Benefits of Participation:
Enhanced brand benefits from community service
Improved teamwork among employees separated during pandemic
Leadership opportunities focused on ESG
This year, September 11 falls on a Saturday. Can our employees participate on Friday, September 10?
We’ve done this in the past. If employees are given a few hours off work to perform community service on Friday, encourage participants tell the good deed recipients “Tomorrow is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and we invite you to do three good deeds for strangers this weekend to honor the lives lost.”
TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESS
1. Alert staff of the upcoming event and divide staff into teams of two. Email to staff this 1-minute video explaining Pay it Forward 9/11. Print and post this fact sheet in your office, or add it as an attachment to the staff email.
2. Consider purchasing a box of Pay it Forward Share cards (business card size). Buy three per employee. See Payitforward911.org.
3. On September 10, each team is given a $100 bill (and Share cards if applicable) and told to decide between each other on how best to spend the money. Be sure to go to the bank a day or so in advance. Purchasing and distributing gift cards is also a good option. Have an executive distribute the money or gift cards to participants so they see the importance and accountability of Pay it Forward 9/11. Hint: Consider pairing up employees who don’t know each other very well and watch what happens after they complete this service work together.
4. Close the office for 2-4 hours in the morning to give the teams time to work together to perform three good deeds to strangers or provide aid to charities, schools, or other organizations.
5. That same afternoon, bring everyone together (in a conference room or video conference call) to spend one-hour sharing stories of how each team spent their money. This is always everyone’s favorite part of this effort, as they hear many heart-warming stories of how random acts of kindness helped not only the recipient but also the givers. Hint: Keep a few boxes of tissues handy for wiping tears of joy.
6. Check with your accountant on how best to record these expenses. Since receipts won’t be available from individual recipients, it’s best to record a written list of how each team spent their money and use this as documentation for a staff development expense.
For 15 years, one small business used this approach to participate: (there are many ways to participate)
TIPS FOR LARGE BUSINESS
Here are a variety of tips that larger organizations can use to help mobilize their employees.
1. Many companies already offer time off for community service days. Remind staff that September 11 is a National Day of Remembrance and Service (US and Canada) and that Pay it Forward 9/11 is a charity worthy of support.
2. If your company has the financial resources, consider using the model many small businesses have used for nearly 20 years (see above).
3. Consider purchasing a box of Pay it Forward Share cards (business card size) or wrist bands. Buy three per employee. See Payitforward911.org
4. If your company uses an online matching charity donations program like Benevity, promote Pay it Forward 9/11 as a charity to support in September 2021. Share internal email reminders to point staff to the charity donation sites.
5. Consider allowing employees to get reimbursed for meals for strangers.
6. Good deeds don’t require spending money. Provide a list of suggested good deeds or local charities or schools who are looking for volunteers on September 10 or 11. See payitforward911.org for suggestions.
7. After the teams complete their pay it forward actions, gather everyone together (in a conference room or video conference call) to spend one hour sharing stories of how each team spent their money. This is always everyone’s favorite part of this effort, as they hear many heart-warming stories of how random acts of kindness helped not only the recipient, but also the givers. Hint: Keep a few boxes of tissues handy for wiping away tears of joy.
8. In early September, ask your company’s social media manager to share posts from Pay it Forward 9/11 and also photos of your employees performing good deeds in the community (Sept 10-13), using #PayitForward911. It’s best to avoid taking photos of individuals without their written permission. However, if your employees are willing and they post in front of a place in the community which demonstrates the good deed, that may inspire others to immediately do the same. (e.g. Two employees pose holding two shopping bags of warm socks, in front of a homeless shelter where they are being donated).
9. Share these FREE Pay it Forward/Compassion suggestions for co-workers (provided by LinkedIn)
Ask someone how they're doing and take time to listen to their answer.
Start a conversation with someon who has a different viewpoint, with the intention to learn something new.
Identify someone in your community or workplace who is struggling, and ask yourself, "What will truly serve?"
Start a meetting by having participants each share something they appreciate about each other.
Bridge the 'network gap' and reach out to someone outside of your regular cirlce of contacts who might need some support.
Write a note of sincere appreication or congratulations.
Ask someone three specific questions about their day.
Is there someone you may need to apologize to? Have the courage to ask for forgiveness, even for yourself.
Examine your goals and evaluate if they're "otherish."