Set Goals & Find Collaborators: How to Start A Corporate Volunteer Program

Feb 2, 2012 10:00 AM ET

Realized Worth

Begin with the end in mind

 In his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen R. Covey explains that everyone should take time to decide what they want out of life. For Covey, this means that we "Begin with the End in Mind". We should "begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen." Often we get caught in the tyranny of the urgent and forfeit the important.  This is good advice for life. It is also good advice for designing and managing employee volunteer programs.  One of the earliest steps in creating an employee volunteering or workplace giving program, is identifying the purpose and parameters of the program. Ask yourself, “What are all the good things that could happen as a result of this program?” These benefits should be based on ideal, desired outcomes. Don’t worry - you will be adjusting them later based on potential constraints and other realities within your context. But for now,  list as many objectives as possible. Here are some possible benefits that may be of interest to you:

Identify shared benefits  After compiling a list of objectives, separate the list into the three groups who will benefit from the program: the company, the employees, and the community. For example, take “recruit new talent” and place it in the category that benefits the company. Similarly, take “improve employee morale” and place it in the category that benefits employees. Some objectives will fit into more than one category. It is important that employee volunteer programs are built to offer benefit to all three categories. When the objectives are separated into categories, choose the 3 or 4 top goals that appear to be highly beneficial for everyone.

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