Trying to get your employees to be more involved in the local community, but don’t know where to start? Read on to find some helpful tips on how to round-up your employees for volunteering! If you are a nonprofit, there are some helpful hints for your organization to find volunteers as well!

1. Don’t assume you know what type of volunteers your employees are. Reach out to them and find out! Get a volunteer committee together and have them present a variety of options. Your volunteer committee can host a ‘lunch and learn’ to see where people want to volunteer.

2. Get the word out! You cannot expect your employees to show up for a volunteer event if they haven’t heard about it. And we don’t mean flood their email inbox with numerous emails. Put up flyers just about anywhere you can; the kitchen, mail room, elevator, restrooms, you get the picture… oh, and add pictures! Make the flyer pop so people don’t just look right over them. Announcing it in a company meeting is always good, but make sure you are blending a few different ways to communicate these great opportunities to your employees.

3. Use volunteering as a team building exercise. You can create volunteer teams made of departments to unify them, or you can do groups of employees from different departments so they have an opportunity to actually interact for once. These group volunteering activities can be great for morale, team building and getting your employees engaged in the community.

4. Allow employees time to volunteer. VTO (volunteer time off) can be a fantastic way to ensure that your employees feel like you support their volunteer aspirations. Many companies offer 3 VTO days per year with the caveat that the VTO be approved in advance and the time be spent with an official 501(c)(3). Employees can also have the opportunity to give a small presentation about the nonprofit they worked with and their experience working with them. Hopefully, this will inspire others to volunteer as well.

5. Offer ‘on-site’ projects. Some of your employees might not be able to leave the office because they do phone support or other services that keep them to a fixed space. Offering on-site volunteer opportunities can make sure they get to be involved as well. This can be a wide array of different things, such as a blood/book/clothing/hygiene drive, to stuffing race packets for a nonprofit’s upcoming 5K.

So, if you’re with a nonprofit organization, you’ve read all this and you’re hoping local companies are going to create a volunteer committee and start doing each of these things immediately. That may or may not be the case, so you should reach out to those local companies! Ask if you can come in and give a 10 minute presentation on your organization and the various opportunities you have for volunteers. Use these 5 points to outline how their employees can volunteer with your organization – have specific group activities and on-site projects options prepared. And, of course, always be able to answer why they should volunteer with your organization.