Collector - April 2020 - 13

BESTPRACTICES

Some companies incorporate a little
friendly competition to encourage
participation in volunteer projects. You could
reward the employee who collects the most
donations or recruits additional volunteers
with a gift card or a longer lunch break.
Of course, it's crucial to remember
what's at the core of community service
projects-helping those in need and making
your community a better place-but a little
incentive never hurt anyone.

INSPIRATIONAL IDEAS
Simon's Agency Inc. Owner Phil Bova with members of the company's team on Volunteer Day at the Samaritan Center in New York.

Offering a variety of volunteer options
will encourage everyone to get involved at
least once.
Staying connected to local groups
that support causes your company is
interested in helping is a great first step in
encouraging employee involvement, said
Sherry South, executive assistant at ICR
Inc., based in Poughkeepsie, New York.
"We believe that if the company provides
the opportunity, most employees will gladly
participate in them," South said.
Need ideas for volunteer activities? You
could try a food or gift donation drive
during the holidays, planting trees for a
local cause or raising money for national
organizations that hold walks across the
country, such as the American Heart
Association or the American Cancer Society.
In addition to organizing local activities
based on your employees' interests, South
encouraged companies to also provide
opportunities for employees to get involved
in national and even global projects.
"Whether it's a team rally meeting
on weekends to support Habitat for
Humanity or donating canned food, water,
clothing and more to featured charities
throughout the year, participation
has always been generous from our
employees," South said.
If you have a group of employees
interested in volunteering through work-
or on their own time-ask them to get
their co-workers on board.

COLLECTOR 04.20

"I think sometimes people just need to be
pointed in a direction," Viggiano said.

GIVING BACK
GOES A LONG WAY
At Simon's Agency, Viggiano said the
company's volunteer initiative is genuinely
about giving something back to the
community on a personal and business level.
"My expectations are the same as those
we bring to our clients-that we overdeliver
by working hard, collecting donations,
and giving the extra time to make sure
everything is done correctly-and that each
volunteer gets to experience the pride and
community spirit," he said.
Volunteering can be a great exercise in
camaraderie, both with co-workers and
community members.
"It's a free exercise in team building and
allows people who don't necessarily work
directly with each other the opportunity to
do so and to get to know the person standing
next to them," Viggiano said.
Seventy percent of respondents to the
Deloitte Volunteerism Survey said they
believe volunteer activities are more likely
to boost employee morale than companysponsored happy hours.
Acknowledging how employees give
back can also encourage them to continue
volunteering. For example, ICR Inc. created a
"Gift That Keeps Giving" theme at its annual
holiday galas, recognizing everyone who
participated in any or all of the charity events.

If you're stuck on how to help your
community and no one on your team has
a connection to a local organization, there
are resources that can help you develop
volunteer ideas.
A simple internet search yields many
options, including dosomething.org. The site
lists specific causes individuals and groups
can get involved with, fundraising ideas and
projects such as teaching in the community
or activities that can be done in your office.
For example, you could organize a day
when your staff can take a few minutes
to write letters to local senior centers or
veterans' organizations or bring in toys or
school supply donations for the holidays or
start of the school year. Local school districts
often publish lists of supplies their students
need year-round.
Once you find a match, Viggiano
recommends checking the organization's
websites or social media pages for projects
they might need help with and to research
their background.
"There are so many organizations that
need help by way of man hours and/or
donations that you can truly look to what
inspires your employees," Viggiano said.
He also recommends surveying your
clients and participating in their events.
"Perhaps there are things they've
already set up or organizations they fund
or sponsor," Viggiano said. "At the end of
the day it's simply about helping those in
need. It's not hard to find."
Katy Zillmer is ACA International's
communications specialist.

13


http://www.dosomething.org

Collector - April 2020

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