Fundraising season is upon us and we acknowledge the hard work that goes into pulling off a record- breaking auction or gala. From the volunteers to the executive director everyone is wearing multiple hats in the event process. We believe that through the event season and its chaotic whirlwind, there is still time to get the team together to enjoy some team bonding. For non-profit organizations, team bonding is essential to ensure there is a shared vision and message that is being shared to current and future donors.
The fall season is full of camaraderie especially when rooting for your home football team! A perfect weekday team bonding experience can be caught at the Monday night or Thursday night games at the stadium, tailgating parking lot, or even a sports bar with coverage on TV. By gathering your team together and rooting for the home team, all employees can converse over good company and food, even if some are rooting for the other team.
Getting the team together in one space can be challenging, but maybe a board member or donor has access to game day tickets or even a box that can be used for the next team outing. Or even you can get a tailgating pass, and everyone can pitch in to create a potluck meal, then have the employees choose a ‘winning’ dish! Local spots like a sports bar or small restaurant can also be a good choice to watch the game together which allows you to save more time and involves little planning. You can also host a spirit day every Friday, where the office employees can wear their favorite team jersey!
Meeting the team out for a happy hour gives everyone a chance to close the workday on a positive note and even allows for networking with other local non-profit professionals. It can be a spot near work that makes it very accessible with a short drive or even walk to the happy hour destination. Some non-profit organizations make happy hour into a mini fundraising event.
Most local bars offer to run a promotion on a certain day of the week for local non-profit organizations, where the guests pay a donation fee to access special happy hour drinks and food. Then either a portion or all the proceeds made from that “fee” would go to your organization. This is a perfect opportunity to market the event on social media to gain new donors as well as coverage during the actual event to share the organizations team culture.
Take the team out for a well-deserved lunch break, not in the break room, out of the office! We are all known for working through lunch or even eating lunch right at the desk. According to the Tork survey, nearly 90% of North American employees claim that taking a lunch break helps them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.
Doing a monthly lunch outing at a local spot where the whole team can come together to recharge the batteries and creativity is just what the team needs. Let the employees take turns in choosing the lunch outing location and date. A fun idea for a lunch outing can be ordering carryout lunches and then going to the local park for a picnic, which is perfect during the fall weather.
A characteristic most team environments have is a little bit of competition, which is great to have, especially during team activities. Organizing a team activity after work is great for exercising the mindset and values of raising money for the mission.
Ideas that are fun and refreshing are bowling, a brewery tour, or even pumpkin picking. Get the team together for a bowling night where two sides of the organization go head–to–head while creating friendly competition. Go on a brewery tour together or even go to a vineyard for wine tasting and bring your own food! It’s fall time, so you could do a pumpkin picking activity where they invite their families, then come the next day, ask the employees to bring in a small pumpkin to decorate and have a contest at the end of the week.
Another idea that requires more planning is scheduling a retreat that staff and board members can enjoy and take the time to spark ideas for the upcoming fundraising year. This retreat should be located off-site and if possible, a plane ride away. Check out some of our destinations HERE that could be the location for your next team retreat.
As non-profit professionals, giving back is in our nature, which makes it perfect to set up a volunteer day with the team. You could volunteer at a local school by cleaning up a playground, or even setting up a back to school supply drive at the office.
Not only can the team give back within the community, your own volunteers are an integral part of the team especially when putting on that huge fundraiser and needing extra hands. Some volunteers are not in the office daily, but a way to make them feel part of the team is making a volunteer appreciation day and treating them to lunch.
Another way that you can give back to the volunteers is by giving away a free trip! Enter your information HERE to win a free trip valued at $3,500, that accommodates 4 guests, to give to your hardest-working volunteer!