Successful Service Project
1) Find out what matters:
Before planning a project, find out what matters to your organization and its employees. Get a sense of what causes and issues are meaningful to them. This will help you to get people engaged and excited.
2) Research opportunities:
Once you know what causes are important, research local non-profits that have similar aims and determine whether they have group volunteer opportunities. From there, you can narrow down the list of possibilities.
3) Reach out:
Reach out to the non-profits and inquire about setting up your volunteer project. Make sure they can accommodate your request and the number of people you plan to bring. If you have a particular date in mind, you may need to book a few months or even up to half a year in advance.
4) Plan ahead:
Once the volunteer project is scheduled, put together a project plan or calendar invitation for your group with essential information including supplies needed, what to wear, parking and transportation, the date and time, the sign-in procedure, and any other details. Provide a link to the information page of the non-profit you plan on visiting.
5) Share information:
Distribute information about your service project to employees using a number of channels: email, employee intranet, posters in the lunchroom or elevator, social media or a digital platform, such as Eventbrite. I’ve found that the most successful way to recruit people is usually in a face to face conversation or over the phone.
6) Confirm your visit:
One or two weeks before your visit, confirm the details about the event with the non-profit and send updates to your employees. Confirm that they will be attending, as it’s important to ensure that you have the correct number of people who will be volunteering.
7) Make the most of the big day:
When the big day arrives, make sure that you have all the needed supplies and that everyone signs in. This information will help the non-profit track volunteer hours donated for its own records and will also help you to track your service hours. Once you arrive, take lots of photos (be sure to check with the organization first).Make sure your group stays for the time that you’ve committed to. And, have fun!
Once the event is complete, share your experiences. Post photos and a summary of the event on the intranet at your office. Share the photos and the outcome of the project on your social media channels and website (and tag the non-profit). Debrief after the event, and discuss what was successful and what could be improved for the next project. Most importantly, thank the people who participated. This is a great opportunity to share the number of participants, hours you contributed, and the impact your project had on your community.