How to tap into Corporate Social Responsibility in Bucks by Nick Phillips, CEO, Community Impact Bucks

Here at Community Impact Bucks we receive requests from companies or other organisations who would like to offer their time to help the local community with a one-off or ongoing project.

The offer of a team of people giving their time for free is an invaluable resource which charities and voluntary groups should jump at.

So what stops small charities grabbing these free man-hours? Do you need help developing a CSR offer that businesses want? Are you unsure how to attract a business? Perhaps you have concerns over matching the right business for your charity.

All these reasons are valid. It is really important to have the right group volunteering offer in place that both fits your charity’s needs and values while also being appropriate for a group of volunteers perhaps without any specific skills.

The good news is that we can help.

If you need to talk through any potential group volunteering projects, you can contact our Volunteering Lead, Hazel Finney for advice. Don’t try to guess what the business will be willing to give; start with what your charity needs as the size and scope of group volunteering projects vary considerably. Maybe you have a project which requires only 3-4 volunteers or perhaps a cohort of 30? Similarly, you may need a work party for one day, be looking for a team to help with a week of activities or a regular placement through the year.

Projects can involve decorating, fundraising or something completely different that you would like to do but thought you’d never have time or funds to achieve.

When thinking of your group volunteering opportunity, my advice is:

  • Be clear on your offer – for example we need 10 people to dig a garden for elderly people
  • Be clear on the outcome – for example these old people can’t get out and worry about their garden – the volunteers will make a real difference to individuals
  • Be clear on who will know about it – highlight ways that you will share the good news story
  • Be clear on how the day will run and follow up after the event – for example thank you letters and updates on any new developments. Help the business want to be part of your charity’s future.

Once you have the group volunteering opportunity developed, fill in our Group Volunteering contact form and we will try to match you with a local business.

Wendover’s Lindengate has run a number of group volunteering days and has this advice: “For any organisation or community group wondering how to involve a volunteer group, plan ahead and include a presentation on your organisation to give perspective and show how their efforts would help. Always have a structure to the day and be well organised but remember to make it enjoyable – and always have a plan B!”

Corporate volunteering is good for the community as well as business – it’s a win-win. Send in your charity’s volunteering opportunity here, or if you are a business interested in a great team-building activity which helps your local community, register your company’s details here.