This post was written by Jeff Hornstein, Business Development Associate for Social Tables.
Since the last time I wrote about Social Tables’ CSR team (7 months ago), we’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs. I think if I were to choose an overarching theme to describe this roller coaster (of emotions!), it would be: reality.
Well, what is clear to me now (which wasn’t as clear as when I was writing my outlook and goals for 2015), is how much work is truly needed to operate a team of 5 philanthropists, as opposed to a team of 1 (me).
Let me elaborate.
When you’re captain of a ship of one, you not only make all the decisions, but you are also only responsible for yourself. You don’t have to worry about what other peoples opinions are, but you also don’t need to worry about keeping others engaged, interested, and excited about the work you’re doing. As the skipper for a team of 5, the expectations are higher, the amount of work you can handle is increased, and what you think you’re capable of grows exponentially.
So, to bring this back to the recap of the past 7 months for the CSR team…..we haven’t accomplished what we set out to. That said, two of our core values here at Social Tables are “Fail Fast” and “Everyday is a School Day”, so instead of listing what we did or didn’t do, I’d like to take this opportunity to review what we learned:
- We learned how crucial communication is – not just how we communicate to the company, but how we communicate as a team. One thing I regret most is not establishing a set schedule to meet. What’s that saying we have all over our office? I’m having a hard time remembering….Oh wait, I think it goes something like, “When people come together, they achieve great things.” This has never resonated more with me than right now.
- We learned that volunteer work must come secondary, and you must plan accordingly. As a team, we had all these amazing ideas and initiatives we wanted to do…partner with another organization, plan a huge gala, lead one event or initiative every month... All of these are indeed great ideas, but we simply did not have the time to put them all into place. At Social Tables, it seems like everytime you remember the names of the “new” team members, there’s another group walking in the door, setting up their new desk space – we’re growing so quickly it’s hard to keep up! Thus, it is important to take into account how much time you have to devote to other projects, and to make sure to prioritize responsibilities appropriately.
- We learned what’s really important to us. CSR is not about the amount of events you do. It’s not about the quantity of organizations or charities you help. CSR is about the amount of impact and influence that you create, whether that be through 1 initiative or 10. Moving forward, we know to measure success by quality, not by quality.
Despite all of those “fail fast” learning opportunities, we did manage to do a few things along the way:
- We ran a raffle in conjunction with our yearly award show, that raised almost $1,000 for S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat).
- We volunteered our check-in services, and raised awareness for multiple organizations through Twitter and through our company email.
So what’s in store for the rest of 2015? Right now, I’m not quite sure, but at the moment, I’m just excited thinking about how much more we’re going to learn in the process.