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How to Start a Volunteer Program

How to Start a Volunteer Program: A gener8tor Case Study

Learning how to start a volunteer program at work can be difficult. However, with an awesome employee champion and some help from Selflessly, a successful employee volunteer program is easily in reach. 

We recently caught up with Mfoniso (the awesome employee champion), Director of gBETA at gener8tor (g8), to chat about their team’s decision to implement Selflessly in early 2021. Though the pandemic was still in full force and gener8tor has a largely remote team, we were able to put together an awesome and engaging launch!

We’ll take a look at how Mfoniso & the g8 team started their employee volunteer program. Having great success with their 2 volunteer days of service. Finally, we’ll review their use of employee impact dollars as an example to further engage their team. 

How to Start a Volunteer Program at Work

Through the Selflessly software platform, companies are able to encourage & expand their community outreach. Teams can expand their social impact and truly help nonprofits. Nonprofits truly rely on volunteers, and g8 is a purpose-driven brand that wanted to help! So we worked together to launch Selflessly. 

Although the g8 team is based in Wisconsin, they have many satellite offices. This is due to the nature of their business — helping young companies & entrepreneurs grow through mentorship, resources, and connections. As with many HR & Culture Leaders, they needed a solution that could unite all geographies & engage employees. 

Review the current status

We asked Mfoniso, “What were your drivers in implementing an Employee Giving and Volunteer program?

He first mentioned that Members of their team were volunteering in their own domains. This is naturally great. Yet, as he was leading that effort, Mfoniso was looking for an easy way to aggregate the impact. Mfoniso did not know how many employees were volunteering, where, or even when they were going out.

Further, he was hopeful to collectively identify what his team was doing in each location. Something really challenging when a team has multiple office locations. 

Decide What Initiatives to Start

Beyond aggregating the impact that was already happening, Mfoniso wanted to encourage all employees to volunteer & support nonprofits they cared about. He wanted to be sure employees knew they had space to get out and support nonprofits. Without a volunteer platform, he found that challenging. 

Through Selflessly, employees can easily see that their company gives them the space to get involved. If you want to learn how to encourage employees to volunteer, it’s first important to allow time & space for each team member to do so.

Volunteering Example

A primary and “powerful motivator” was g8’s initiative to start their 2 Volunteer Days of Service on MLK & Indigenous Peoples Day. As mentioned, their team is a very distributed company already, and with the pandemic, many of their employees were remote this year. Even still, through Selflessly, employees were provided virtual volunteer opportunities. 

A few corporate volunteer examples from gener8tor::

  • MLK Day- Selflessly helped provide opportunities that were most in line w/ MLK’s teachings, explore volunteering
  • There was a lot more that they wanted to do with Indigenous Peoples Day to help under-represented communities- Women, Hispanic,
  • They Invited an indigenous woman- educator & subject matter expert and to thank her, the invited employees to make a donation in her name 

In 2022, Mfoniso hopes to do more in-person volunteer opportunities and continue to build culture through their 2 Volunteer Days of Service. 

Donation Example

A second initiative that gener8tor launched in 2021 is  the employee matching gifts. Through this function, Mfoniso was able to take part of the gener8tor company profits and use them for employee donations. 

Each employee sees a matching dollar amount in their account through Selflessly’s software. Then seamlessly, the employee can make 2-click donations and send double the impact to their nonprofit with the additional company dollars. This allows each employee to help make a greater impact through gener8tor’s help. A great example of engaging employees in giving back together.

Consider Tracking and Rewarding

The gener8tor team is excited to continue to expand their program in 2022. They didn’t start with any specific metrics or KPIs for 2021. That can be a great first step to start without expectation. See how the year goes and ask employees for feedback.

Then your team can plan for the following year. You can set goals for volunteering or team donation dollars. Each of these are items that can be easily set up and tracked within Selflessly.

The Selflessly team is likewise looking forward to 2022 and seeing the awesome impact the employees at gener8tor continue to make!

Connect with Us

If you have questions about implementing a day of service, reach out! It’s awesome to provide employees space to support causes they care about. For related blogs that may be helpful, check out, Creating an Employee Volunteer Policy and / or check out 5 Quick Steps to Start Corporate Giving & Volunteering.

Further, if you’d like to learn more about the Selflessly software to help provide your employees a corporate volunteering and giving program, reach out any time. We created an affordable CSR Software solution so all teams, regardless of size, can engage their team: [email protected]

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