Chicago offers multiple ways for groups to partner with a local charity or nonprofit and give back while developing essential skills to be used in the workplace. The best team-building activities not only create lasting memories, but are also meaningful and allow participants to engage and play with a purpose.
During an afternoon at City Farm, teams get to dig in and spend time outdoors while helping to grow Chicago’s urban agricultural movement.
Group opportunities at the Greater Chicago Food Depository include food repacking sessions and spending a few hours in the morning helping to load up food trucks.
Habitat for Humanity Chicago offers single-day or multi-day team builds, where companies or groups can aid in constructing a home for a local resident in need.
Chicago Cares connects teams with local nonprofits and charities. They can also set up custom volunteer activities for companies and larger groups that focus on team building.
Other organizations open to large groups
- Inspiration Corporation, which works with the homeless.
- Midtown Educational Foundation, an organization that aids low-income urban youth.
- Chicago Gateway Green, which is focused on greening the city.
- United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, which often partners with corporations on volunteer opportunities.
- Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, which supports the needs of families whose children are receiving treatment.
Meeting professionals share their giving back experiences
“When the NAMA OneShow meets in Chicago, we are proud to partner with the Salvation Army as the recipient of our food donation program. Our 250-plus exhibitors welcome the opportunity to give back through post-show donations, knowing they are directly supporting Chicagoans in need.” — LyNae Schleyer, Vice President, Events – NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association)
At the launch of Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago, Sage, a leader in cloud accounting software, pledged a $50,000 grant to the local Brave Initiatives. “We are honored that Sage Foundation can fund this brilliant grassroots organization that wants more young women to seize the potential to change their lives, and the world around them, through coding and community action.” — Sandra Campopiano, Chief People Officer – Sage
“During PCMA Convening Leaders 2015, many participants arrived a day early to take part in a sold-out community service activity. Overall, the group repacked 33,842 pounds of food that was distributed across a network of 450 partner agencies. It provided our participants a chance to network with each other in a different way, rather than in education sessions and evening events. Our participants enjoy getting their hands dirty and participating in projects that make a real difference to the local community.” — Jody Egel, CAE, CMP, Director of Events – Professional Convention Management Association