See how you can benefit your organization and people in need with corporate social responsibility team-building events in Orlando (Feed the Need Florida pictured).
No destination beats Orlando when it comes to one-of-a-kind team-building activities and adventures designed to add healthy competition and meaningful bonding experiences to your meetings and events. What’s more, corporate social responsibility (CSR) events and excursions can pair your organization with a wide range of volunteer projects, giving you the opportunity to increase attendee engagement and team building while supporting excellent causes. See how your group can give back while growing stronger together the next time you meet in Orlando.
Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified. Learn more about healthy business travel in Orlando, and check with your preferred businesses for their current status.
Stepping Up and Giving Back
“We all want to give back but sometimes we just don’t know how to,” says Dan Glancy, CFO, Westbrook Services, Orlando.
When Glancy had the opportunity to work with No Child Hungry, a non-profit that helps feed those in need, he had the idea of bringing the concept to his office during the holidays in December 2020 to get his 150 employees involved as a team event.
“No Child Hungry employees rolled in a truck to our offices containing pallets of rice, protein, vitamins and boxes for a food-packing event,” Glancy says. “We set up tables where we assembled 30,000 meals bound for Haiti.
“We pay No Child Hungry for the food, and they show us a video of how it’s done. Our employees loved it, and [it] made them feel great. They all wanted to know if we are going to do it again this year.”
Not only can CSR programs boost team morale, but they are needed now more than ever, says Tammi Runzler, executive vice president, CSRconnections, a CSR company dedicated to raising awareness for the field. CSRconnections pairs corporations with CSR activities that directly reflect the values of that organization.
“During COVID, non-profits like food banks and shelters were serving more people than ever before and, at the same time, donations were down due to the economic insecurity with those who normally donate,” Runzler says. Happily, it is simpler than you might think to set up a CSR event for your organization and get help to those who need it — especially when you meet in Orlando.
Corporate Social Responsibility Made Easy
For meetings and conventions in Orlando, tying a team-building event to corporate social responsibility is easy, as many non-profits take the guesswork out of giving back.
Orlando-based Clean the World is another non-profit that works with meeting groups to host a Hygiene Kit Build. Clean the World creates an assembly line where attendees go through and put soap and other toiletries together to create a Soap Saves Lives Box. These boxes contain life-saving hygiene products that are distributed to local charities, churches and neighbors in need.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida also welcomes help from meeting groups. One of their largest CSR events included 1,400 Kohl’s managers from around the country ready to get to work assembling bags of food.
The Orlando World Center Marriott was set up with several assembly lines packed with cans of hot dogs and beans, cereal, milk, juice, and other food items. In an hour and a half, more than 20,000 Feeding Packs were put together.
“The food goes home on Fridays for the weekend to kids in low-income neighborhoods,” says Greg Higgerson, chief development officer, Second Harvest. “It was a big investment for Kohl’s, but we heard nothing but great things from the group. They said it was a fun, meaningful experience for them, [and] that they knew they left something important behind.”
Located in Gotha, about 20 minutes north of International Drive, Nehrling Gardens is a historic property that dates back to 1885. More importantly, they’re always delighted to host CSR events. “Most of the work of rehabilitating the historic home and gardens since our non-profit purchased it in 2009 has been accomplished by volunteers,” says Angela Withers, board president of Nehrling Gardens, which has worked with groups as diverse as PCL Construction, Falcon’s Creative Group, Booking.com, Foliage Design Systems Orlando and more. “We give them a brief orientation and tour to inform them about the history and significance of the site, and provide any needed tools, water and snacks.”
Most projects at Nehrling are in the gardens, such as weeding, removing invasive vines and mulching trails. But they also utilize volunteers on cleaning and painting the exterior trim and porches of the historic wood frame vernacular home, building bamboo trellises and more. Some groups stay for the day and bring a picnic lunch, while others enjoy finishing up at a popular local eatery, Yellow Dog Eats.
Play with a Purpose, a 30-year veteran in the Orlando marketplace, believes in “playing with a promise” — a promise of a better future. They focus on community giving that has long-lasting impact both for the organization hosting the event and the non-profit benefiting from it. They have built dozens of events focused around an education theme and believe in the adage: “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.”
At a recent Offbeat Giving event organized by Play with a Purpose, teams used their creative skills to help the American Heart Association create several new revenue-generating programs. “One of the ideas was to create a GPS app to find people who could perform CPR in an emergency,” says Sharon Fisher, CEO, Play with a Purpose.
“They loved the event because it used their unique skills, creativity and talent to help the non-profit grow and have real impact.”
Smaller charities in Orlando can also be recipients of a group’s goodwill. New Hope Seventh-Day Adventist Church in downtown Orlando opens their doors every Tuesday to distribute everything from clothes and diapers to toiletries and bags of food to the community.
“We try and make an impact, and we welcome individuals and groups that want to help,” says New Hope Pastor Ernst Thervil.
Visit Orlando is a wealth of information when it comes to CSR programs meeting in Orlando. Our Destination Services team will listen to your needs and work to match your group with the sort of CSR opportunity you’re seeking, or even provide you with a list of organizations if you prefer to do the research on your own. They can put you in touch with a wide range of local organizations for a variety of volunteer projects that lead to increased attendee engagement and teambuilding. From constructing houses and preparing meals, to non-profit facility facelift efforts and hotel soap-recycling services, there’s a project to fit any size group or interest.
Non-profit categories and some top local examples include:
- Children & Family Services: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida, The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families
- Education: Orlando After-School All Stars, U.S. Dream Academy
- Food: Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, No Kid Hungry
- Health/Safety Organizations: Yellow Brick Road — The Holden Flynn Foundation
- Homeless and Need-Based Services: One Heart for Women and Children, Habitat for Humanity
- Animal Charities and Organizations: Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, Happy Trails Animal Rescue