BY:  Jerome Tennille, MSL, CVA, Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International

Here are some tips from Jerome Tennille, Marriott International’s Manager of Volunteerism, Culture, and Business Councils, to ensure that your nonprofit leverages volunteer efforts to build successful partnerships with companies:

  • If possible, avoid the unsustainable single day of service that most companies want because they are typically more of a time-burden for the organization the company is seeking to serve. Rather, volunteer programs should be turnkey and operations friendly.
  • Think longer-term and create something that is mission driven and includes the diversity of your corporate partners.
  • Do not ask for money when seeking volunteers from a company. Volunteer coordinators should only seek volunteers, not funds.
  • Understand the motivation of the company’s efforts and reconfigure your volunteer programs accordingly to accommodate the company.
  • Research before you engage to understand the company’s funding structure, philanthropic goals, and employee availability. If the information about the company isn’t readily available, ask!
  • Position volunteerism as a business solution that utilizes employee skills and helps solve business challenges.
  • Don’t force any opportunity that isn’t best for your organization or mutually beneficial. Volunteer engagement is vital, but don’t waste your time or theirs with projects that don’t make sense.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch the full recording here, or read “5  steps for successful corporate-nonprofit partnerships.”

Jerome Tennille is the Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, where he leads the company’s traditional and skills-based volunteer programs, ensuring they reflect the latest innovations, technologies, and best practices. This includes Marriott’s global week and month of community service, providing the framework, resources, and support needed for volunteerism efforts to be executed both globally and locally.