April is National Volunteer Month - Here's How To Get Ready

April is a month to commemorate giving back to your community through volunteering. Want a game plan to make sure you maximize your efforts? Follow these steps!

Gather your resources and team (virtually, of course) to make sure everyone is on board and ready to bring their A-game. Depending on the size of your company and the systems you use, there are endless ways you can use the resources you have to make an impact in your communities locally and globally. Whether you have corporate philanthropy software in place or not, communication is key. Make sure all employees are aware of your volunteerism goals and understand how they can get involved through email outreach and through your company’s intranet to amplify your message.

Just as communicating for maximum engagement is important, tracking hours and impact is vital to a successful volunteer month initiative. Using a system built for organizing volunteering events is recommended because it helps organize and manage the entire process from logging employee hours, community involvement, and nonprofit event availability through volunteer match integrations or independent submission. However you manage your volunteerism program this month, make sure everyone feels included, and offer accessible options for donating their time and talents!

Getting Started: 5 Ways Make National Volunteer Month a Success

  1. Determine the duration of your campaign: You can select one company-wide volunteering day or set up your campaign to last throughout April. Otherwise, promoting volunteering throughout the month on an individual level is great too! Each company is different, so make sure to determine the duration of your campaign based on what suits your culture.

  2. Set achievable goals and guidelines: You set the goals and let your employees decide what charities, organizations, or communities they want to serve. The best way to engage your team is to offer multiple options for how employees can become involved. Offering flexibility with time requirements and duration makes getting involved easy and manageable for everyone.

  3. Enlist local advocates: You can't be everywhere at once, so developing a team of trusted liaisons to advocate for volunteerism locally will make all the difference and save your sanity. They can help with communication and encourage other employees to share their participation with members of their team as well! On average, 77% of employees were more likely to volunteer if their co-workers participated. 

  4. Provide an incentive: Whether it’s paid time out of the office for volunteering or a “Dollars for Doers” initiative. Give employees the ability to set up teams, independently or by department, and make it a friendly competition. You’ll want to offer some sort of incentive to increase employee involvement.

  5. Acknowledge your teams' efforts: Be sure to track, log and record your teams' efforts and celebrate their accomplishments. Things may look different this year and whether you are logging hours in person or online, it's important to celebrate your commitment to making an impact in your community. 

Pivoting from in-person to online or hybrid volunteerism

An expanded perspective of volunteering means your teams no longer have to be physically together or always onsite to make an impact. In our current reality, online and remote services should also be an integral part of your organization’s overall strategy for volunteer involvement. Below are some key considerations for maximizing impact through virtual volunteering:

 
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Maximize Visibility
Amplify your message with bold, clear, concise language and content across preferred channels. 
Consistent Communication
Leverage communication teams and
intranet sites to share information with all employees and ERGs.
Simplify Access
Create an easily accessible virtual menu with skills-based and micro-volunteering opportunities.
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Recognize Resources
Establish a subject matter expert network to discover opportunities for skills-based volunteering. For example, financial education for low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities.
Reinvent the “Rules”
Reevaluate what qualifies as volunteerism. Encourage employees to tap into their talents or hobbies, try online mentoring, commit to pro-bono work or share acts of kindness in the community.
Increase Rewards
Consider granting employees an extra 8 hours of PTO to dedicate towards volunteering or set a monetary match for employee volunteer hours to be disbursed to their organization of choice.

 

Share Your Volunteering Contributions:

There are multiple benefits and rewards when it comes to employee volunteering, so make sure to share their efforts! It’s a great way to get some major PR points and to bring in potential new talent for your business. In fact, 88% of HR executives believe volunteering has a positive impact on an organization’s reputation. Check out some ways you can share your impact with the world:

  • Tell your story: Create a report and share the data behind the different impacts and events you took part in with the rest of the company and community.
  • Make a recap video: Develop an authentic video that illustrates your employee describing their volunteering event or footage of them in action. You can even record volunteer work throughout the month or year to make a recap!
  • Infographic: Putting together a stellar infographic can be beneficial for you, your team, and the community to look at and see the progress and accomplishments your company has made through employee volunteering.

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It’s time to set this game plan into motion. Need help organizing all your CSR needs into one place? We can help with that. Learn more about our
corporate philanthropy management system and be sure to check out our guide The Power of Employee Giving and Volunteering

 

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