Humanity has a long history of helping those in need. Charity has been advocated by religion throughout human history. Businesses have contributed to their communities even though such expenditures may not derive any direct benefit. This giving of funds or other assets may gain the company some intangible benefit, such as public approval of its image, as a moral player in society. USA TODAY recently released the results of a survey conducted in partnership with The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which measures the pulse of corporate giving in America. They found companies contributed more in-kind donations of products and services to various causes in 2010. Major corporations like Siemens, Wal-Mart, Oracle, Starbucks, Microsoft, Kraft Foods and others are developing programs of social and community responsibility, encouraging employees to become involved. Companies are discovering their targeted giving has much more impact than simply writing a check.

The concept of “team” can be traced back to the late 1920s from research, which has come to be known as the Hawthorne Studies. These involved a series of research activities designed to examine in-depth what happened to a group of workers under various conditions. After much analysis, the researchers agreed that the most significant factor was the building of a sense of group identity, a feeling of social support and cohesion that came with increased worker interaction. Over the years thousands of consultants have made a living helping companies build their group identity through team building.

Within the last ten years these two elements have come together in the phenomenon known as “charity team building.” Charles Moore, Executive Director of Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, points out "Companies are taking their philanthropy more seriously, and there are just as many business advantages as social advantages. There's a team-building phenomenon. We find in team volunteerism there's a camaraderie quotient." This ability of a team building event with a charitable outcome to increase team unity through the act of giving has created enormous interest in these types of events. In this atmosphere of corporate awareness of social responsibilities, companies are looking for team building events that reach out to meet specific needs in their communities. If companies have missions to be good "corporate neighbors," they want as many of their activities as possible to meet this responsibility.

When a company is considering a training program it is natural their social responsibility would be considered. As a result, training companies have been quick to offer programs that meet this need. Most of these programs offer a structured team building lesson with a product produced as an end result. Here are some examples of charity team building offered by various companies in the United States.

1. Stuffed animals, which are given to First Responders for children in crises.
2. Large doll houses to be presented to Children's hospitals.
3. Bicycle team building gives bikes to local Boys & Girls Clubs or other child related charity.
4. Staple food products benefiting local Food Banks.
5. Military Families receive bicycles and/or cash.
6. Companies work with organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
7. Clean up activities in parks, beaches or roadsides.

These types of giving have become the most popular team building programs. The reason for their popularity goes beyond the corporate mission. Participants learn something about team functionality and then see their efforts support a local charity. The emotional impact of charity team building events can create unity that lasts long after the event.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Highsmith,, is President of Quality Team Building. He has twenty-five years experience training and coaching. He has built and sold two successful businesses. To learn more about becoming a team leader visit our website at or call Rick toll-free at 1-888-484-8326 X101.