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Step-by-Step Guide to a Meaningful Corporate Volunteer Event

Cori Hammoor headshot
Cori Hammoor • Director of Marketing

Percent Pledge social impact managers have planned over 200 successful corporate volunteer events by following the steps below. The thoroughly planned events are highly recommended by Percent Pledge customers and their employees. So our social impact managers created a guide to share their secrets to a truly authentic and highly impactful volunteer event for your company and employees.

  1. Program design
  2. Partner recruitment
  3. Event selection
  4. Employee recruitment
  5. Event facilitation
  6. Employee feedback
  7. Event impact report
  8. Celebrate your impact!

The first 3 steps in this guide are thoroughly described below to give you a quick snippet of what is offered in the full Step-by-Step Guide to a Meaningful Corporate Volunteer Event, which includes social impact expert tips, resources, and recommendations across the entire volunteer event curation. From designing the program and partnering with the right nonprofit to recruiting volunteers and impact reports, the guide shares all of the information and resources you need to build a volunteer event that will engage employees while making an incredible impact – guaranteed.

Program design

To begin any program within your company, it is important to involve the people you want to engage in the program as early on as possible. If you want your employees to "buy in" to your volunteer program, it’s critical to understand if, how, and when they want to volunteer, and most importantly, what causes they want to impact while volunteering. 

To do this, survey your employees. Utilize our Employee Passion Assessment Lite, which gives you five basic questions that are critical to ask employees while building your volunteer events and program. We also recommend adding questions to make it more unique to your company. For example, ask the employee's location in the anonymized survey in case employees are interested in a more traditional in-person option for volunteering.

Once the results are in, analyze and create a report. The report should consolidate all of your employees' passions into one document, which can be used across many functions of the business. Here is a Sample Passion Report we share with our customers that you can use as a guide. We recommend sharing with leadership to validate why you are planning volunteer events. We also recommend sharing with all employees as it is a great way to “tease” that volunteer events are coming.

Partner recruitment

Now that you have an understanding of how exactly your employees want to volunteer and what they are most passionate about, it is time to align those passions with your company’s mission and values to choose nonprofits right for your company. 

For example, if your employees are most passionate about the disaster relief cause and your company is in the healthcare industry, you may want to focus your search on nonprofits that rapidly respond to disasters by supporting those who are affected with medical aid.

After finding the specific cause area that is both brand and employee aligned, you can focus on searching for nonprofits that fit the criteria. Searching for nonprofits that are trustworthy and align with your company’s values is difficult. To help evaluate nonprofits, the Percent Pledge charity vetting criteria are below. Our social impact managers evaluate nonprofits based on these guidelines to choose the right nonprofits for our customers.

  • Top-tier ratings from evidence-based charity evaluations, such as GuideStar.
  • Clear and consistent impact transparency of positive, intended outcomes.
  • A unique and innovative approach to solve long-standing issues.
  • Diverse leadership that is representative of the communities served.
  • Transparent financials.
  • Other criteria your company aligns with (i.e. DEI commitments).

We recommend finding 3-5 nonprofits that fit the criteria that also offer corporate volunteering options. Once these are chosen, reach out to the nonprofits’ corporate partnerships contacts to receive detailed information about partnering and volunteering with them. 

Also, it is extremely important to select events that are at least 4 weeks out as employee volunteer recruitment (step 4) needs to begin at a minimum of 3 weeks out, and selecting an event (the next step) can take at least a week when leadership is involved.

Event selection

Once you have detailed information from the nonprofits that fit your criteria, it is important to present the list of project options to leadership. Leadership buy-in is crucial for employee volunteer recruitment (the next step) because when employees see leadership recommending and participating in volunteer events, they are more likely to engage. 

While presenting to leadership, it is important to provide detailed information on why and how you chose the nonprofits and volunteer events, especially highlighting the alignment with company goals and employee preferences. 

We recommend creating a slide for every volunteer project sharing the following important information:

  • Nonprofit name, website, overview, aligned causes, and geographies
  • Project title, summary, descriptions, location, date and time, participant count, and donation
  • Additional info

Once leadership decides, reach out to all of the nonprofits you showed interest in and share what you are doing moving forward so you can set the next steps into place.

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  • One platform for donations, volunteering, and reporting.
  • Easy to manage for you, easy to use for your employees.
  • A searchable database of more than 1.5 million verified charities.
  • In-person, skills-based, and virtual volunteering events.
  • Personalized monthly impact reports delivered on a per-employee and company-wide level. Plus, real-time impact dashboards.