Quarter of Caring - 16 Virtual Philanthropy Ideas
One of our core values at Apex is around 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 over the last several months.
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. 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 rounds 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.
2. Trash Clean Up
One of the quickest, easiest, and socially safest volunteerism is to head outdoors and clean up an area of your community 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!
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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?
6. 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.
7. 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 its 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.
8. 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!
9. 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.
10. EGames Tournament
The American Cancer Society recently launched a Gamers vs. Cancer program, and we’re excited to host an eGames tournament in the coming months. The $10.00 registration fee will be donated to the Fight Against Cancer. There are different ways you can set this up, but we’ll be choosing three games, including Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Rocket League.
Participants will pay $5.00 per game tournament, with the money going into a prize pool for the winners. We’ll also have a couple of SWAG items that participants can buy with a portion of sales going to the American Cancer Society. Are you interested in setting up a Gamers vs. Cancer eGames tournament for your organization? Learn more via Gamers vs. Cancer.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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!
15. 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. So far, in 2020, Apexers have 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.
16. Support Tech4Good group
As a Tech4Good Meetup organizer, I have to do a plug-in about ways you can 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!