Grand Californian Hotel, 1600 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, CA 92803
“If you have the opportunity to learn from Chris, take it immediately! His presentations are engaging, informative and made to stick. You will walk away with renewed enthusiasm – and additional skills – for your corporate citizenship mission and program.”
– Sarah Middleton, Vice President of Community Outreach &
Executive Director of The PIMCO Foundation
Register for part or all of this full-day session, for a single rate:
This event is designed for and open to for-profit corporate staff exploring & involved in community engagement.
Practical Steps to Creating A World Class Employee Volunteering & Giving Program
9:30am – 11:30am
This presentation will outline the potential benefits you should expect to see from a well-designed employee giving and volunteering program. The group will work through a step by step process which will allow them to:
Lay the groundwork for widespread participation by focusing on collaboration rather than communication (email) campaigns.
Design for inclusion rather than merely participation (2 hours out of the office once a year).
Evaluate the programs ROI by figuring out three dimensional outcomes and impacts rather than just activities (how many people painted how many walls for how many hours).
Why Does It Work? The Science Behind Corporate Volunteering & Workplace Giving Success
12pm – 1:30pm
This presentation is based on research that clearly demonstrates that companies strengthen their employee’s commitment to the brand whey they enable employees to ‘do good things’. In fact, companies that have giving and volunteering programs “strengthen affective organizational commitment through a “prosocial sensemaking” process in which employees interpret personal and company actions and identities as caring.”
This presentation includes lunch, practical steps, real-world examples, and lots of humor.
The Tools You Need For The Breakthrough You Want
2pm – 5pm
This workshop will enable participants to learn and use the tools that will help them take their company’s workplace giving and volunteering program to the next level. Participants play an active role in learning and sharing for the benefit of all group members.
In this presentation, the group uses the Empathy Map, Logic Models and the Four Conditions of Engagement. We will also discuss how to incentive with rewards and recognition programs.
Register for part or all of this full-day session, for a single rate:
Why are we standing at the sidelines of collaboration?
Is it just me (that’s me, Noreen, in the picture above!) or is everyone talking about collaboration? Prominent business journals like the Harvard Business Review are continuing to express the possibilities of affecting large-scale social change through unconventional, maybe even competitive, partnerships.
In my marketing consulting days, I attended a management program offered by our parent organization. We explored a business case on agency collaboration – a success story of how trust, loyalty and good relationships, and some luck were critical to success. Normally competitive agencies were struggling to figure out the secret sauce of collaboration: how do we all come together, play nice in the sandbox, get our job done, while providing our clients with a single source solution for all their marketing needs?
FSG – the Foundation Strategy Group, a non-profit consulting firm has been exploring collective impact extensively and has recently renewed the role of the backbone organization. But fast forward a few years and we are still just figuring out how we all get along to achieve similar, if not the same, outcomes. In 2011, I attended the Boston College for Corporate Citizenship Conference and asked a panel of seasoned CSR practitioners about the possibility of companies collaborating to create greater change. Lots of head nods and full-on agreement that companies need to do this. But for some reason these efforts are either not well publicized, or aren’t happening in Canada. It seems the concept of collaboration (especially between private sector businesses) sounds very hard to execute, politically impossible and frankly, way too time consuming. Yet instead of running for the hills, I want to dive right in and envision what true collaboration could mean to achieve significant social change.
The A-Team is out there
Imagine a company that cares about a cause, any cause, let’s say hunger. They invest time, money and energy in caring about hungry people in their communities – they hold food drives and cut a cheque to local food banks every so often. Another company, specializing in logistics, transports food between food drives and food banks and helps agencies optimize their routes and sorting process. An enterprise software company helps manage the inventory at the food banks with a centralized system for the community to share. Then, a manufacturer of nutritious products in cans donates it to food banks, and their employees love feeling great about this.
Another organization, a national not for profit, knows that food banks are part of the answer, but not the only solution – they are advocating for the working poor and are looking at innovative ways to get better food into our communities. At the same time, a government agency is trying to determine how to better support individuals on social assistance, working in concert with a university to research the issue.
Not only are the core competencies of these organizations helpful to solving big problems, but there are leaders and the talent within these companies that care to help, and can be activated at various skill levels to give back.
While I don’t have permission to name these organizations, you get the idea of how intertwined this network is – and perhaps you see it in the community around you.
Unifying for a higher purpose
The connection is too hard to ignore – they are all trying to do the same thing. They all care about the same social outcomes. My hope is that this is where shared responsibility lies – it’s not any one’s responsibility, it’s about the strongest players coming together to make a difference on the scale where big change can happen. No one player ‘owns’ the cause, it’s a societal problem, and if companies plan on ‘owning’ and aligning with a cause, then maybe they can own the solution – or find others to help.
We can turn to a shortage of capital and resources to explain ailments in our society. But look at all the competencies that exist across all sectors, the volume of individuals who volunteer inside and outside of organizations, the dollars donated in the thousands and millions – imagine how all that combined scale, in a concerted way, could actually achieve something.
What’s holding back the private sector from collaborating with each other? Let’s figure out what the barriers are and get started on breaking them down. Working together is hard – but, how and when will we decide that it’s worth it for our communities?
Realized Worth thanks Noreed Javed for this guest post. Contact Realized Worth to discuss all things corporate social responsibility – especially as it pertains to engaging your employees in your programs! firstname.lastname@example.org
Noreen Javed, is an advocate for the private sector to advance the economic, social and environmental well-being of our communities. Working as a marketing consultant with Fortune 500s in the early part of her career, she is currently a corporate responsibility professional where she led a major Canadian courier brand to develop their first corporate responsibility roadmap and is looking for her next opportunity to make a difference. She was selected as a 2012 DiverseCity Fellow by Civic Action and welcomes great conversation. Connect with Noreen on LinkedIn or email@example.com.
This will be a unique conference. I know this to be true because we’ve been a part of organizing it with a great group of thought leaders. So we made sure to add the elements we wished were a part of a lot of other conferences we’ve attended.
There are several conferences that focus on volunteerism and corporate philanthropy, but this is the only conference that focuses specifically on how and why to engage employees in these efforts. There is an impressive line up of companies that will be in attendance this year. You’ll find a fantastic group of professional colleagues to network with and share ideas on processes and successes.
This year we are looking for the best of the best in outstanding work in the field of employee engagement, CSR and workplace giving campaign management. We will honor and recognize those companies, teams and individuals for their best in class and innovative practices at the 12th Annual Best Practices Summit in New York City, April 3-4, 2013 .
Charities@Work is an alliance of four nonprofit federations that serves as the cooperative voice for more than 2000 international, national, and local charities and provides employers with an efficient way to enhance their employee engagement programs and initiatives and to respond to growing employee interest in a wider range of giving options.
The Realized Worth Global Team has the skill and experience you need to help you create an outstanding employee volunteering and workplace giving program. We will work with you to engage employees in your corporate citizenship program. Give us a call if you’d like to talk further – 855.926.4678. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the holidays approach, many of us are looking forward to slowing down, spending time with family and getting some time to reflect. Such reflection often includes brainstorming new intentions for how we want to improve our lives in the coming year. For some, that bulleted list will include volunteering. Maybe it’s been a meaningful practice in the past and they’ve gotten away from it? Or, maybe they are a newbie and have been wanting to try it out? Like all resolutions, the question is – will it stick?
In our work with clients, we spend considerable time interviewing employees who have a vested interest in seeing volunteerism flourish at their company. Typically, these are folks who somewhere along the way have had the opportunity to fall in love with volunteering, and therefore, desire to see their company’s program develop. After a day of interviews, I am always struck by the passion of these folks. It’s not everyone we talk to, but for many, getting hooked on volunteering has changed their life and the energy they ooze while talking about it is infectious.
But, what’s their secret? How did they get hooked? Since many forms of helping can be rather mundane and ordinary, we may wonder – is there a type of volunteering that is more likely to be transformative and, therefore, endure as a regular practice? In an entry posted a few months ago, we noted a study revealing when people volunteer on regular basis, they experience “the helper’s high” – an immediate euphoric sensation that accompanies the act of helping, followed by a longer-lasting, heightened sense of calm and emotional well-being. The study also revealed that when volunteering is done frequently, as part of a weekly rhythm, these positive feelings began to endure and induce other health benefits like stress alleviation, pain reduction, strengthened immune function, mood elevation, and heightened self-esteem.
But, as the author the study, Alan Luks, observes, “the value of the study is not so much in its novelty as in its explanation of how helping improves health and what kinds of volunteering produce the greatest benefits.” If you are wanting to making volunteering in 2013 a regular practice, here are some good guidelines to help you make it stick.
Connect with real people. Volunteering that is more likely to bring on the well-being associated with the helper’s high involves personal contact with real people, over that which is less personal like stacking chairs or collecting canned goods. The forming of a genuine bond with another person is the basis of the good that comes to the helper. The focus needs to be on moments of relational connectedness, not how much we accomplish. When there is a genuine bond of empathy, there is a healing that occurs for the both the helper and the one being helped. In Luks’ survey, the helpers with personal contact were more likely to report experiencing the helper’s high as well as increases in self-esteem and the physical signs of stress reduction.
Do it often. Not surprisingly, gaining the most out of helping depends on how often we do it. Luks’ study showed that the more often people volunteered, the more often they experienced the helper’s high and reported good health. The ideal frequency is about two hours per week. Building these two hours into your weekly rhythm is a pro-social behavior that seems to lead to a more helpful attitude toward others the rest of the week, which helps the benefits to cascade.
Help strangers. Another curious finding of Luks’ survey was that assisting strangers was more likely to elicit the helper’s high than helping family and friends. Luks suggest that “in coming to the aid of a stranger, we get to decide for ourselves whether to help or not and how to proceed. That sense of freedom is a great boost to our sense of self-control, which is another factor that determines how much stress we feel.” This relates to a point that we often make at RW about the need for the volunteer to move from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation in order to really get hooked on the experience. “Have to” volunteering doesn’t sustain the volunteer over the long haul. There is something powerful about a freely given act that is pure gift (not under compulsion) that leads to rush of good feeling and the possibility of getting hooked on the experience.
Find a shared problem. When the helper and the helpee have something in common, like having the same illness or having gone through a similar ordeal, the feeling of bonding and the sense of achievement is greater. Our capacity for empathy is shaped by our experiences. If your own experience tells you something about the experience of the other, then you are in a position to have more empathy and experience the affiliated connection more powerfully.
Pick something you are good at. When the skills of the volunteer and the challenges are a good fit, the volunteer is more likely to experience increased confidence, feelings of self-control, and a sense of genuine usefulness. So, for example, if you are skilled in managing money, maybe helping others build a budget and a system for managing it would be a great way to feel like you are genuinely useful.
Work at it. Exerting some kind of effort is also critical to the benefits of volunteering. Not unlike exercise, we often begin with some ambivalence, but the effort actually surprises us by generating energy and vitality. Volunteering that requires some form of real exertion is more likely to bring benefits, than activities where we are passive or observant.
Let go of results. In order for get the most out of your volunteering, you have to let go of results. If you are type-A and have to see results at every turn, volunteering will probably frustrate you more than anything, leading to something like the ‘helper’s low.’ Making an impact is a worthy goal, but we have to hold that goal loosely lest we burnout and lest we turn people into objects. As Luks insists, if you want to experience vitality through your volunteering, “you must simply enjoy the feeling of closeness to the person you’re trying to assist. That’s the only thing that works.” The health-benefits come from the way bonding can be experienced in the act of volunteering.
So, by all means, put it on your list and make it stick! Happy Holidays! See you in the new year.
Brent Croxton is a Program Developer for Realized Worth. Want to talk more with him about employee volunteering and the multiple benefits? Contact him at email@example.com. General questions for Realized Worth? firstname.lastname@example.org or (855) 926-4678.
 Luks, Allan., Payne, Peggy. (2001). The Healing Power of Doing Good. San Jose: iUniverse.com. p. 48.
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