With workplaces increasingly adopting remote and hybrid work environments, managers are struggling to do their charity initiatives with their team members in different locations. Charity work within an organization can help bring your team closer together and develop a strong company culture — no matter how far apart your team members are. Here are some ways your remote team can implement charity work into your culture.
Why have work charity programs?
There are many benefits to participating in charity work as a business. It builds morale within a company and it’s a chance for your business to give back to the local community. There’s increased respect consumers and employees have for businesses that donate and volunteer their time and resources for charitable causes. Additionally, charity work includes time for team building and gives your team a chance to get to know their colleagues better. Employees will also develop new leadership and communication skills through volunteer work to contribute to their career development plans.
Companies that host charity events also have multiple opportunities for great PR campaigns. Your charitable contributions can be posted on social media or within your network to boost brand awareness and overall business. Participating in charity work can also help businesses earn awards. These awards contribute to their ability to be well-rounded and active in the community. Businesses can even earn tax deductions through their charity work if they follow the requirements outlined by the IRS.
All in all, businesses have a social responsibility to weave charity programs into their organization’s mission and company vision. Your consumers are more likely to follow and buy from brands that make their communities a priority. These programs also attract and recruit top talent by highlighting the company’s values.
How charity initiatives build remote culture
Charity programs and initiatives aren’t just exclusively done through an in-person team. Encouraging your remote team to participate in a charity initiative brings everyone together and builds a sense of community, no matter where they are geographically located. Charity initiatives give a remote team a sense of purpose by working towards a common goal that will ultimately benefit the charity in question. Team members are also given the chance to talk about the charity initiatives and discuss non-work-related topics. They can share their own values on the benefits of charity work and how it’s affected their personal lives while collaborating with their team. Each quarter, Team Lightning Media Partners participates in an activity for a charitable cause recommended by a team member.
“From my perspective, the remote charity initiatives we do bring us closer together and enhance our culture because we get to learn what is most important to each other,” said Katti Betterton, SEO Specialist at LMP. “We’re not just employees who work together; we’re humans with passions and causes we care about. By letting each employee choose a charity that matters most to them, we come to a deeper understanding with each other and do something generous for others.”
Ways to do charity work remotely
Social media campaigns
Social media is a great way to gain momentum for your charity initiatives. Come up with a strategy for a social media campaign with your team that will raise awareness for your chosen charity. Take it a step further and create a compelling social media challenge encouraging people to donate. For example, ask your followers to record themselves doing a new TikTok dance and share the video with a caption to donate. Then, get your team together to record a video chat of everyone participating. Be sure to tag the charity you’re featuring in your photos or captions.
Another social media campaign could involve giving your team the chance to “takeover” a charity or nonprofit organization’s social media account. Team members can share how their cause impacts them and what actions they’re taking to raise awareness.
Your team members can raise awareness for a charitable cause by participating in a virtual 5K. Whether you’re running or walking, 5Ks are a great way to get everyone moving as one of the most popular forms of charity initiatives. Team LMP has participated in three virtual 5K’s together.
“A 5K or any other walk or run-based event is a great charity initiative for a remote team, as it gives you a couple of different options to be active,” said Dan Casarella, LMP’s marketing coordinator.
“We started doing our charity initiatives during the peak of the pandemic. Doing 5Ks allowed team members who were close enough to meet to safely participate outside with one another and for our further employees to participate remotely. It was special to get together with everyone for a good cause in a way that took us away from our screens.”
Create a fundraising page
Websites such as GoFundMe and social media platforms like Facebook allow you to create fundraisers where your followers can easily donate money to your cause. Share your fundraising link on your business page and have your team members also share on their personal pages. You can even send out your fundraising page link in your company’s internal email newsletter.
Host a virtual event
You and your team can hold a virtual live-streamed event featuring a keynote speaker and a representative from the charity you’re featuring. Invite people throughout your network and business to show up at a virtual Zoom meeting to raise awareness for a good cause.
Donate your time
Have each member of your team participate in a charity event that’s local to them. If they’re passionate about food insecurity, they can volunteer at their local homeless shelter or food bank. Have your team members snap photos or videos of themselves volunteering or get a quote from the charity to share on your company’s social media to raise local awareness.
Bring your team’s creative side out by encouraging them to make greeting cards for a good cause. You can make e-cards online for a charity program or break out the colored pencils and paper to make bright, fun cards for chronically ill children. Recently, the LMP team made e-cards and handmade cards for children at St. Jude’s.
“Making cards for St. Jude’s (and other hospitalized children) was a fun, creative way to give back,” said Betterton. “With my husband in med school, pediatric care is really important to us! The best part of creating cards is that you don’t have to be an artist. You can make e-cards, use stamps or stickers, or try your hand at drawing or painting!”
Buy and send resources
Gather up your team and choose a cause that is in need of supplies or resources such as a children’s center, homeless shelter, or food bank. The place can be important to one or many team members. Your team can pool together funds to buy and send resources they need the most (usually listed on their website), such as food or clothing donations. Together you can host a meeting to create care packages together and then drop them off at the organization’s local facility.
Charity live stream
You may remember old telethons held in support of various charities throughout the 20th century. For a charity live stream, think telethon, but on digital platforms. Stay on “the air” for a length of time to make the case for the charity of your choice. Utilize the Instagram or Facebook Live function to stream the event from your business’ website. Your team can take turns speaking about the charity, answering viewer questions, and participating in online polls. After the event, you’ll hopefully have a number of new followers as well as charitable contributions.
The rules of a silent auction are simple: you bring the goods, your audience brings the bids. The individual that bids the highest, gets the item or service. This is a great way for your team to get involved with a charity of their choice by gathering products and services for your followers to bid on and gaining new supporters. Your team can even rally for prizes using their connections in their respective towns.
Company culture doesn’t have to be dependent on getting the team together in person — there are plenty of options to integrate virtual charity in the remote work culture. Using the tips above, find a charity program option that works best for your team, and watch how quickly they affect your team’s remote culture!
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