they’re done raising all the food items, they’ll either deliver the items to the main warehouse or we will send some guys down to go and collect the food items.

Thank you for your time, Bryan.

Watch the full interview here:

Recap: Tips for organizing volunteering activities with corporates

From what Byran has shared with us, let’s remember two learnings for a smooth collaboration with corporates wanting to volunteer.

  • Offer different ways of getting involved with your charity
    For Food from the Heart this means corporates can donate food items, they can help with the packaging or get on the road and deliver the packages to the beneficiaries.
  • Be clear in your activity descriptions to avoid back and forth with corporates
    Find here some tips on what to include in your activity descriptions when posting calls for support on platforms like Alaya. 

To boost support for their cause, Food from the heart posted a call for donations on the Alaya platform and also this field volunteering activity:

Posting appeals for support on the Alaya platform

Alaya users are able to sign up to this Activity and easily coordinate their volunteering with their company and with the nonprofit.

Do you want to join the Alaya network to post calls for support on the platform and reach more corporate volunteers? Register your nonprofit here.

And if you’re already signed up in our network, submit your next activity to gain more visibility among our users. Submit your Activity here.

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