From Parts to Purpose: What to Expect at a Skateboard Charity Event

In my time at TeamBonding, I’ve seen first-hand that innovative charity events are some of the most impactful and memorable experiences teams can have. These events go beyond team building and bring teams together through charitable acts and shared experiences. We offer numerous unique charity activities ranging from skateboard and guitar building to shoe painting.

I recently attended a skateboard charity event we organized called Just Roll With It. This event was an incredible experience for all involved—employees, their leaders, their company, and the community members whose lives they impacted. I’d like to discuss my experience with the event and everything that led up to it.


Skateboard Charity Event Planning

The first step in putting together this event (or any of our other charity team building programs) is planning. Company charity events don’t just happen overnight; they’re the result of weeks or even months of careful event planning. So I’m going to walk you through our process for planning the Just Roll With It event.

Just Roll With It innovative charity event

Understanding Our Client

Each client is different and has a unique set of needs and goals for their event. This particular event was for a law group in Boston consisting of 80 employees that wanted to give back to the community and have fun at the same time. With this in mind, our sales team decided that an event focused on charity was the perfect choice for this team.

The theme of their retreat was outer space, so my team’s job was to incorporate the theme wherever we could into the event. The facilitator, Rich, was tasked with helping each employee develop their own unique take on the space theme.

Charity Event Checklist

With a good understanding of our client and a program chosen, the next step was creating a charity event checklist to make sure we had everything ready to go for the event. Here’s the checklist we used:

    1. Collaborate with the client on objectives. It’s crucial to work with the client to align the event with their goals. Whether the goal is to push employees to connect on a deeper level, or to help the team learn certain lessons designated by leadership, we’re happy to help our clients meet their goals.
    2. Partner with a skateboard charity. We partnered with the Chill Foundation, a charity that helps provide youth a method of learning and growth through board sports. We’ve grown our partner network to 20+ skateboard charities across the nation over the years and countless other charities for our other innovative events.
    3.  Source skateboard materials. Skateboards are composed of 3 main parts: the deck, the trucks, and the wheels. There are 8 total parts including the helmet, but participants will mainly be focusing on the decks as they paint their masterpieces.
    4. Prepare the opening statement and icebreaker games. A good opening can make or break innovative charity events, so planning is key here. The client will let us know if they’d like to do the opening remarks themselves, or if they want our facilitator to welcome the team.
    5. Work with the charity to have a representative in attendance. Having a charity representative in my experience helps ground the event and drive home the direct impact on the community. It’s awesome when clients can directly see the impact they have on their community.
    6. Plan the closing statement and/or presentation. The finale is often what people remember the most, so this needs to be carefully planned. This goes back to the event’s objectives–if the client wanted to drive home any points, this is the time to do so.
    7. Prepare the follow-up survey. Follow-up is necessary to see how successful the event was, ensure goals were met, and know what adjustments we can make for future events. It also helps the client to see the impact of their event on their employees.

Chill Foundation skateboard charity

Ready to Roll: The Day of the Event

With the event planned and the checklist ready, we were ready to roll on the day of the event!

Breaking the Ice

Rich started the program like most innovative charity events–with the icebreaker. Since the theme of this retreat was outer space, we chose outer space bingo as the icebreaker. Depending on what the client wants, we will personalize the icebreaker to follow certain themes or messages.

We often find that teams are hesitant to dive head-first into team building events – especially if the team is newer or more disjointed. It’s our facilitators’ job to get everyone comfortable enough to start opening up to each other and having fun together. Though everyone was a bit hesitant at first, this group quickly got into it once they understood the instructions. With the ice broken and everyone in good spirits, it was time to begin the build.

Beginning the Build

After bingo, employees broke up into teams of eight and chose a team captain. The captains approached Rich to get their materials—painting tools, board parts, and everything else necessary for the build. Each team then began painting two to three skateboards per group. During the build, they also did outer space-themed trivia. This helped further connect the event to the retreat’s theme.

Just Roll With It skateboard charity event

As the event unfolded, I could visibly see teams having fun together and building bonds. I could tell they were honed in on creating the best boards of the group. We also encouraged teams to approach other groups for paint colors they needed but didn’t have. While that may sound like an oversight with materials, this was a deliberate choice to make sure employees interacted with people outside of their immediate group.

The Final Touches

While the bulk of the event was now complete, our job wasn’t over; the final touches are key in ensuring innovative charity events are as impactful as possible. Once complete, each group displayed their skateboard masterpieces. I’m no skateboarder, but the teams did an incredible job crafting and designing their skateboards. They gave it their all and created boards that the recipients will remember for the rest of their lives.

That said, other groups prefer to end their events differently. Some prefer presentations, sales pitches of the boards, or other finales. It all depends on the group and their needs/goals.

innovative charity event

Realizing the Impact

Lastly, we want to ensure that the impact of their charity project is realized. To do so, we brought in a representative from the Chill Foundation to explain where the boards will go and the impact they will have. The representative explained that typically, kids who attend the Chill Foundation’s programs don’t get to take the boards home, but thanks to our client’s donation, 25 kids got to go home with a brand-new board.

It didn’t end there though. Weeks later, we received photos of the kids using their decked-out boards and forwarded them to the client along with positive feedback from the Chill Foundation:

“We wanted to reach out first and foremost to thank you kindly for your donation to Chill and for supporting the Chill youth. Generosity like yours is such a huge help for running our programs, and we are so grateful.”

Weeks after the event was over, the client was still feeling the impact of the event—a testament to the power of innovative charity events. We always receive feedback from our clients after the event, and we’ve had some amazing feedback on Just Roll With It:

“The event was a huge success and a TON of fun!! At first, I knew a few of the people involved were nervous about the creativity that was required with decorating the boards but once they got into it everyone was having a great time and really enjoyed it.”

Lasting Effects of Company Charity Events

The events leave a huge impact in the moment, but they also have long lasting effects that benefit both the business and their employees. Organizations often see boosted employee morale after these events. Not only do employees get to take a break and have some fun, they also get to do something meaningful for the community.

Studies show that generosity and happiness are closely linked. In giving back, employees improve their own mental wellbeing which results in boosted morale across the board. On top of that, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) has shown to build and strengthen team bonds. Through engaging in shared charitable activities, employees create unforgettable memories around giving back that bring them closer.

And of course, these events leave a lasting impact on the community who is helped. Those boards can be life changing for the kids who received them, creating a positive ripple effect across the community.

Similar Innovative Charity Events

This event happened to be Just Roll With It, but I want to give a couple other similar and crafty charity event examples in case skateboarding isn’t the right fit for you and your team.

The Charity Guitar Build

Our Charity Guitar Build is in the same vein as Just Roll With It with a heavier focus on arts and music. This event involves teams creating custom guitar cases for electric guitars that get donated to a local music school, helping more kids get access to the wonder and joy of making music.

Teams also are tasked with utilizing AI music compositional tools to create their own musical masterpieces, helping teams see first-hand the impact that these guitars will have on the students who receive them.

Paint Soles for Souls

Paint Soles for Souls

Paint Soles for Souls is another of the many innovative charity events that we offer. Instead of skateboards or guitars, teams decorate pairs of TOMS shoes that get donated to South American children in need.

TOMS also donates one-third of the profits for grassroots good—including cash grants and community partnerships—to drive sustainable change. Like the other events I’ve discussed, teams get to have some fun, get creative, and build bonds while making a lasting impact on the world around them.

Achieve Impactful Team Building with TeamBonding

Team building is often thought of as frivolous fun, but you can achieve impactful team building with TeamBonding. It may sound like a sales pitch coming from me—a TeamBonding employee—but I truly believe these experiences can be life-changing. These shared learning experiences combined with fun and acts of charity can bring people together, provide valuable insights, and drive the change we all want to see in this world.

Whether you choose Just Roll With, Charity Bike Build, or any of the other events I’ve mentioned, I’m confident that you and your team will have a one-of-a-kind team building experience that leaves a lasting impression on your team and community.

The TeamBonding crew and I are ready to help facilitate your next team building event, taking the pressure off you so you can enjoy the fun and focus on the impact you and your team are having on those in need. If you’re ready to put on your own team building event, have a look at our list of team building events and get in touch with us today.

Anne Nichols

Event Experience Team Lead


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