How to plan a wonderful company volunteer day

World Oceans Day is a great opportunity to get your employees out in the community doing something to keep it healthy. Here are some ideas for how to organize a World Oceans Day celebration at your company.

Service ideas

Get outside! Organize a beach or neighborhood trash clean up, or do a community tree planting. Click here for more ideas from countries worldwide.

Photo: Oracle volunteers at the Marine Mammal Center

Tap into the creative spirit: create community artwork- ocean murals or recycled art projects are a fun way to raise awareness about protecting the beautiful ocean.

Celebrate all year round: Make a longer-term commitment by “adopting” a local nature spot, for example, a beach -- more ideas from a CA non-profit.

Photo: Kendall Anthony at Clinique for World Oceans Day

Make it local. Different local organizations need different types of help: from helping prepare seal food at a rescue center to tree planting and trail cleaning. So work with local organizations to see what would be helpful and what you want to do! Some cities and states have listings of volunteer help needed or past projects, for example.

Fundraising ideas

Another great opportunity to get employees involved is to organize a fundraiser. Offering to match employees donations to support World Oceans Day or a local environmental/ocean conservation group can make them feel like they’re having double the impact. Here are some fundraiser ideas:

  • Bake sale and table with ocean fun facts and a donation jar.
  • Fun run for the ocean- donate the participation fees to an ocean non-profit.
  • Sustainability fair- invite many local non-profits to have tables and spread awareness about their group.
  • Have information about several non-profits- employees donate to the cause they want to support

Planning tips

Make it interesting. Brainstorm to gage interests and see what volunteer work people have done in the past to find any connections and volunteer opportunities.

Show the connection. Relate your volunteer work to your company’s mission and goals. Think about why healthy oceans matters to you as individuals and a community.

What’s the time frame? What you’re planning could be a short event, day-long volunteer experience, or you could even initiate an ongoing program.

Get buy-in. Gauge your number of interested employees and get management involved as well. This can be a big organizing step where you choose a non-profit organization to team-up with. It can also be effective have a small effort run by a few individuals to help teach coworkers details about ocean sustainability and raise some money for a non-profit.

Choose wisely. If working with a partner non-profit or community organization, make sure it is a good fit so your volunteer efforts will have a significant impact. List of non-profits working on ocean health.

Set a realistic goal. If you’re fundraising, set a goal you think you can reach as a target.

Follow Up

  • Recognize the volunteer participants- with a certificate of participation or a thank you note from your CEO
  • Analyze your impact- survey asking volunteer if they enjoyed the experience/ what they learned and ask the non-profit how your actions helped them
  • Keep an ongoing connection with the non-profit you worked with or donated to

(6 Tips to organize a corporate volunteer day)

And last but not least – list your event on the World Oceans Day website! You can also email us and get in touch about partnering on a company volunteer day. We’re always happy to chat.

Lena Champlin 21-Apr-2015