7 Steps to Organizing a Volunteer Group at Work

  • By Emily Co, POPSUGAR Smart Living
  • November 25, 2013


Our favorite turkey holiday is coming up, which is why now is the perfect time to start giving back. Since most of us spend a lot at the office, it’s a good place to start doing activities that add value to society. Not only will you be helping out those in need, you’ll also be beefing up your résumé and developing yourself professionally. In addition, it’ll really showcase your leadership abilities to your boss and colleagues. Your superiors will appreciate these nonprofit ventures because they help build up office culture and strengthen bonds among your team.  Read on for seven steps to take now.

Like Attracts Like
This is your first step and a very crucial one. You need to really know your co-workers and be able to gauge your office accurately. Find at least three people (this is a rough estimate and the number depends on how big your project is) who are interested in your volunteering activity. Choose people who you know will commit time and energy towards your goal. They have to be equally passionate about your cause, whether it be raising money towards a favored charity, starting a volunteering program, or helping your office go green.

Do Your Research
Now that you’ve found your core team of like-minded individuals, start researching online and brainstorm with your partners about your initiative. Ask yourself questions like these: Which organization would you want to work with? What’s the best way of going about it? What’s the time commitment going to be like?

Pick Who to Approach
Figure out the best person to approach. You can be pitching to anyone from your boss, somebody in marketing or HR, or maybe even an executive. Pick someone who you feel would be gung ho about the idea. Decide who would best suit your purposes and remember to take into factor your relationship with them. If you're going to be working with someone other than your boss (because her interest in this venture seems lukewarm), at least inform her that you’re working on this project. Let her know why it’s important to you. You need to tell her about what's going on so she is aware that you’re not wasting time at work with your volunteer gig.

Pitch Your Idea
Outline why you want to work on new project and the reasons it is important. Remember to tie it into your company’s core values because that increases the likelihood of it being approved by your superiors. If you need a budget for it, figure out a way to explain your case and give a rough estimate.

Rally Your Troops
Be your own marketing superstar. It’s great if your superior is equally enthusiastic about the idea, because she can send an email through your company’s internal server, which your co-workers may pay more attention to. Announce your plan at meetings, and just keep talking about it to rack up interest. Update people on your progress and make sure you’re staying organized and really carrying out the steps you planned. It can be a deterrent to other people if they notice that you're not on track with things.

Report Your Success
After your event, you need to prove that it was a success. This is helpful in terms of career development and gathering more interest for your next venture. Either send an email to your company or to your superior who signed off on this. Let them know how the event went. Report what happened, and if you’d like to make this a recurring activity, mention that you would like to do something similar again.

Gather Feedback
Collect feedback from those who participated to learn how to better organize events in the future. You can find out from their comments whether there is enough interest to organize something similar in the future. Through hearing feedback, you might even discover another activity that your co-workers will be enthusiastic about. This is also another way to figure out who else you can recruit to be your second-in-command for the next initiative!

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