Here We Are Now. Engage Us.

A part of my job involves trying to get my fellow Tyson team members engaged in the issue of hunger. After all, there are 115,000 of us in 25 states. That’s a lot of potential impact.

We have a very small staff to do this hunger stuff, so not a lot of bandwidth for handholding or managing programs. Our best hope for getting people involved in our 90 locations is to direct them to their local foodbank or hunger organization to volunteer, and hope the hunger organization converts them into “true believers.”

Sometimes the experience the non-profit provides is great.  You can tell because those are the locations where Tyson team members are out there doing tremendous hunger relief stuff with little or no encourgement from those of us at the corporate office.

Sometimes the experience is…well, I know running a food bank is really hard work, and the responsibilities can be overwhelming. Designing the perfect volunteer experience is probably pretty far down on the priority list.

But at some point, you need to win peoples’ hearts. Then you can win their volunteer hours and maybe even some of their cash donations. And you’ll never, ever have a better opportunity than the first time they show up to volunteer.

What do you do when volunteers show up? Do you just send them back to the sorting room with a five minute elevator speech? Or is there something you do to reach out and make them lifelong advocates for your cause?