Alan Ranzer, Co-Owner/Managing Partner, Impact 4 Good
It’s a tenuous time for just about everyone. Just as important as giving elbow bumps instead of shaking hands is keeping your team feeling connected even if they are working from home and can’t gather in person. COVID-19 has created a challenge for non-profits as well: they often work with at-risk populations, and they must work even harder to keep their doors open to achieve their organizational mission. The spring season is synonymous with gala/fundraising event season for non-profits – a time when donations dictate available operating expenses for the remainder of the year. However just as you’re not gathering, these important events aren’t taking place this spring.
Fortunately, in these times of uncertainty, there are many companies dedicated to ensuring their teams continue to engage and give back to local beneficiaries who need critical, immediate assistance. But how are they doing it?
One way companies are continuing to engage employees is through virtual gatherings. Virtual events will likely be vital for organizations adapting to the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea of “virtual” isn’t new. In the “2019 Impact of Video Conferencing Report,” 66% of respondents said they already use video conferencing outside the workplace. With the current pandemic forcing most employees to work remotely, this already relatively high figure is certain to rise. Staying connected while dispersed will be the big challenge employers face. The good news is that 89% of respondents say video conferencing helps them feel connected to their peers.
Coupling virtual technologies with giving back is the key and can bring teams together as they rally for a cause. Current options include:
- Gaming for good. Integrating quiz shows into a weekly kick-off touchpoint, mid-week “hangout” or end of the week Zoom happy hour connects teams and can boost morale, while resulting in cash or material donations.
- Donating time as a virtual mentor. Once you explore and connect with the right mentor, you can grow with them by asking questions, sharing stories, and just listening.
- Phone banking. Your team can donate time by providing their skills to supporting a cause via phone. Most individuals are not used to calling and speaking with people they are not familiar with. But when teams come together, working towards the same goal, it can encourage them to not only bond but feel more connected to the organization they’re supporting.
- Virtual volunteering. If you specialize in marketing, law, web design, etc., there are organizations who need your expertise. Offer your team’s assistance and support via web conferencing. For example, your legal team can help a non-profit re-write its by-laws. Your marketing team can help create a marketing strategy to help non-profit fundraising. Great platforms exist to find the right opportunity for your organization’s skills.
At the end of the day, use virtual means to connect your team and impact organizations who need it most, while increasing employee engagement!