The trend is arriving more and more in Germany. In America, the topic of corporate volunteering and social days has been integrated and known in the business world for decades, but it is only in recent years that it has played an increasingly important role in German companies.
In addition to some "old hands" who have demanded the voluntary commitment of their employees from an early stage, more and more smaller companies are now coming up with the idea of offering their employees voluntary commitment. Often it is the employees themselves who want more meaning in their work and demand social projects from their employer.
But HR departments are also noticing that more and more applicants and employees are paying attention to what social responsibility the employer is taking on and whether social projects outside the core business are being promoted and supported.
The days when purely financial donations from a company to a charitable organization were considered sufficient are long gone for the reasons mentioned above. Employees simply want more: they want to have the opportunity to volunteer with their employer and colleagues as well - and the best way to do this is through year-round corporate volunteering projects and social days!
We have already given an introduction to the topic of corporate volunteering in this article.
To get started, first a definition of a social day:
Social Day is usually 1 day on which companies and their employees get involved in the common good of society. On these days, the employees do not work as usual at their workplace, but support a social project of an association or a non-profit organization.
The actions are usually carried out with the employees of the social institutions and end with a common conclusion in a cozy round.
Organizing a Social Day is not that difficult.
Here, we give you valuable tips that are guaranteed to make your social day a success:
The amount of time it takes to organize a Social Day should not be underestimated. Therefore, we encourage you to start planning early. On the one hand, many non-profit organizations only have a limited contingent of days that they can make available for Social Days and are therefore usually booked up very quickly.
On the other hand, a number of internal coordination rounds and processes are required, which often take several weeks. And last but not least, the Social Day project should be advertised to the workforce in good time so that as many employees as possible are informed about it and have the opportunity to participate.
At the beginning it is important to decide how the framework conditions of the Social Day should look like. Should all employees have the opportunity to participate in this day or only a part of the workforce?
Should it perhaps only be individual departments or individual groups such as all managers and department heads? What is the minimum or maximum number of employees who can participate? Will employees be released for the day as part of special leave or should it be done in their free time? Do I want to offer one or more Social Days?
These are all important questions that need to be clarified BEFORE you start talking to possible associations and organizations. However, some parameters are ultimately set by the organizations themselves, as the majority can usually only organize projects with smaller groups for resource reasons. This means that it may be necessary to plan several Social Days in order to give more employees the opportunity to participate.
Social projects exist in many areas and categories. These are for example: Animal & Nature Protection, Social Injustice, Poverty & Hunger, Minorities, Refugees, Children & Youth Work, Education and many more. Finding the right project for yourself and your company is the key here. Because it is important to be authentic and not to pretend to be a company.
The selected project must not be at odds with the core business, otherwise the company will no longer be taken seriously by its customers, partners and employees. If, for example, you sell jackets with real fur and at the same time support animal welfare, this is not very credible.
Once the topic or category of the desired project has been found, the next step is to search for a specific association or organization dedicated to the topic. For this purpose, our platform lets offers the right contact point.
Here you can filter by location and category and suitable organizations in the vicinity will be displayed. The contact button can be used to contact them directly and make a request for a social.
Alternatively, choose associations or organizations with which the company may already have a history, such as past fundraising or sponsorship activities.
Another way could be to go through the employees. Many already have connections to associations and are involved in volunteer work. A survey among your own staff could also be worthwhile.
Once all the previous points have been clarified and the project partner has been found, the next step is to find the right date. This should or must be planned in close coordination with the organization. Often, organizations reserve specific days for Social Days with companies, such as the last Friday of every month, and create the resources to provide a staff member who instructs and accompanies the company's participants throughout the day and educates them about the organization's work.
For this reason, the 1st desired date may not always be available, which is why a certain flexibility on the part of the companies is a prerequisite.
Internally, too, the possible dates should be looked at carefully: Are there vacations right now? Is it perhaps vacation time and many employees are not there? When are the "stressful" phases in the company and an absence of employees would not be conducive?
After a few rounds of coordination, however, a date is usually found that suits all parties and the detailed planning can begin.
Also for the day itself there are some logistical issues to be clarified in advance, such as the journey, the catering or further requirements from the side of the organizations.
Once all the above points have been clarified and decided, there is nothing standing in the way of communicating to the workforce and promoting the project. Our lets platform offers the perfect administration tool for this and the project can be quickly and easily set up by the admin and all information added.
The employees receive all important information about the project here and can register with one click. The organizer, in turn, can see who has already registered and thus maintains an overview. Even last-minute changes to the project can be communicated to the participants here. Employees can also see when the project is full and can sign up on the waiting list.
The time has come. The day of the Social Day has finally arrived and the employees are motivated to get to work. Now it's just a matter of having fun and supporting the organization as much as possible in all areas.
At least one person should be given the responsibility of capturing the day in photos and videos. This creates a nice memory for employees to look back on with pride. In addition, the resulting photos can also be used to promote the next Social Days and inspire other employees to participate next time.
After the successful completion of the Social Day, it is recommended to hold a small feedback session to find out what the employees liked or what can be improved next time. The organization should also be asked for feedback.
And last but not least, the company should consider whether it would like to honor its thanks to the organization with a donation. The implementation of a Social Day also requires greater administrative effort on the part of the organization as well as the "release" of an employee who cannot pursue his or her usual activities on this day. And since most organizations and associations work on a donation basis, financial support is a nice sign of gratitude.
The first Social Day has taken place, the employees are happy and motivated and the organization was also pleased with the help. These are the best prerequisites for planning another Social Day. Nevertheless, as a company, you should also ask yourself whether you should perhaps call on your employees to get involved on a more regular basis.
Many nonprofit organizations often run Social Days with immense effort, because every participant has to be retrained on Social Day. Usually more work for the organizations than doing it themselves. Nevertheless, many are willing to plan Social Days with companies, with the hope that one or the other may have taken a liking to volunteer work and support the organization with regular commitment afterwards.
After all, regular engagement is what nonprofits need most.
And maybe our platform lets you find enough inspiration, because it is full of great, exciting and touching projects that are just waiting for your help!