5 Rules for Thinking BIG on Small-Scale Fundraisers

Large-scale, corporate-wide initiatives driven from the top down are often the standard approach to fundraising. But more and more companies are choosing to cultivate philanthropic goals and activities by engaging employees at a grassroots level. [Read more…]

Driving Engagement through Employee-led Philanthropy

Tokens 4 Change

How do you get employees to come out and support a local charitable initiative on Toronto’s snowiest day in two years?  Have them take the lead on the cause!  According to the 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT survey, employee-led volunteer initiatives can significantly improve employee engagement, and subsequently improve productivity.  The activities can create a positive work culture and brand by uniting employees across departments behind a common cause and help improve morale and establish friendly relations.

As a new intern at Softchoice, I learned this first-hand when I volunteered at a fundraising event called Tokens 4 Change. The event is held every February to raise money for Youth Without Shelter; a Toronto-based, emergency youth residence and referral agency focused on removing barriers that prevent our homeless youth from becoming independent. [Read more…]

Everyone Wins at Softchoice Cares’ Soccer Championship!

Softchoice sports event raises money for local charity through a friendly game of football soccer.

The 2012 European Football Championship has just begun and already the excitement is contagious!

Early this spring, Softchoice had its own soccer championship in Liberty Village, Toronto. More than 150 employees participated in our week-long tournament.  Twenty-seven games were played and more than one hundred goals were scored.

Aggressive sales team, Wolfpack, and marketing gurus, Ginger FC, faced-off in a nail-biting final match. Spectators were not dissapointed and were kept on the edge of their seat as the two teams battled it out. In the end, glorious victory went to Wolfpack after scoring the winning goal in a final penalty shot.

The entire event raised $4,175 and was donated to a Parkdale charity of the champion’s choice…

[Read more…]

CSR Programs: Why some thrive and others nose-dive.

Your sustainability plan isn’t worth a beaver dam if your employees aren’t engaged in the strategy.

Just like the hard-working beaver, employee commitment makes a huge difference in the environment!

This year when Softchoice was named to Canada’s Green 30, I wondered if there was a common thread among the organizations recognized. After reading more about them, I found that their employees’ feedback not only put them on the list, but employee involvement is driving the success of their sustainability programs.

This isn’t surprising. As with many workplaces, engaged employees are the internal change agents, fueling innovation and success of many programs. According to GreenResearch’s 2012 Annual Sustainability Executive Survey, staff engagement is one of the top two sustainability trends for 2012 – simply because “engaged employees make things happen”. They are the “make-it-or-break-it” factor. [Read more…]

Eight things I learned during our Bali mission

  1. Children are inspirational: They are resilient and whatever life throws at them, they take it in stride. They also look towards the future rather than harping on the past.
  2. When it comes to team work – whether it’s an IT project, moving dirt and sand, or wall-painting at a construction site – the total is greater than the sum of the individual efforts.
  3. Always have a plan B, or maybe even a plan C ready no matter what. [Read more…]

A volunteer mission with sustainable impact

The building adjacent to our guesthouse in Bali is owned by a local church.  From afar, its majestic columns and polished tile stand in stark contrast to the rice fields that surround most of the island’s interior.  Much like Bali itself though, there are constant reminders that this is purely aesthetic.  Small rodents call this building home, and share the space with roaches and a family of birds, who disappear into the light fixtures each night. This duality is essentially why we chose Bali as our project location. 

[Read more…]