Making A Difference Virtually
Many who are interested in hosting a virtual give back activity for their team look into having us host a virtual charity event for their group. You can choose from our Donation Quest event, where teams complete a series of fun challenges to release a charitable donation; Make An Impact, where participants get to vote on which global impacts – shelter, food, education or health – they’d like to see the cash donation go to once they earn enough points to “make an impact;” or having the winning team of one of our other virtual games choose a charity or non-profit that they’ll donate their prize money to.
You may have noticed in all of these virtual game descriptions, a cash donation is made to the charity. Some ask if we host virtual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities where we ship items the charity needs to meeting participants for them to assemble and then ship back to the charity to use. These events deliver the feel-good factor, as people enjoy seeing tangible goods and that they’ve made a difference. That being said, we made a conscious decision to not offer them for several reasons you may want to consider when evaluating the type of charitable virtual activity you would like to offer to your organization or employees.
Charities prefer when a charitable activity results in cash.
Why? There are many reasons:
● The number one item charities need more than anything is cash. They were also hit especially hard by the pandemic, as giving went way down.
● The charity often doesn’t have the space to store items made as a result of a virtual charitable activity. It can actually cost the charity money to deal with storing items vs. buying goods as they need them – money that would be better spent on items needed vs. storage.
● Quality control – Items may inadvertently be assembled improperly. They could get ruined in transit to and from participant’s locations. And, multiple people “touching” items during a pandemic could mean transfer of germs.
Monetary donations are environmentally friendly.
Consider all of the resources and waste that comes with shipping items to and from participant’s homes. Items bought in bulk – which come in boxes and packaging – are re-assembled after purchasing and put into smaller boxes to ship to participants. All of these boxes are then thrown out once they get to the charity. Not to mention all of the gas consumed in transit back and forth!
Cash donations ensure that the charity gets even more money.
All of the packaging materials and shipping mentioned above costs money. Money that could have been provided to the charity to ensure they meet their goals.
Donation-based virtual CSR events are easier for all concerned.
Shipping is not the “sure thing” it was prior to the pandemic. Disruptions in the supply chain must also be considered. Often, it appears that items for participants to put together are slated to come in on time…and then they come in late or don’t come at all. Then, even if all of the items were received and went out the door to participants on time, what happens if some participants did not get their packages on time? Sadly, they will feel left out and will not be able to participate in the virtual charitable event – a problem that would never happen with a donation-based virtual charitable event!
If you are thinking of hosting a charitable virtual activity, we hope you’ll consider these issues and think of heeding the call of charities to, “Show me the money!”