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Strengthen Your Team By Spreading a Message of Philanthropy


August 21st, 2018

- Updated on

August 22, 2018 - 9:59am

Team building is one of the most important contributors to an engaged, inspiring company culture. But team building has to go above and beyond the traditional ‘track and field day’ with your teams. Today, teams want to support a social mission. Without integrating philanthropy into your company, your employees may find it less enjoyable to work for you—and some may even leave for more socially conscious organizations.

By 2025, the workforce will be 75% populated by the Millennial generation, who largely believe strongly in working for companies making social impacts. Creating a positive environment for your employees must occur through team building activities that are organized in the name of charity. Otherwise, you may lose out on a generation of dedicated, passionate workers.

Choosing the Right Cause Matters

You’ve decided to make charity the motivating factor of your next team building activity. Great, but which cause will you support? If you choose to raise money for a charity that doesn’t match your company’s mission or industry, your employees may be skeptical about supporting the cause. Many organizations will spend time researching a charity that seamlessly aligns with its mission statement, knowing it will incite a sense of harmony in the company morale.
As a family-owned business with strong family values, AJO is an ardent supporter of philanthropic causes that help families in our community. Our President, Andy O'Connor is on the Board of Cornerstone Family Programs/Morristown Neighborhood House and Andy has not only rallied his staff behind this amazing organization, he's also enlisted the support of Senior HR Leaders from client organizations. For the last four years, our Senior HR Group has adopted a class in an annual holiday gift-givingproviding the only gifts that many of these children receive.
The family theme has guided us in team building projects such as assembling and decorating rocking chairs for a children's library, making magic carpets for pre-schoolers, supporting Andy in his annual bicycle ride for the families of fallen police officers, and competing in an annual run/walk for New Jersey Battered Women's Service.
Verizon 5K Run 2018 - AJO in the Community - Philanthropy
While ideas can come from the leadership in your organization, you may also decide to select a charity to which one of your employees is personally attached. For instance, if one of your employees has an adopted dog from a shelter, you could design an all-staff bonding activity in support of a humane society or animal rescue. Your employees will feel acknowledged and appreciated, but it will also meet your company’s mission to make a positive impact through team building activities.  

Team Building Activities to Ignite the Spirit of Charity

By giving your employees a social mission to care about, you can strengthen their morale—which, in turn, can increase profits. Charity helps individuals have a sense of purpose, and purposeful work makes employee happiness soar. In order to attract new prospective workers show your seasoned workers that you appreciate them, you can create several charity-based team building activities throughout the year that hone in on a social mission. Here are some fun ideas to boost the altruistic spirit of your team members:
  • Reach out to a neighboring school. Have your employees sign up for a day of volunteering in a classroom, or participating in a bake sale at the school. They could even tutor students after school—and during office hours. This will connect your team with a message of furthering education and local philanthropy. 
  • Look for causes in the news. Seek out opportunities in your community or beyond that have garnered public attention and/or calls to get involved. For example, AJO was recently approached by philanthropic team building partner, Caring Capital. Lutheran Social Services of New York (LSSNY) was caring for immigrant children separated from their parents at the border and Caring Capital contacted them after seeing the local news coverage.

    AJO, along with other areas companies produced 60 Backpack Bundles for the children in LSSNY's Safe Haven Program. To learn more: AJO and Others Work with Caring Capital to Donate Backpacks to Immigrant Children Helped by LSSNY. 

  • Have a “Buy One, Give One” policy. Pick one of your products or services. Every time a customer purchases the item, donate one of the same items to a charity. Or, donate the same amount of money that the item was purchased for to a specific cause. This will act as a great motivator for both your sales and marketing teams.
  • Contact a philanthropic team building organization such as Caring Capital who can help you identify projects that support your mission and team building goals and worthy recipients for your charitable team building events. 
Incorporating team building activities that center on philanthropy is a simple way to boost employee morale and company culture, giving your team a mission to unite behind.
And, as we have learned at AJO, it's also a great magnet when it comes to connecting with like-minded clients who want to do business with us.