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Give & Take: Team Building through Charity Events

Laura Bernstein

Last month, The Prosek Powertroopers climbed 66 flights of stairs to the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the event raised over $900,000 to fund research programs for those living with multiple sclerosis. Prosek employees raised over $3,000 and spent a day bonding with one another for a good cause.

Corporate charity events can have unexpected benefits for the companies participating beyond just helping a good cause; they can also create an opportunity for positive team building as The Prosek Powertroopers experienced.

A study conducted by The NonProfit Times found that people sign up for corporate charity run teams mainly because they believe in the cause and think it will be fun. They also found that respondents participated to meet new people at their organization. Once they participated and had gotten to know their colleagues better, they felt more positively about the company overall.

For those companies already participating in corporate charity events or considering one, here are a few ways to maximize the positive impact internally:

  • Highlight who you are supporting

    Take the time to help your employees understand why you chose to support that particular charity through its event. Outline how the charity’s mission aligns with your own and how it is connected to your company values. If your employees are open to it, share the personal connections that make the charity important to them.
  • Feature your participants

    Employees want to support a good cause, but they also want to support their friends and the people they admire. The NonProfit Times’ survey found that 70 percent of respondents participated because of a direct appeal by a team captain. Showcasing participants is a great way to encourage relationship building internally. It’s also a good opportunity to allow junior team members to shine and take on a leadership role. Call out participants’ accomplishments, especially those that show valuable skills that translate to their role.
  • Celebrate your success

    Almost as important as participating in the event with your employees is thanking them afterwards. Make each of your employees feel appreciated and part of the team’s success through a hand-written note or personal thank you in person. Recognize participants’ efforts and the company’s commitment to helping others by sending a company-wide email with event highlights, featuring it on your blog or social media accounts and sharing photos in your office’s shared space.

Next time you’re considering a corporate charity event, remember it’s a great team building opportunity both inside and outside the office. 

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