By Maura Keller | Photo courtesy of TeamBonding

Most of us like to do good and feel good about doing it. For that reason, many of us are in tune to the world of corporate social responsibility (CSR). We give our time and financial support to help feed the hungry, combat various diseases, clothe the less fortunate, construct homes or save the rainforest. And for many causes, the CSR initiatives at meetings and events are the cornerstone of these efforts — with attendees participating in philanthropic initiatives and charitable endeavors that have an impact on all.

Speaking of impact, Jenny Ballweg, vice president of communications at Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, says that, for many of her neighbors in the county, homeownership is out of reach, but hosting an event can help keep homes affordable for local families. Habitat for Humanity of Dane County’s current build sites include Madison, Stoughton, Oregon and Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

“Attendees create new homeownership opportunities by providing volunteer resources to help build and repair homes in Dane County,” Ballweg says. “Attendees love getting out of the meeting room and getting the chance to get outside on a build site. They can learn new skills and feel good about giving back through volunteerism. They will feel pride having helped create a permanent impact in Dane County every time they drive past that home.”

For David Goldstein, founder of TeamBonding, incorporating a local charity into an event is more than just a gesture of goodwill; it’s a strategic decision that enriches everyone involved.

“Not only does it elevate the event experience for attendees, but it also provides critical support to charities and contributes to the overall wellbeing of the community,” Goldstein says. “By fostering a culture of giving back, the company not only builds stronger teams, but also contributes to building a better world.”

Goldstein’s vision for TeamBonding was inspired by a personal passion for creating unforgettable experiences. The company aims to transform the way organizations think about and engage in team building, making it a critical and continuous part of their development strategy rather than a one-time event.

“Innovation is a key part of our vision, continuously seeking and creating new and unique ways to bring teams together, whether through the use of technology, the incorporation of the latest trends in team dynamics or providing solutions that cater to the evolving landscape of work,” Goldstein says.

Sustainability and social responsibility are integral to TeamBonding’s core, offering team-building activities that not only benefit the participating organizations, but also contribute positively to the community or environment.

“We emphasize the importance of fun, engagement and meaningful interaction in the workplace as tools for boosting morale, increasing productivity and encouraging creativity,” Goldstein emphasizes. “We believe in the power of experiential learning and the impact of shared experiences in forging stronger bonds among team members.”


A best practice is to start with the values of an organization, then figure out ways to physically embody them. Even considering the environmental impact of an event is an important CSR practice. What is the carbon footprint of your event and how do you offset it, for example? Can you set up a recycling or waste diversion effort?

Meeting and event vendor partners are another way to incorporate CSR initiatives into a meeting or event program. Food is one of the most enjoyable ways to demonstrate a company’s values. For instance, some companies prioritize working with venues, caterers or food trucks that are owned by minorities. Not only do guests get to enjoy delicious authentic cuisine, but they also get to support BIPOC- or women-owned businesses.

Meeting and event planners should ask what their nonprofits of choice may need and work together with them to identify any constraints that require solutions. Remember that meetings during the school day, for example, mean that working directly with youth may not be possible. If volunteers are new to charitable service, think about how you can provide context about the issue you’re addressing and how their service will support the cause at hand, too.

TeamBonding recently collaborated with a corporate group to amplify its volunteer efforts. Over the course of a year, this cooperation led to the successful facilitation of more than 95,000 volunteer hours across 360 events. As Goldstein explains, these events were varied and impactful, including the donation of laptops and career resources to homeless youth, the construction of wheelchairs for disabled veterans and the planting of more than 16,000 trees.

“The project was meticulously planned and executed, with TeamBonding providing comprehensive support in all aspects, from logistics to on-the-ground activities,” Goldstein says.


What role will CSR initiatives and volunteerism play in the future of meetings and events? Drawing on insights from research on corporate volunteerism, Goldstein says the types of volunteer partnerships seen today are not only expected to continue being a crucial part of future corporate gatherings, but are also anticipated to evolve.

According to him, “Research highlights a shift toward volunteer efforts that are more strategic, inclusive, and aligned with broader business objectives and community needs. This evolution reflects an increasing recognition of the mutual benefits of these partnerships, such as enhanced employee engagement and retention, and improved public relations.

“There’s a growing emphasis on making volunteer opportunities more accessible to a diverse workforce, including remote employees, signaling a move toward more flexible and inclusive programs.”

Recognizing this trend toward more impactful volunteerism, TeamBonding is working to meet the evolving needs of companies aiming to engage their employees in meaningful volunteer work. The company plans to introduce “volunteer events in a box” alongside its traditional in-person volunteer engagements. These kits are carefully crafted in partnership with nonprofits, keeping corporate volunteer missions at the forefront. Designed to bridge gaps, these kits enable companies to empower their employees across the nation to participate in individual volunteerism events.

“Special events and home builds provide a chance to connect as a team while deepening ties to the community. More importantly, the experience transforms lives — both for the volunteers as well as Habitat’s partner families,” Ballweg says. “It means the world to our partner families to see that fellow community members care enough to help them break the cycle of poverty.”

Corporate Habitat for Humanity Events

Habitat for Humanity offers several popular offerings for corporate events. They include:

  1. Frame Up. It’s the ultimate wall-raising event. Companies can host a build day in their parking lot by building all of the interior and exterior walls of a future Habitat home. Attendees of up to 120 have the opportunity to meet and work shoulder to shoulder with the future homeowner who will live in the home they are building.
  2. Rock the Block. Attendees can help homeowners beautify their block through projects that repair critical issues and boost curb appeal. This is ideal for groups of 40 to 60 volunteers.
  3. Team Up. Companies can strengthen team spirit as staff from all levels communicate, cooperate and work together to help build or repair a Habitat home. This includes an exclusive build day for an organization at a Habitat build site for groups of up to 24 volunteers.
  4. ReStore Group Work. Group participants can help the Habitat ReStore stock, measure and consolidate merchandise.

“A large employer here in Madison held a company-wide internal event, including their local staff, plus more than 100 of their sales staff members from all over the country,” says Jenny Ballweg, vice president of communications at Habitat for Humanity of Dane County.

“Together, the group of 250 spent a day framing two entire Habitat homes together.”


David Goldstein, founder of TeamBonding, points to a myriad of benefits for attendees and recipient organizations alike:

  1. For the attendees: Working together on a charitable project can enhance team spirit and cohesion as attendees collabo- rate toward a common, altruistic goal.
  2. For the charity: Partnering with corporate events can significantly raise the profile of the charity, bringing its mission and needs to a wider audience.
  3. For the community: Events that incorporate charity work demonstrate a commitment to the local community, strengthening bonds between businesses and the locations they operate within.