AJO Blog

How to Create Your Philanthropic Team Building Event

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September 30th, 2014
In our last blog, AJO Team & Leadership Development Instructional Designer, Renee Guzanek laid out "The Business Case for Philanthropic Team Building." In this follow up post, Renee shares how to engage multiple workforce generations through philanthropic team-building. Plus, check out AJO's most recent giving-back team event.
 
At A.J.O’Connor Associates, we know first-hand the benefits of giving. For several years we’ve had a partnership with a very special organization, Caring Capital. Its mission is to connect companies with communities through philanthropic team-building. To date, Caring Capital has worked with over 22,000 employees in 26 companies and helped over 106,000 citizens in need. We’re proud to have impacted those numbers.
 
The concept of philanthropic team building is simple.  As Susie Schub, President of Caring Capital describes the process, “It’s as easy as 1-2-3!” 
  1. Your organization plans when and how they want to engage.  Perhaps it’s part of a regular team meeting, a quarterly all-hands-on-deck conference, or a kick-off to a leadership development program.
     
  2. You pick a project.  Caring Capital has a million to choose from – okay, maybe not that many, but there are dozens!  Each project comes with all of the supplies needed to create a gift for a deserving member of your community. Your team simply adds the energy and creativity to make it one-of-a-kind.
     
  3. You pick an organization within your community that your company wants to support.  For example, in September 2013 an AJO team built rocking chairs for a local Head Start program for use in its newly renovated children's library. In September 2014, AJO and clients attending "Coaches Forum" made magic carpets (play rugs) for Morris County's "Neighborhood House" (see the clip below). Learning and development are important to all of us at AJO and it's a great fit to serve organizations that focus on learning.  
In addition to being a client, AJO has also partnered with Caring Capital to provide philanthropic team building experiences for our clients. Whereas the experience of charitable giving is rich in itself, it also provides an excellent practice ground for strengthening team behaviors such as conflict management, communication, trust building, and accountability. While the teams are working on their projects, we help them use the experience as a real-time case study – an opportunity to look at their teamwork and dynamics and identify new and better ways to work together to achieve results. It’s a win-win!
 
A clip of the event is shown below.

Renee Guzanek AJO Instructional Designer
About Renee Guzanek: For over 25 years, Renee has focused on the field of organizational development, where she has assisted leaders, teams, and individual performers improve their communication, business practices, teamwork, and job performance.  As a learner and educator, Renee has extensive experience developing and facilitating training programs and solutions that address workforce growth and viability.