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Getting Started With a Community Service Program

Ideas for programs that may work, from fun-runs to scholarships to programs sparked from the needs of a company employee.

July 28, 2000
Related Topics: Service, Ethics
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Want to see what interest your management and employees have in developing a Community Service Program (CSP)? Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Form a broad-based committee to select designated charitable organizations, special events and/or civic activities based on interests of employees and compatibility with business image and/or products.
  • Make individual action one component of the CSP (e.g. fun-runs, meal service, volunteer readers, pro-bono professional services). Employees find this level of service personally rewarding and, at the same time, they can get to know co-workers involved in the same project in a much different context than their day-to-day work roles.
  • Include donations as one way to participate (toys, books, money, etc). Set-up a "tribute" program for your favorite charity. It is a great device for HR Managers and other busy business professionals to acknowledge staff and clients on a personal level. Make sure a tribute card (appropriate to the occasion) is sent on a timely basis to the recipient. It need not specify the amount donated.
  • Scholarship programs can be started to support career development within the workforce, higher education among the children of staff, or to support the community at large based on desired goals. Scholarship administration can be outsourced.
  • Internally initiated projects are often the most heartfelt and meaningful. A CSP program should make room for efforts close-to-home. At the Southern California law firm of Stutz, Gallagher, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz, the staff had been discussing participating in some type of community service when a single mother, employed with the firm just six months, learned her very young son had a cancerous brain tumor.

    Her co-workers rallied by taking care of all meals for the family daily over the next two months, cooking and making deliveries in shifts. Cash donations and toys were delivered to the hospital, and emotional support was extended by every level of staff at the firm as this young family coped with one of life’s toughest challenges.

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