Some people think making an impact can only be done through large measures, such as raising thousands of dollars or donating tons of food.
But Jeremy Parker, CEO of Swag.com, has another idea on what it means to make an impact. To him, it is as simple as this: helping humanity or people as a whole.
This is something that can be done on any scale. Even something as simple as rounding up your change at the supermarket or holding a door open can really help someone.
In a recent episode of Formstack’s Ripple Effect podcast, Jeremy spoke of ways his organization has been able to do good in their community. He shares some inspiring stories, from donating masks to people in need to minimizing the environmental impact of swag.
His stories inspired us to share even more ways anyone can make an impact through their every day work. Whether you’re working from home or in an office, these simple ideas can really add up to great things over time.
This tip isn’t something that’s simply nice to do; it’s a must do.
Did you know that twenty-two states have laws that require specific disposal methods for batteries? This is because batteries have many toxic substances within them, which can leak out when in a landfill and cause major pollution. Even worse, batteries can spark fires as well.
To avoid negatively impacting the environment, recycle your batteries. From the double AAs in your computer mouse to the battery that runs your car, all can be recycled to ensure they are handled safely and efficiently. This also minimizes the effort needed to create new batteries, helping ensure our natural resources are preserved.
Pro Tip: Unsure how to go about recycling your batteries? This article has lots of helpful tips to get you started.
Offer Mentorship or Coaching
Have some time to spare? Consider coaching or mentoring a few times a month. No matter your role or industry, there are lots of people out there who could benefit from your expertise, guidance, and advice.
In the virtual world we’re living in, offering some mentoring or coaching sessions is easier than ever before. Your mentee no longer has to be local—you can help anyone from anywhere in the world thanks to technology. Simply set aside thirty minutes to an hour once a month or every other month to provide someone with time to ask you for advice, opinions, and help.
Here are some ideas on who you could mentor or coach:
- College students studying a major within your industry or role
- High school students exploring career or college options
- People going through reentry and looking to return to the workforce
- Nonprofit professionals in a similar role to yours
If you’re involved in a professional networking group or industry association, see if they have any type of mentorship program established. You could also approach your HR team to see if your employer would be interested in setting up its own mentorship program or partnering with an organization that has one established.
Collect Pop Tabs
Do you drink a lot of soda or sparkling water? If so, consider putting your pop tabs to work!
Whether in an office or at home, when you go to toss a can in the recycling, take a few seconds to take the pop tab off. Many charities run donation drives for pop tabs, which can help them raise crucial funds when they take them to be recycled.
It may seem insignificant, but the weight of those pop tabs can add up to some large donations. Consider leaving a container out in your office for everyone to drop their tabs into, or host a tab drive. Steal inspiration from Sun King Brewery, which runs a pop tab drive every year to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House.
Fun Fact: When in the Indianapolis headquarters, Formstack employees save their pop tabs in a large container and donate them to Ronald McDonald Charities of Central Indiana.
Host Lunch and Learns
Education is one of the most powerful ways to impact people. There are probably hundreds of nonprofits within your community that would love to educate your coworkers on what they do. You can easily do this by hosting Lunch and Learns.
Whether you host them in person (when safe to do so) or virtually, Lunch and Learns are a great way to give nonprofits time to educate your organization on their mission, work, and what they need from people in the community like you.
If your organization has certain corporate social responsibility initiatives, consider aligning Lunch and Learns with organizations that fall within those initiatives. You could also book Lunch and Learns that correlate with employee passions and interests.
For instance, Formstack recently hosted a Lunch and Learn with Paws & Think, a local charity that provides pet therapy to people throughout Central Indiana. This idea came up because of our employees’ interest in animals and therapy dogs.
Raise Funds Creatively
Raising money for good causes doesn’t have to be difficult. Tap into some employee creativity to make raising funds simple, quick, and fun!
With a little bit of effort and ingenuity, you can launch fun ways to raise money that gets people excited and engaged. Here are just a few creative ways to raise funds for a local charity:
- Host a chili cookoff or a baking contest with an entry fee
- Create an online shopping event where employees raise funds through their talents, like tie-dying or knitting
- Run happy-hour game nights with an entry fee
- Partner with a local restaurant for a give back night
- Create a pet-centric calendar to sell
The last idea might be inspired by a certain Formstack pet calendar. We hope to sell 100 calendars to raise close to $1,000 for Best Friends Animal Society. If you’d like a calendar of your own, we have a limited supply left! You can order yours here.
What impact will you make?
We hope some of the ideas above have inspired you. You don’t have to move mountains to make an impact, you just have to get started. Beginning with any of the thoughts above can help you start doing more good during your workday.
Want more inspiration? Listen to the Ripple Effect podcast episode How to Build an Impact-Focused Business for even more ideas on how small acts can make a big difference.