Doing the right thing is always the right thing to do - there are many worthy causes that rely upon businesses large and small to support them. We believe that volunteerism is more than just a nice thing to do but an imperative business initiative.
How often have you heard sayings such as;
“Volunteers are the heart of our organization – they are the backbone of what we do, we couldn’t do it without them.”
It’s not only the millions of volunteers that every year give up their own time, freely, willingly, and with gusto to support their favorite causes but when organizations get behind them, leverage their resources, coordinate the masses, then that’s when significant impact can be achieved.
“Over 1 billion people volunteer every year globally – with nearly 63 million Americans for a median average of 50 hours – that’s over 3 billion hours every year. Or, at say an average of $20 an hour, over $60 Billion in equivalent labor donated in the U.S. alone.”
Many organizations support philanthropy in many different ways, supporting causes that align with their goals and values, donating time, cash, resources. Giving employees paid time off to volunteer, matching donations, and fund-raising initiatives – there are many ways to support these causes – cash equivalent investments of course, but support-in-kind is of equal importance.
“But of course, volunteerism is not just preserved to the United States, you only have to look at the humanitarian aid offered by the world following natural disasters throughout the world, no less so than the volunteerism and support being offered in conflict zones like Ukraine.”
The support of the many for the few can not only be transformative in our fellow humans' time of need, but can also be a catalyst that supports camaraderie, a common cause, supporting and promoting the vision, mission, values, and purpose of an organization – and of course a feel-good factor too, of doing the right thing.
It’s important however to recognize that it shouldn’t just be the company choosing the good causes, open it up to your employees – it’s likely may are already engaged in volunteerism – harness that, build momentum, show your support, and engage.
Here’s a quick checklist for you to explore how you can engage your workforce in meaningful contributions and volunteerism:
PURPOSE: Having established your organization's Purpose, Vision, Mission, Values, what organizations are aligned and complementary to your goals.
SELECT: Select causes that you wish to support. Often fewer the better to channel and optimize your resources. These may be global, national, regional, or local good causes.
STRATEGY: Create your strategy of ways you can help including a combination of cash, time, and resources in kind – there are many ways in which you can help.
ENGAGE: Connect with your shortlisted organizations and work together to identify how your organization can help them. What types of support will benefit them the most?
PROGRAM: Create a program for the coming year – fundraisers, volunteer days, donation drives, other ways your business can help such as employment assistance.
PROMOTE: Now you have the plan, ensure that the program is promoted and communicated regularly with your teams – in meetings, newsletters, in external communications.
CELEBRATE: Make sure that you share the success stories both internally, and externally – this will help you garner greater buy-in, support, and of course the feel-good factor.
MEASURE: Beyond the feel-good factor, there’s nothing more powerful than understanding (and sharing) the impact of your efforts.
No matter how big, or how small, we can all do the right thing by supporting the great causes that exist in this world – the hungry, the poor, and the homeless. For veterans, those suffering from depression, or drug abuse. For those that are subjected to, and are the victims of violence or violent conflicts. For the planet, our elderly, our children – whatever your chosen causes, let’s get together, rally our resources, and do the right thing because we know it’s the right thing to do.
“Throughout my career I have volunteered for various causes – from adult education in the UK, to Play Rugby USA – a charity to get underprivileged kids into sport.
For the past 10 years or so, firstly whilst on the Board of the British American Business Council, supporting Raphael House – a shelter for homeless families in San Francisco.
Raphael House is about Dignity and Respect and is focused on Inspiring Families and Illuminating Hope. Painting, decorating, cleaning, clearing, planting herb gardens, cooking and serving the families dinner, seeing them dining together, appreciating their “home cooked” food, in safe and comfortable surroundings.
With the Aramark Building Community, we built a collage map of the bay area, and the following year, a mosaic on the rooftop garden – both sit proudly for all the families to see and the love, care, and support from the community. All of this work has helped me with balance, perspective, and hopefully a better person, and leader too.”
– Simon Elliot, Managing Partner, 4xi Global Consulting & Solutions
Raphael House of San Francisco is a shelter for families homeless as a result of economic hardship. Since 1971, Raphael House has been looking after families in San Francisco and the Bay Area, getting them back into work and stable housing. Raphael House is a 100% community-supported organization with an unmatched 85%+ success rate.
Inspiring Families. Illuminating Hope.
This year, 4xi is helping to raise funds for the Raphael House 50th Anniversary, and thanks to all of your support, we’re well on our way to achieving our $5,000 goal. Please help us support this wonderful cause – every little bit counts from as little as $10.
Please consider supporting us on our JustGiving Page
National Volunteer Month: A quick history
National Volunteer Month is held in April every year. It’s a month dedicated to promoting and celebrating volunteerism. Nonprofits often have special projects or volunteer appreciation events during this time.
National Volunteer Month and Week aren’t new. Canada led the way by celebrating National Volunteer Week in 1943 to recognize the contributions of women on the Home Front during World War II. Celebrations dropped off after the war, and then interest resurged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The April week of recognition was made official in 1990.
National Volunteer Week debuted in the United States in 1974 and has continued to grow every year since. In his proclamation declaring National Volunteer Week, President Richard Nixon urged all Americans to observe the week by seeking out a volunteer opportunity. He also called upon all communities to “recognize volunteers by observing the week with special ceremonies to honor those who have given countless hours for the betterment of our communities and the American way of life.”
Since then, individuals, offices, schools, and teams volunteer their time during this month to make the communities where they live and work, better.
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4xi: Inspiring a brighter future, together.
4xi Global Consulting & Solutions is a team of talented leaders from both the client-side and service provider side creating an impact in the Human Experience (HX) for people at work, in education, rest, and at leisure.
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