I’m privileged to organize two annual events at TKO Graphix, a blood drive for the Indiana Blood Center  (Next Monday 2/20/17 from 9 am until 11:30 am, join us!) and the Salvation Army Indiana Angel Tree Toy Drive. Both are near and dear to my heart, but what’s more important is that many TKO teammates are as motivated about these initiatives as I am. And that’s the first key to creating volunteerism.

Ask for Ideas

TKO Graphix has a volunteer committee. The first thing we did was issue a call to action among employees. What were they interested in? We found many were interested in helping a local humane society and a food bank. Do you know charities your team is passionate about?

Start Small

You don’t have to set the world on fire and establish new records right from the beginning. Allowing employees to volunteer a few hours, offering free products and services, and making moderate donations is a good beginning.

Follow the Leader 

This Year Tom Taulman II participated in Hendricks’s County Real Men Wear Pink. Several team members got behind this 100%. It was amazing. The goal was $5,000. We hit over $11,000. We posted photos of Tom wearing pink every day for 30 days. Teammates brought confectioneries to sale with all proceeds going to the drive. We held luncheons, sold T-shirts, reached out to customers as well as vendors, and even made a video Real Men Wear Pink.   

Share the Results

People want to know the impact their contributions make. To create volunteerism you must show people their help matters.  Here’s an internal email I sent after I delivered the Angel Tree toys. “I want to share a story about the delivery of the gifts to the Salvation headquarters. When I arrived, I walked to the receptionist, introduced myself, and said I could use help unloading the gifts. The receptionist called her boss.

The supervisor, a young lady, walked out to van with me to see what we had (9 bikes and 50 bags). I opened the back door, and she stood there wordless with tears running down her checks. After that she called several people to help, they had to clear a space in the front lobby. Everyone who helped couldn’t thank us enough. I wanted to share this with all of you, so you knew how appreciated your efforts were.”

Make it Fun

A couple of years ago we helped the Hendricks County Humane Society with a drive for food and supplies by holding a dog’s vs. cat’s challenge. Dogs vs. Cats Challenge. Dog and cat lovers throughout TKO got behind this drive. It was fun. Except that the dogs won.

Share Your Skills

Another positive way to solicit volunteers is to allow your people to use their skills. I’ve helped charities with social media; other team members have built websites, designed banners, and taken professional photos. How can your team use its skills to help a not for profit organization?

Buy-in Begins with You

Getting others to participate in volunteer programs begins with leadership. It starts by learning what initiatives your team wants to support. By discovering where their passions lie, and with your organization making it possible. What volunteer opportunities would your team get behind?