8 Steps to Starting an Employee Volunteer Program

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1. Assess Company Needs 💜

Start by assessing the needs of your company community. Think about the areas within your community that you hope to improve or work on: is it employee engagement or devastation in the community? Maybe you are just excited for your company to give back. Once you identified an area or areas you would like to focus your efforts on, survey your employees to better understand what community issues they would be interested in donating their time and resources in, whether it be hunger relief efforts or empowering the homeless. Think about how your focus will align with employee and company values. Using this information, find nonprofits organizations that you and your employees would like to support and donate your time to.

 

2. Establish Goals ✨

Set challenging but achievable goals for your employee volunteer program that will serve as a guideline for your efforts. Setting goals ensure that you are always putting up your best performance, allowing the employee volunteer program to strengthen and last. Your goals should be realistic to the current state of your company. 

Some tips in creating good goals include:

  1. Thinking about how many employees will participate in volunteer work
  2. Determining what kind of resources will you receive from company executives
  3. Understanding what your employees want and expect 
  4. Evolving your goals as you move forward
 

3. Put Together a Strong Pitch to Gain Support from Executives 🏋🏽‍♀️

Gaining support from your company’s executives and leaders is an important step to making the employee volunteer program possible. Executives could help promote the employee volunteer program to all employees within the company, encouraging them to participate. They could encourage managers to be supportive of allowing time off for their employees to volunteer, and can often be supportive with some financial resources (money for transportation, etc.).  

In order to gain the support of your executives, it is important to emphasize that this is a good investment for the company. Explain to the executive board the importance of having an employee giving program and the benefits it will provide for the company. 

 

4. Plan Details 👩🏾‍💻

Spreadsheets, sign up forms, emails galore – this is where you actually plan your first volunteer efforts. Find a great nonprofit that can host your team and set a date. 

 

5. Communicate to Employees 💬

Make the employee volunteer program attractive to employees!  

Promote the program through email campaigns targeted at employees: These emails should be informative and exciting, explaining to employees how they can get involved.  

Create digital content to build excitement: This can include social media posts, blog articles, flyers, etc. 

Word of Mouth:  Company meetings are a good way to inform employees about the employee giving program. Bringing it up at a formal meeting and make employees feel more comfortable participating.

 

6. Go Out + Volunteer! 🕺

Here’s your time to shine! Gather the troops, send reminder emails, and go have an impactful, fun experience!

 

7. Qualify & Evaluate 📊

Evaluating the effectiveness of the program thus far can help not only evolve your goals but also to convince the executive board on why they should keep the employee giving program. 

Think about how your employee giving program was helpful to the organizations that you served at. When reporting to executives, determine how the employee volunteer program has helped with the business side of the company. This includes any impacts it has on the brand and reputation of the company as well as the effects on the company’s revenue and profit. To help with this, keep track of  the statistics on factors including but not limited to:

  1. The number of employees who volunteer
  2. The number of hours served
  3. The number of organizations served

Another key step to evaluating the employee giving program is to communicate with the employees who volunteered for feedback. Feedback is important to finding areas of strength and improvements. Gain a better understanding of how the employees were impacted by their time spent volunteering. 

 

8. Publicize Your Program Efforts 📣

You can use a variety of communication methods to get the word out about your program’s accomplishments– social channels, slack (or your alternative), company emails, etc. Publicizing your program efforts is a great way to recruit new volunteers and embed these give back values into your culture.

 

You got this 👊

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