I recently saw a great show called Returning the Favor hosted by Mike Rowe. The premise of the show is that there are incredible everyday people who perform community service acts that have tremendous impact. There are many good episodes, but All the Shingle Ladies about a group of women who repair roofs around their community really struck a chord with me. Take a look here.
Do you have a favorite community service project? Is it family project? A business project? A combination of both? A lot of companies take advantage of the holiday season to do some sort of community service project. It’s not too early to start planning an end of the year project. Below are 15 projects to consider. I invite you to make them your own by adopting them to your company vision and your community needs.
There are lots of benefits to community service projects– here are three that stand out:
- Community service projects help generate team cohesion and team building is great for your bottom line. Getting everyone on staff to discuss, create and implement the project is very important.
- Public and community recognition— you can send out a press release and post photos and videos from the event on social media. People do business with people they know, they like and they trust. Let your community know who you are and what you care about!
- Set yourself apart from your competition. Putting together community service projects is a lot of work. Very few small business owners take the time to create and implement community service projects. All the more reason to do a project: yours will stand out.
Need some ideas? Here are 15 community service ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- Host a “socktoberfest”. Collect warm socks of all sizes and donate to homeless shelters during the month of October.
- Blood drive. You can contact the Red Cross and they will coordinate a mobile Blood Drive bus. Announce this and you will likely get the general public to participate. Give out t-shirts that say I donated and add your name as a sponsor.
- Sponsor High School and Middle School sports teams. Chances are some of your employees have children in schools you can sponsor.
- Soup kitchen/food banks. Every year my mom (now 82) has a big birthday party with 75 to 80 guests. Each guest brings a bag of non-perishable food items as a gift. And every year my mom donates about 200 pounds of food to her church pantry. You can do the same. Let your clients know and you can even donate the food in the name of your top 10 clients. They will appreciate the publicity and marketing.
- Volunteer at a local non profit organization. You can send your employees to help train or start new programs.
- Collect, create, write holiday cards and packages for servicemen and women.
- Adopt a neighborhood and offer to do beautification projects. There are grants available through your local community government for beautification projects.
- Establish or participate in a community garden. Returning the Favor profiled a Miami Community vegetable garden project and gave them a bus so they can take fresh fruits and vegetables to communities where there are no supermarkets.
- Voter registration drives.
- Support the Big Brother/Big Sister program. Give employees time off to spend with their little brother/sister.
- Volunteer at your local fire station — skills they need: Fundraising/office work/ maintaining and cleaning equipment.
- Birthday parties in a box. Collect party items (plates, balloons, streamers, cookies, cake mix, favors, etc.) and donate the boxes to shelters. Also consider Baby Shower in a Box projects for local hospitals.
- Pack/sponsor weekend lunch boxes for school kids
- Create instructional videos using staff expertise. Share with local schools and senior centers.
- Create an award to recognize and acknowledge people doing good in your community. Contact your local TV station and present the awards.
Community service tells the world that you are interested in more than profits. It’s not too early to start planning a project for the end of the year. Need some tips on how to do that? Contact us and we will walk you through the process that will ensure that you go from thinking about it to actually celebrating your success.
PS – Take a look at this Pinterest Board for even more ideas!