Do you want to make a positive impact on your culture and community? Periodically organizing volunteer activities for your team is a great way to achieve both, while influencing employee productivity, morale, job satisfaction, corporate image, and more. One recent survey by Charities.org found that "64% of employees who currently volunteer said that volunteering with work colleagues strengthened their relationships." At Apex, most of our teams and offices now organize one #ApexGivesBack event a quarter, such as drives, fundraisers, and philanthropic activities that include team-building.
What can you do to help? Where can you start volunteering? Often, people don't know where to start, or all the ways they can give back. Non-profits are abundant, and they need your support. Below are 12 quick and easy ways to organize philanthropy events that benefit your team and local community.
1. Channel Your Mr. Clean
Organize a clean-up or sign up via your local chapter of Adopt-A-Road or Keep America Beautiful. Our Jacksonville office spent an hour cleaning up the beach after work one day.
2. Connect With a Local School
Many of our teams volunteer at field days, school fundraisers, and contribute via drives. Every year, many families are unable to afford the school supplies their children need for school. Supplies they lack include backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, highlighters, folders, scissors, binders, etc. Our Columbus office sponsored a dunking booth for the field day of a local elementary school. They have also helped with a local environmental clean-up in conjunction with the school.
3. Put Together a Drive
Whether it be warm clothing, business clothing, food, toys, blankets, books, or collecting items on a wish list, there's no shortage of types of drives you can do. At least three of our teams have hosted a book drive for a local shelter or literacy charity. Many of our teams do toy drives for organizations like the Salvation Army or adopt families during the holidays.
4. Compile Treat Bags for a Local Non-profit
Do a mini-assembly line to put together snack packs, lunches, hygiene kits, etc. for a local shelter or a children's charity. Our D.C. team spent 15 minutes putting together candy bags to deliver to a local children's charity around Halloween.
5. Volunteer at a Local Homeless Shelter, the Ronald McDonald House, or the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge
These organizations are always looking for groups to come in to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner, host activity hours, donate items from their wish list, decorate around the holidays, and more. Our Boston team members got to work in the kitchen at their local Salvation Army.
6. Volunteer at a Hunger-Relief Organization or Do a Food Drive
Support your local food bank by doing a food drive or volunteering at places like Feedmore or other hunger-relief organizations. Consider creating a quick food drive flyer for your local food bank, and involve your entire building or office park. You can also designate two or three hours with your team or a group of friends to sort and package food. Our Pittsburgh team spent a few hours sorting and packaging food at Focus Pittsburgh.
7. Sign-up for a Local Charity 5K
In addition to the endless charity runs that exist, look into local organizations like Girls on the Run, which needs volunteers and running buddies. Some of our Salt Lake City team members volunteered at their annual Girls on the Run 5K event. Many of our offices, including Omaha, participate in their local Bark for Life event, a signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
8. Plan a Fundraiser at the Office
Plan a quick-hit fundraiser at the office and donate the money to a non-profit that hits home for your team. There are several fundraisers you can do, such as the following:
- Jeans day or casual Fridays
- 50:50 raffles
- Pancake breakfasts
- Chili cook-off
- Pie-a-peer or manager
- Raffles for swag, gift cards, PTO, parking spot, lunch with the big boss, etc.
Our Portland philanthropy steering committee put together a pancake breakfast fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Folks made a five dollar donation to eat this yummy breakfast. A favorite fundraiser amongst Apex staff is to give a small donation to pie your manager or a peer. Folks typically give a five dollar donation and use whip cream on a paper plate.
9. Explore a Larger External Fundraiser
You can have fun getting creative and plan a family-friendly fundraiser to support an organization of your choice. We've had teams put together fundraisers around bowling, whiffle ball, kickball, barbeque, movies, wine-bars, restaurant night, and many other types. One of our offices plans an annual fundraiser where folks bowl and eat for a twenty dollar donation.
10. Consider Habitat for Humanity
Another favorite non-profit for Apex staff to volunteer is Habitat for Humanity. Many teams organize an annual Habitat for Humanity philanthropic team-building event. They spend an afternoon out of the office helping with actual house builds, grouting, painting, planting gardens, etc. At least 20% of our teams have volunteered through their local Habitat for Humanity. It's always viewed as an incredibly rewarding team-bonding experience.
11. Don't Forget About Our Furry Friends
There are several ways to support your local SPCA or animal shelter, such as walking dogs, fulfilling wish lists, cleaning animal cages, etc. Our New Jersey office loved spending a few hours at their local animal shelter, where they walked dogs and did some cleaning.
12. Get Giving Down at the Farm
You can get a dose of fresh air, do something fun and unique, and maybe pick-up some skills at the same time when you volunteer at a farm. It's a cool give-back opportunity.