At MeetEdgar, one of our three primary company values is Kindness. We talk about it a lot, but we also “walk our talk.”
One way we choose to be kind and encourage kindness is offering our employees the perk of Volunteer Days. This means we give everyone who works at the company four paid days off every year to volunteer in their community.
Lots of great companies offer paid volunteer days as a perk. One of the strengths of being a remote team, however, is that we are a part of many different local communities.
We also know that life can get busy, so supporting our employees (and their communities) with the gift of paid volunteer time was a no-brainer for us. It quickly removes the biggest obstacle facing employees who want to volunteer: finding the time to go and be of service.
On top of the warm and fuzzy feelings you get from helping others, there are a ton of other benefits for organizations that understand the importance of philanthropy to company culture. These include more engaged employees and adding meaning to day-to-day responsibilities by paying it forward!
We created a Slack channel called #community-service where team members can post about their volunteer efforts and organizations they’re proud to support. This channel also gives other Edgar employees awesome ideas in case they want to volunteer, but aren’t sure where to start!
Here are a few of those stories from the Edgar team:
Sarah Park, Ops Advocate (Los Angeles, CA) “I like how Volunteer Days builds on us being a remote team. When you have a colocated team, it’s easier to feel like your company is having a real direct impact on your community – whether that’s by providing jobs, by supporting the local economy, or even by volunteering together as a group in a way that benefits organizations and people in need around you. But since we’re remote, it’s more difficult to see those types of connections – but watching people on the team volunteer in their local communities makes it feel like MeetEdgar can have an impact across the entire country. That is a very nice feeling!”
Kevin Crace, Sr. Product Designer (Nashville, TN) “I chose Second Harvest because I like that they focus on providing healthy food for all. I’ve volunteered at some food banks, or meals on wheels programs in the past and was really saddened by the nutritional quality of the food they were providing. I like that Second Harvest focuses on providing a nutritional, healthy meal and is still able to feed those in need. I also like the opportunity to learn more about organic farming and being outside! I like that work provides time for us to help our communities. I feel supported in my choice to do so and also find it to be a nice mental break from what I work on every day. Having PTO to volunteer also encourages more volunteer work than you might have time for on your own!”
Chad Jablonski, Application Architect (Seattle, WA) “I did a weed watchers walk last year. We picked invasive and noxious plants along a popular trail. I do quite a bit of hiking and it was nice to help out the state parks. It was nice to get outside and take a break from the day-to-day while also being productive and helping out. 🙂 It also nudges me to get out of my comfort zone and do something good for my local community.”
Tyra Pirbhai, People Ops Manager (Vancouver, BC) “I love the volunteer days perk so much! It makes me feel so proud to be part of a company that values kindness and giving back. It has encouraged me to volunteer more and more each year. I started off using my volunteer days and then gradually increased my own time around volunteering. The best part is that I get to choose the cause that’s close to my heart. I’ve volunteered in my local city to support abandoned animals, building homes, cleaning up beaches and parks, supporting kids in need, various shelters and even a women’s support retreat abroad.”
Nancy Rothman, Marketing Advocate (Atlanta, GA) “I volunteered for the LOVE Atlanta project. Serving my local community is incredibly important to me. When I heard about Love Atlanta, a full week of service across 231 projects that served our local community, I had to participate! LOVE Atlanta exists to inspire and mobilize people towards a lifestyle of service. For the project I participated in, I was able to help renovate a multi-purpose room in a church that serves our youth. It was so great to go do something that fed my soul without having to take a PTO day or worry that I needed to also be working. It means a lot to work for an organization that values this type of service and enriching our communities when we’re spread all across the country.”
Tanya Crino, Finance Director (Logan, IA) “I volunteer at the local independent movie theatre in Omaha, Film Streams. This is the first arts organization I’ve been involved with at a volunteer level, and it’s been a nice change. I was looking for something flexible and gave back to the local community, so I picked a place that I value as a consumer. As a volunteer, I greet guests, take their tickets, and answer questions. The last time I volunteered, there were 120 elementary school kids there for a field trip to see the Hayao Miyazaki movie, Ponyo. They each got a popcorn and a soda with their movie, so it was a busy day! I also assist guests with special needs to get to their seats safely and otherwise make sure they are comfortable during the show. The theatre thanks volunteers by giving us free popcorn and soda/coffee during our shift plus 1 free ticket. 🙂 What I like best about our Volunteer Days perk is that I am working for a company that supports giving back. I love that we have the freedom to choose a cause that resonates with us and doesn’t have to be limited to a preset list of criteria. I’ve worked placed before that would only support education or arts, or would only support the United Way. I love that we get to make the decision ourselves!”
Social media is a powerful channel for non-profits looking to raise awareness or fundraising. Did you know MeetEdgar offers discounted pricing for military and non-profits? Get in touch with us to learn more, or leave a comment below to let us know what you do to give back to your community!