So I know our new standard is that we are trying to donate our time and services more than just coffee or retail product. What I want to talk about is ideas on how we can do that or ways to donate product while still being cost effective and making a difference. Ie; For our upcoming Cancer Relay most of the partners are doing part of the walk or donating a pound of coffee to put toward our cambro. This not only puts our perhaps unused markouts to use but also is effective cost wise as well. I am a bit stuck on different ways to motivate people to donate their time without having to spend a whole day (since most of them are students), and yet still feel like their time is as worth as much a a product donation. I really would like to know what everyone thinks about this idea as well as any other ideas you guys may have on time/product donation.
This is a tough one. My partners volunteer a lot but I would not be honest if I say that it is all of them. There are some people who like to do that and there are some that you have to "push" a little bit. Sometimes we have to find the way how to push them. If we find the area of their interest, it is easier to have them volunteer. If cancer affects their family or their friends, they know what it is about. It takes only once to come to the Relay for Life! We have more and more partners each year and those who came previous years keep coming.
Sometimes, you can ask them to help you pack the stuff for the event, to pick up the cambros, to pick up stuff from other stores etc. and count it towards their hours (it saves your time), to help you set up the event....
I don't think there is a recipe to solve this problem. They have to see us volunteering and we have to hope that one day something changes. I let my partners know that I appreciate their product donations (I really do with all those raffle baskets that we need for each fundraising event!) and I just randomly ask "Are you coming to support us?". If they come, great. If not, I let them look at the pictures after the event and hope that next time... maybe...? Also, sometimes I have so many of them that want to participate that there is nobody to work in the store (always a Relay for Life problem!). Some of the partners "sacrifice" and stay so others (especially those who don't volunteer very often) can go. And I really appreciate it.
Unfortunately, there are many store managers who are not big on donating their time (for whatever reason) as well. They are not even letting partners know that there are any events going on in their districts. And many times those managers don't even think about the fact that their partners would like to donate their time. That is why it is so important that the district community project leads are on top of the game and from time to time approach partners in other stores (directly or through other partners in their store) and encourage them to participate.
And here we are, exactly where we were at the beginning. We just have to go with what we have. We can't force anyone to volunteer, I particularly don't like when partners volunteer only because somebody important participates as well.
Sorry that I don't have the answer for you, Viktoria. Just letting you know that you are not alone with this problem.
All the best,
Something I have done at my store to push the partners to be involved but they are at the convinience of the store is Blood Drives, bake sales and then any product drive (SPCA drive, Prom Dress Drive, First Aid Drive) make it relevant to your team and your community. It is hard to push the team to donate or help out especially being that a lot of our staffs are young and in school. It is our job to get them excited, maybe make it a project for them on a pdp or something? But I will say the drives have been non stop in my store and customers and partners love to help out. Then its just myself or a few partners who end up completing the project by taking the items to the shelters and places of donation.
Hope that helps a little. It is so easy and so fun. Don't make it to hard on yourself or your team or the buy in just won't be there!