For businesses, volunteering is usually the third preference among ways to give back. The first is donating cash by writing a check, second seems to be cause marketing, and then volunteering. A volunteer program should be in your mix of giving back for several reasons. It engages your team and is a business-wide effort, it offers you the opportunity to contribute when there are cash flow down cycles, and it puts a face to your business in the community. In addition, there are great benefits to the community, your business and team by volunteering. Here are a few:
Benefits to the Community/Cause:
- New access to resources
- Low cost solution to addressing needs
- Builds better business-nonprofit partnerships
Benefits to the Business:
- Enhanced image of a caring and committed company
- Networking opportunities
- Positive effect on employees
Setting up a volunteer program doesn't have to be hard. Keep it simple and enjoy the planning process of creating a caring business, a business that conveys "Hey, this is what we are committed to helping and being a part of the solution to a social problem."
Here is an article I was interviewed for Get What You Give: getting your employees involved in volunteer programs . In this article, I gave a few tips for getting a volunteer program up and running.
Listen, there is a lot of information out there on how to set up a business volunteer program. I am all about having it foster a spirit of camaraderie and community. Your volunteer program should absolutely look and be different than another business's program. How you do it, why you do it, what you decide to serve through your time is a part of the planning process which sets you apart and creates meaningful connections.