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The ultimate checklist for an engaging volunteer day

The ultimate checklist for an engaging volunteer day - cover-min

In today’s corporate landscape, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not just a buzzword, but a critical element that shapes employee engagement and brand reputation. With companies striving to make volunteer days less work and more fun for employees, ensuring a smooth, meaningful, and impactful engagement is crucial. At the forefront of this mission is Catchafire–our employee engagement software provides volunteer opportunities and curates volunteer events that bring teams of employees together with nonprofits to brainstorm innovative solutions for real-world challenges.

Here’s your comprehensive checklist for planning a successful volunteer day, and how Catchafire can help you maximize impact and engagement.


The comprehensive checklist for a successful volunteer day

The ultimate checklist for an engaging volunteer day - 1-min

1. Define clear objectives

  • Purpose: Set overarching goals aligned with your corporate values.
  • Metrics: Identify the criteria you will use to measure success and outcomes from the event (e.g., hours volunteered, value created).
  • Nonprofit selection: Decide if there are specific cause areas or nonprofits you would like to support based on mission alignment and your CSR focus.


2. Prepare teams for impact

  • Provide information packs: Share nonprofit background and challenge details beforehand so your employees feel informed and prepared in advance of the event.
  • Set expectations: Outline expectations for brainstorming and solutions.
  • Facilitate training: Offer guidance or training for effective brainstorming.


3. Logistics and coordination

  • Venue selection: Choose a convenient and accessible location (virtual or physical) based on the demographics and location of your employees.
  • Time management: Plan a timeline to ensure smooth transitions between sessions.
  • Technology setup: Ensure all tech (video, Wi-Fi, microphones) is functional.


4. Create engaging activities

  • Icebreakers: Begin with fun activities to help teams connect.
  • Brainstorming sessions: Organize structured brainstorming to generate creative solutions.
  • Action plan creation: Conclude with actionable plans for nonprofits to implement.


5. Measure and celebrate success

  • Surveys and feedback: Collect feedback from participants for insights on their experience and how to improve future events.
  • Recognition: Acknowledge employee contributions through shoutouts or certificates.
  • Impact report: Share impact stories and statistics with your stakeholders and community.

How Catchafire helps execute successful volunteer events

The ultimate checklist for an engaging volunteer day - 2 (1)-min

Catchafire's signature volunteer events are typically two to three hour brainstorming sessions where teams of employees meet with nonprofits to work on a real-life challenge. 

We do all the work for you–we curate each event to your company’s needs. With over 12,000 vetted nonprofits on our platform, we work closely with each organization to help them craft an appropriate challenge, learn how to facilitate a fruitful brainstorm, and prepare for the event. We ensure employee volunteers are prepared by providing them with information on the challenge and nonprofit they will be working with in advance of the event. After the event, we survey participants and gather feedback to ensure our approach remains highly impactful for employees and nonprofits.

1. Customized event curation

Catchafire works closely with companies to design volunteer events that meet their unique needs. By understanding CSR goals, we curate experiences that resonate with employees and align with corporate values. Our process includes:
  • Needs assessment: Identifying the CSR focus areas and nonprofit partners that align with your area of interest.
  • Challenge curation: Crafting specific challenges tailored to each team.
  • Nonprofit preparation: Coaching nonprofits to scope challenges and facilitate brainstorms.


2. Seamless volunteer preparation

We ensure employees are well-prepared by providing them with comprehensive information packs that include:

  • Nonprofit background: Detailed insights into the nonprofit's mission and programs.
  • Challenge details: A clear explanation of the challenge to tackle.
  • Facilitation guidelines: Tips and tricks for effective brainstorming and solution generation.


3. Impactful event facilitation

Our events are designed to optimize impact for both nonprofits and volunteers:

  • Structured sessions: Organizing 2-3 hour brainstorming sessions that lead to actionable solutions.
  • Expert facilitation: Providing trained facilitators to guide brainstorming activities.
  • Team matching: Pairing teams of 10 employees with nonprofits based on skills and interests.

“I am a data person. I didn’t know what I could add, but I found that I had so many ideas by being able to look at the problem from a new angle. I felt like I really helped and also got to meet some great fellow associates in person.”

Employee, Albertsons Companies Foundation


4. Continuous feedback and improvement

We survey all participants post-event to gather insights and refine our approach:

  • Volunteer feedback: Understanding what worked well and areas of improvement.
  • Nonprofit feedback: Measuring nonprofit satisfaction and solution implementation.
  • Impact measurement: Tracking key metrics like volunteer hours, value created, and satisfaction scores. 

Make volunteer days more engaging and impactful with Catchafire

Catchafire’s signature volunteer events offer a flexible concept that can be tailored to various corporate needs:

1. Themed volunteer events

Focus on a specific cause (e.g., environment, hunger) to align with corporate CSR priorities. This will educate employees about critical social issues, while helping nonprofits working on the cause with actionable solutions. 

2. Team-building volunteer events

The ultimate checklist for an engaging volunteer day - 3-min

Integrate volunteer activities within team gatherings, like ERG meetups or manager training: Adding purpose-driven activities to existing corporate events can increase employee engagement, strengthen team dynamics, and improve communications through collaborative problem-solving. 

3. Day of service volunteer events

As part of your employee engagement activities, incorporate volunteer events into company-wide days of service for an inclusive, flexible option. Employees can participate from around the world and complete impactful activities in just a few hours.


“I left the room with my heart full. I learned so much about the organization, their mission, the population they serve, and challenges they face. I also learned from my colleagues and their ideas, as well as experiences.”



Catchafire impact in numbers

Our volunteer events have proven to deliver significant value to nonprofits and employees alike. On average, our volunteer events include:
  • $125,000 nonprofit value created
  • 300+ volunteer hours donated
  • 100 volunteers engaged
  • 9.5/10 satisfaction rating from participants

Elevate your volunteer events with Catchafire

A successful volunteer day requires meticulous planning, seamless execution, and a focus on engagement. By following the checklist outlined in this blog, your corporate volunteer day can transform into a high-impact, engaging experience for your teams and nonprofit partners alike. Catchafire’s unique approach to curation, facilitation, and feedback ensures a smooth journey from ideation to impact.

Ready to elevate your volunteer day? Partner with Catchafire and discover how we can help you drive meaningful social impact while improving employee engagement. Let’s create a volunteer day that resonates, inspires, and transforms.

Request a demo today to learn more about partnering with Catchafire.


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