For obvious reasons, online meetings have become the new normal. But the enumerable virtues of virtual team building are still being discovered, and one of the greatest virtues is philanthropy.
Philanthropy and communities in crisis
COVID-19 has redefined life in the 21st century in every way imaginable. Our homes, family relationships, and employment—or the lack thereof. Large and small business start ups—or the lack thereof. Education, healthcare, travel, and every other aspect of daily life in America have been turned upside down.
But there’s one other area that’s suffered the same fate, only in a good way: philanthropy and corporate social responsibility are being completely reconfigured. Small community-based rapid response teams and international philanthropists have joined forces to expedite coronavirus testing, and the availability of diagnostic tools and medical supplies, as well as vaccine research and development.
According to McKinsey.com, major players around the world have doled out more than $10 billion since the pandemic started. Equally astonishing is the way they did it: they cut out all the protracted grantsmanship red tape and simplified the application process. This would have been practically unheard of just a year ago! Today, there are fewer hoops to jump through and more collaboration than ever before in modern philanthropic history.
Corporate social responsibility’s new normal
CSR is no longer about creating a positive public image. Corporations recognize that being a good socially responsible neighbor is now literally a matter of life and death.
The “big I” and “little you” mentality of the wealthiest few is being swept away in the midst of a pandemic the likes of which no one has ever experienced. Many ivory towers are being whittled down to street level and the silos of information are opening up to the masses.
Reassessing your company’s role and responsibilities in your community is now as big a priority as your bottom line—or at least it should be. That’s because today the word ‘community’ means “what we all have in common to commune about.” And that’s “all” as in “we’re all in this together so let’s all work together.”
Yes, at different socioeconomic levels, we’re all in this together……yet we’re safer apart. This paradox puts virtual team building front and center. And virtual charitable team building is at the core.
Donating your time and talents is the way forward and the context is a virtual team building workshop. It can bring your team together for a good cause and strengthen staff relationships at the same time.
Whether you give to first responders, military personnel, veterans, or low-income families, you’ll discover the virtues of virtual team building and make a difference where you live. Let’s take people-parents and pet-parents, for example.
Remember the one-room school house on the TV show Little House on the Prairie? Well, welcome back! Compulsory quarantining has compelled millions of parents to home-school their kids. Now micro-schooling is growing into a new educational model.
According to a report from NBC’s Today Show, “Micro-school is a broad term used to describe small neighborhood schools that usually enroll fewer than 10 children. In the age of COVID-19, many parents are taking the micro-school approach into their own hands and creating ‘pandemic pods.’ In some pods, parents are planning to share supervision of students during periods of remote learning; in others, they’re pooling the money needed to hire a full-time teacher to come to them and work directly with a small group of students the same age.”
Old school or new, some things never change—except, that is, for the prices. And for some families these items will strain their budgets. How would you like to relieve some of these parents of this financial strain?
Backpacks. Wide-ruled composition books. #2 pencils. Pens. Rulers. Glue sticks. Crayons. Scissors.Plastic school boxes. Facial tissues. Protractors. 3-ring binders. Loose-leaf, college-ruled notebook paper. Subject dividers. Highlighters.
Why not build a virtual partnership with a social service organization, a school, or a home-school group and donate these supplies? Thanks to your support, students of all ages—whether on campus, online, or at home—in your city will have the basic tools they need to learn.
Revenge of the nerd
And speaking of students, you’ve probably got a few quiet, studious types on your staff. They always sit at the end of the conference table and only speak when forced to. Ironically, they’re probably also among your most brilliant and productive team members, too.
One way to acknowledge what a valuable asset this wallflower really is would be to tap into their one grand passion and develop a charitable event around it. For example, a gung ho animal lover would welcome the chance to help prospective pet-parents find a new fur baby. Leashes, food and water bowls, scratching posts, litter boxes, beds, blankets, and toys.
During a virtual charitable team building event, you could collect the starter gear for a new pet owner. And you could even turn the presentation of your gifts into a virtual “fur baby shower.”
Yet another of the virtues of virtual team building: personal transformation among your staff and public acknowledgement of their value to the team. From wallflower to passion flower, this invaluable employee will blossom and outshine their colleagues for the first time ever! [Call it revenge of the nerd.]