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How to Organize a Team Building Event for Your Non-Profit Organization

As every single devoted individual working within a non-profit team will confirm, any job of such nature is a reward of its own. People are eager to give back to their community and especially to those in need, so working in line with their values represents a true honour that cannot be associated with any price tag. However, these positions often come with emotional investing, organising complex fundraising strategies, and negotiating with potential investors at all times.

While all of these are vital, every non-profit, much like every other business that operates in this hectic climate of ours needs to do its best to keep those eager, devoted employees. Not even to keep them present, but to keep them happy, productive, and motivated for all those challenges that lie ahead. Enter: team building! Here are a few tips on how you can use these events to your advantage and to help your teams bond and work better for the greater good of your community as well as your organisation.


Brainstorm as a team beforehand

Creativity is a major part of every non-profit organization and its employees’ mindset as well. While many run-of-the-mill companies will resort to mediocre and cookie-cutter events for team building purposes, you can let your employees showcase their creativity in this realm, too. Whether you ask them to send emails with their ideas or fill a “wish jar” of anonymous contributions (as childish as it may seem, it often helps people express their ideas), you should include them in the process.

By far the best way to approach the topic would be to set up a meeting during work hours and brainstorm all together. That way, you can exchange ideas, develop them further, and land on something that your team members need the most at that particular moment. Creativity combined with transparency can do wonders for setting up a marvellous team-building event.


Tokens of gratitude matter

Non-profit teams are typically non-materialistic as well, since they enjoy giving and making sure others get what they need. They often get deeply involved with the work they perform on a daily basis, and apart from the remuneration they receive, they’re not in it for the “big bucks” or glory – they want to make a difference. What you can do as their employee is show them that you genuinely appreciate their efforts, and a team-building event is a perfect opportunity.

You can choose any little token of gratitude, in the form of a funny mug, a t-shirt with your company logo, or just a muffin, place those gifts in creative gift bags for the entire team, and hand them out when the event is over. It will be a simple, but a kind way to say thank you for all the hard work they do, and to make the team-building event all the more memorable.


Post-event feedback for future reference

How you handle preparations for the event is not the only piece of the team-building puzzle. In fact, much like the gits and other details matter, so does your approach to post-event management. Make sure to give your employees a chance to say how much they really enjoyed the event, what they’d like to change in the future, or if they have any other ideas to put forward.

Make sure you have a questionnaire prepared, in case you have a smaller team you work with. In case you are a larger organisation, perhaps an online survey might be a better option to collect data automatically. Then again, smaller teams can benefit from a post-event meeting as well, so that you can talk about it in person, and start preparing for the next event already!


Focus on collaboration, not competition

Now that we’ve covered preparations and post-event details, let’s address a couple of relevant ideas that refer to the team-building event itself. Too many businesses nowadays stick to the old-fashioned idea of team-building, as in that they insist on the competitive spirit of them. Some might enjoy the occasional paintballing session, or anything as fun and engaging as that, but perhaps not everyone likes the idea of competing that much.

Instead, you can balance your events by giving them a different theme: collaboration. Setting up a cooking class for all of your employees sans the competition, escape room adventures, theme parks, masquerade balls, and similar events can do wonders for your team spirit and offer a perfect opportunity for bonding without any pressure.


The element of fun

Finally, every single team-building event should by all means be fun! Your teams already spend all of their time in serious negotiations, dealing with relevant issues, and often losing their battles in the process. They not only deserve but need a chance to relax, cover other topics, and laugh to their hearts’ content.

While the above examples may sound fun to you, make sure that your employees share their opinions on what would make for a fun outing with the rest of the team. Communication is key in these situations, and you as their leader should always do your best to listen to their needs.


Further information

Team-building has earned a mixed reputation of events that employees dread and those that seem truly magnificent. These vital tips can help you steer clear of falling into the former and achieve the latter, so that your organisation can use these events as yet another motivation source to thrive and grow.


Page last edited Jun 23, 2019 History

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