When looking to develop CSR programs that engage their employee base and the community at the same time, fewer programs are of interest than a day out volunteering at a school, elderly center, or school.
It is an event that should have clear exceptions for the volunteer and the community partner, is more often than not meant to be fun (as a primarily channel for impact), and afterwards everyone can head to a restaurant or pub in their tshirts to share experiences.
And one of the more interesting groups that I have been able to work with over the years is FedEx, who have used group volunteering events as part of their employee/ community engagement strategy for several years in Asia
Employees volunteer for environmental projects during FedEx Cares Week
FedEx volunteers in 12 Asia-Pacific markets, including Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, donated their time to community groups and programs. This is part of a global FedEx initiative involving more than 4,000 employees around the world.Across the region, FedEx Cares Week activities had a strong sustainability focus. Around 1,000 FedEx volunteers in Asia-Pacific were expected to support local organizations in 31 community activities, including tree planting, establishing organic vegetable gardens in schools, and environmental protection education sessions for children
Where this program is interesting, and why I have personally enjoyed working with them for so many years, is that this is not a standalone project or the end of their “CSR” strategy.
It is one piece of a larger puzzle that is supported by ongoing volunteering programs in many of the cities that they are operating in, but is a piece that allows those cities too small to support regular opportunities a chance to participate in a program. It is a program that operates at the group level, but relies on local managers to develop and execute, which is another nice feature to the program and separates them from many firms who centrally control similar events with a single partner.