20 Virtual Philanthropy Ideas

One of our core values at Apex is Doing the Right Thing, which includes supporting nonprofits and engaging in social-good activities. We hear you; it’s been tricky switching our way of thinking and transitioning into a virtual environment of fundraising, philanthropic team building, and other means for giving back that’s conducive to social distancing. Yet, Apex teams and partnering companies have risen to the challenge and have been creative with their #ApexGivesBack plans.

So, how do we support our communities, and can we team build while giving back? Absolutely! Better yet, our ideas for community support are endless, and we encourage you to share, coordinate, and partake in any one of the following philanthropic team-building activities.

1. Hot One's Competition

Apex's Atlanta branch recreated the popular YouTube television show Hot Ones and made it into their own virtual hot sauce challenge. The team consisted of nine volunteers participating as contestants who tried ten hot sauces ranging from mild to EXTRA-HOT. The admission fee was $10, and viewers also contributed bets on who would be the King and Queen of Spice. Each contestant took a turn trying the hot sauces and then answered a random question from their host to see how well they could handle the heat. This continued until all that remained were winners who made it through all ten hot sauces! Half of the proceeds were distributed to those that selected the winning King and Queen of Spice, while the other half was donated to Agape, a local nonprofit. In total, the Atlanta branch donated $350 to Agape.

2. Chubby Bunny Fundraiser

The winner for creativity and most entertaining fundraiser goes to our Atlanta branch team, who turned the popular Chubby Bunny Challenge into a virtual fundraiser hosted over Zoom. Team members donated $5.00 to participate and raised additional money when attendees placed bets on who would win each round. Half of the proceeds went to charity, and the other half into a pool split amongst winners. Three matches were hosted and were composed of various teams that included two winners. The Atlanta team raised a total of $380 for Agape, a nonprofit in their community. Our Washington DC team replicating this fundraiser and raised $400 for NAACP.

3. Trash Clean Up

One of the quickest, easiest, and socially safest volunteerism is to head outdoors and clean up your community area that needs a little TLC. Do you live near any team members? Get together in small groups, but don’t forget to rock your mask, and remember, it’s essential to follow your local safety guidelines!

4. Plant a Tree

Did you know you can order tree planting kits for your employees, clients, consultants, family members, and more? It’s a great birthday present or holiday gift. The kits are only $10.00, and for every kit purchased, the One Tree Planted organization will plant one tree in its native region. You can order via One Tree Planted.

5. Support Healthcare Workers

Some of our offices put together snacks and goody bags for drop-off at local healthcare facilities and hospitals. Other offices wrote thank you cards for healthcare workers in their communities. Some offices had sign-making contests and showcased them in their yards or on their balconies. It’s a great way to give back and involve kiddos or other family members and friends.

6. Host a Drive

Drives or wish lists are easy to plan and coordinate to help many local organizations in need. You can help someone in need by collecting business or casual business attire, and related items for nonprofits, like books, socks, ties, book bags, and nutritional food items. Whether it’s for their job interview or their first day on the job, it can help them gain confidence by being nutritionally fueled and having a professional appearance. Have you purged your closet recently?

7. Tech Recycling Drive

A spin-off to a business clothing drive includes collecting phones, batteries, tablets, laptops, other devices, and equipment for donation to a local nonprofit. Just remember that you can recycle old batteries at places like Home Depot.

8. Change for Change

How much spare change do you have scattered around the house? If you have kids, turn it into a scavenger hunt or competition to see who collects the most change. Whether it's kid vs. kid or kid vs. parent, add fun elements like the oldest coin date or the most creative finding spot. Once collected, take the coins to a Coinstar kiosk and drop them in. The kiosk will let you chose your charity while waiving or significantly reducing the fee for donating. If you’re competing against other families or teams, add another competitive twist, i.e., a picture with the receipt showing the donation and charity. Let the winner choose the charity and add an extra $10.00 or $25.00 to their contribution. Learn more via Coinstar.

9. Game Night Fundraiser

There are numerous tools and apps available for you to host virtual game nights. Whether it’s Trivia, Name That Tune, Bingo, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, or another game, consider hosting a game night with a small registration fee that goes to charity!

10. Story Time

One of the organizations we work with had a Story Time with its CEO. Employees gave a small donation for their CEO to read a story to children. The environment was virtual, and those that donated could also enjoy the tale virtually. Donations went to a local children's literacy nonprofit. Apex replicated this event and did a 30-minute virtual Holiday Story Time over Zoom in December. We had two festively dressed individuals read a different book, including the holiday classic Twas the Night Before Christmas. After each book was read, we had the kids ask questions. We had about ten questions submitted in advance from some of our Apex employees' kids, which was helpful. It was a $5.00 donation to participate, and we ended up raising $2,020 for one of our corporate nonprofits, Year Up.

11. eGames Tournaments

The American Cancer Society recently launched a Gamers vs. Cancer program, and we’re excited to host multiple eGames tournaments throughout the year. The entire $20.00 registration fee will be donated to the Fight Against Cancer, and Apex is providing a prize pool for the winners. You can set this up in different ways, but we have chosen four games, including Call of Duty, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Rocket League. Learn more, and click: sign up for our charity video game tournaments. If you are interested in setting up a Gamers vs. Cancer eGames tournament for your organization, learn more via Gamers vs. Cancer

12. Blood Drive

Work with an organization like the American Red Cross to set up a blood drive. Use a few minutes during team or office meetings to get the word out for participation and share upcoming dates of planned drives in your area. It’s a great way to encourage others to partake. Why not ask the boss to approve 1-2 hours of time off for employees to participate. Find a drive in your area, American Red Cross.

13. Virtual 5K Run/Walk

Organizations are still hosting runs and walks, but they’re a little different. Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society hosted a virtual Relay For Life. They’re looking to schedule virtual Making-Strides-Against Breast Cancer events too.

14. Pen Pal

Become a Pen Pal with someone at a hospital, nursing home, or someone staying at a Ronald McDonald House, a Hope Lodge, or the likes. It’s a great idea to share with your team and see who has recommendations for a local organization, nursing home, or medical center.

15. Talent Show Fundraiser

If your employees have kids, this may be an excellent idea for your group. Determine who wants to participate and share a talent! Charge a small donation fee for being part of the Virtual Viewing Party!

16. STEM Program Support

STEM/STEAM programs exist in every major city. They’re wonderful organizations providing free or discounted education to the community. We’re a national partner with the Year Up nonprofit, whose mission is to Close the Opportunity Divide to education. In 2020, Apexers supported by being guest speakers, helping with resume and LinkedIn profile reviews, mentorship, and more. The organizations prosper from business clothing donations, catering to young adults, military Veterans, and other adults. Identify a local STEM to learn about their program and find volunteer/needs opportunities. Coordinate with your team for the best way to get involved.

17. Support Tech4Good group

As a Tech4Good Meetup organizer, I have to do a plug-in about ways to contribute if you’re a technology or marketing professional. There are over 125 Tech4Good groups across the world! They’re a program of TechSoup, and their formal name is NetSquared. Our groups are always looking for speakers willing to do basic, introductory technology sessions for our nonprofit community. Over the last couple of months, we’ve had speakers for our Tampa Tech4Good group. Topics have included Introduction to Social Engineering, How to Make Your Website Accessible, Introduction to Power BI, and more. Reach out to a team-mate to co-present an educational webinar. Just look for a local group, then join and message the organizer to express your interest!

18. Virtual Pie-A-Peer or Pie-Your-Manager

One Apex fan favorite has always been donating a small amount, typically $5.00 to $10.00, to pie a co-worker or manager. Some of our offices have gone virtual with this. People donate to get the link to the Zoom viewing party and then watch as a family member, roommate, or friend pies the person on their behalf. It’s been highly entertaining. In one instance, one of our managing directors got pied by his wife and young son!

19. Spelling Bee, Math, and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader Challenges

Surprisingly, one virtual fundraiser was a hit when our DC office hosted a virtual spelling bee. Participants donated $10.00 to be a contender or $5.00 to be part of the Watch Party. Round 1 started with words at the 6th-grade level, which knocked out half of the contestants. Round 2 focused on 7th-grade words, round 3 focused on 8th-grade words, and so on. Two facilitators read the words and used the Zoom Spotlight Feature to spotlight the remaining contestants. It was hilarious on all levels. Five or more teams have since replicated this event and had an equally enjoyable experience. Other teams are doing twists on this concept, such as math contests with 24/7 cards and TV favorites like Are you smarter than a 5th grader!

20. Scavenger Hunts

These are fun and easy team-building events that can include a philanthropy spin! Our Atlanta office’s virtual team-building scavenger hunt included the following: grab one item from your closet for donating to a local shelter; grab three things from your pantry to contribute to our local Feeding America Chapter; grab a book to donate to a local literacy nonprofit. Scavenger hunt ideas are endless, and they're a great way to make activities double the good!