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Volunteer Spotlight: Employer-Supported Group Volunteering


FortWhyte Alive offers employer-supported volunteering for groups to donate their time to the community. Employee volunteering is becoming more and more popular as the employee demand for corporate social responsibility (CSR) grows, and as businesses recognize CSR as an important component of ethical business practices. Employee volunteering benefits a company’s corporate image and contributes to employee and customer satisfaction, all while contributing to the welfare of the community. It's a win-win-win!

According to Volunteer Canada, 80% of employer-supported volunteers believe that group volunteering strengthens their relationships with colleagues and helps individuals learn new skills.

Lafarge is committed to FortWhyte Alive in its support financially through sponsorship of our volunteer program and by working side-by-side at volunteer events. The Lafarge employee volunteering has grown significantly over the last few years and they are looking at a global 2020 Sustainability Ambition to reach one million volunteer hours.

“Lafarge's legacy partnership with FortWhyte Alive to support the volunteers, and have our employees volunteer on-site, allows us to educate and engage our own employees on our industrial heritage and education on sustainability for the company and as citizens. For some of the volunteers it is their first time at FortWhyte and they enjoy discovering what it has to offer. In fact, many of our employees who have volunteered at FortWhyte Farms, Fundraising runs and other FWA events are repeaters”.

"Let me know when we are helping next, I would love to go again."
- Chris Rutz

Before contacting an organization to volunteer, think about what activities can be done together (skills/interests of the group). Make sure you have determined the resources and limits of the group who will be performing the activity:

  • availability (day/evening, weekday/weekend)
  • budget (are you supplying lunch and/or paying for transportation?)
  • season (be open to negotiating a date(s) rather asking for a specific day)
  • number of participants (5-10 vs. 50-100)
  • physical limitations among the participants
  • name of the staff/volunteer who will have the contact/emergency information for the members of the group (in the event an event is cancelled or there is an work-place accident)
  • Have an idea of an activity to present to the organization selected (but be open to other activities that some organizations can build for a motivated group)

Companies can find employer-supported volunteering opportunities/organizations by contacting Volunteer Manitoba or by asking employees to contact organizations working for a cause to which they feel connected or attracted.

At FortWhyte Alive, we offer opportunities for groups (approximately 5-10 people) looking for activities to get their hands dirty and feel the earth again. FortWhyte Farms is the perfect place for your enthusiastic team to work shoulder-to-shoulder outside, learning something new while being active. FortWhyte Farms is a working farm and volunteers’ days never look alike. We can offer suggested volunteer activities depending on the season, such as greenhouse tending, planting, harvesting, animal tending, beekeeping and field clean-up.

Groups can expect an orientation and short tour of the farm, breaks for snack and drinks, farm tools and materials to be provided, indoor facilities for lunch and breaks, photo opportunities for your group, staff to facilitate training, supervision and hands-on work. The volunteer manager will provide your group contact with a briefing form that outlines the volunteer event -- when, where, position description, and dress code for your group.

Your volunteer group is welcome to FortWhyte Alive to do something that matters -- give back to your community! For more information on group/employer-supported volunteering contact Sharyl Eaglesham, Volunteer Resources Manager at (204) 989-8355 x 213 or at volunteers@fortwhyte.org.

Here are a few photos of a volunteer crew from Lafarge this past fall. Thanks again, Lafarge!


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