The Lottery of Volunteer Recruitment: Corporate Volunteerism

Posted on April 7, 2015

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Written by Jon Lueders and Val Jones

Arguably the most important factor of a volunteer base, is actually having volunteers. Recruiting them can, in fact, be a tricky and time-consuming process. But, tapping into corporate organizations can work wonders, getting you more volunteers in half the time. And utilizing this process is a win-win for your event and the companies you recruit from. In one fell swoop you are broadening the possible volunteer pool more than, say, person-to-person recruitment and you are helping to create a sense of community within the organization. People are much more likely to volunteer for an event if their cubical mate is already signed up.

The benefits for your event are pretty straight-forward when using corporate volunteer groups. Here we’ve outlined them for you:

Volunteer attendance is higher as there is a heightened sense of accountability (which leads to a higher retention rate). Remember, no one wants to be out volunteered by Bob in Accounting, and hey, their boss might also be in attendance.

Since the majority of the time you will have a single point of contact (from the company), you will receive a much better organized group of volunteers. This person will help you communicate with all the employees, can assign duties prior to their arrival and generally helps the transition from “Bob in Accounting” to “Bob in Accounting…Super Volunteer.” Organization and work load is also boosted since these volunteers, already know one another. This means less chit-chat and more work!

Making friends with corporate volunteer groups is one of the best moves you can make when doing your recruiting. If you take the time to set a great first impression then it’s a pretty good chance that your new friend Bob from Accounting will make sure his co-workers come back next year as well! A win for Bob, his team, and (most importantly) a win for you when it seems like you’re having to pull teeth to get volunteers.

In the event that you don’t already have a vast pool of potential corporate volunteer groups, here are a few handy ideas you can use to sell the idea of group volunteering; some of which are obvious, and some a little less so.

Visibility and free advertising: Allowing the employees of a company to wear branded shirts or possibly bring signage that shows who the horde of amazing volunteers represent will most certainly benefit companies. This actually is a double victory for the company because they are promoting their name/brand and showing goodwill throughout the community.

Better in office working environment: Employees from the same and separate departments have a chance to work side-by-side in a different environment. They get to know one another better, thus creating more cohesiveness in the company. They can now laugh with one another in the break room over that one time that they volunteered, and good ol’ Bob fell into the mud helping out a participant. Plus, working side-by-side with their manager evens the field a bit and can create a better sense of approachability back in the office.

Real world leadership test: For members of management, volunteering is a great way to see leadership in action. Employees have the opportunity to turn a “real world” experience into proof that they have absorbed any leadership training they might have been given and can not only put it into action, but actually listened and remembered as well.  Managers can use this opportunity to make better decision when it comes time for assigning large projects or considering promotions.

Employee retention: When a worker takes pride in their company, they are more likely to stick around for the long haul. Helping the community, or a cause, through volunteering will not only show the world that the company is committed to making the world around them better, it shows their employees as well.

Mental and physical well-being: Giving back feels good. We all know this. By helping a cause you care deeply for, you gain a heightened sense of self-worth. More volunteering equals feeling better about ourselves and the world around us. See? A simple way to better mental wellbeing. Physically, volunteers are getting out, moving more, and breathing fresh air. Companies with frequent volunteer programs are helping their employees to give back to their health as well as the community. And isn’t the bottom line of those healthier employees and less medical expenses…what most companies want?

There are so many great benefits to corporate volunteerism; helping your event run smoother, more efficiently, and helping the employees of a company to come together for a super awesome cause. Take some time to really cultivate these corporate relationships and see what great things can happen!

Jon Lueders has been with Event 360 since 2012. Since then he has worked on over 35 events with responsibilities ranging from pre-event planning to volunteer management to on-event execution.

With a passion for working with volunteers, Val Jones has found her home at Event 360. In her spare time Val can be found trying her latest creative project or curled up with a good book and her two cats, Fidget and Sam.

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