collaborate-with-local-nonprofitCreating a comprehensive workplace health promotion program from scratch would be nearly impossible for most employers. Fortunately, a number of nonprofit organizations offer free-to-use, ready-made materials you can use to help design, implement and sustain your employee wellness programs. For example, AHA offers free materials to educate employees on heart health at work;8 the American Diabetes Association offers a free, online tool to help assess Type 2 diabetes risk;9 the National Diabetes Education Program offers free guides employers can use to help employees prevent and control diabetes at work;10 and the American Cancer Society provides free resources on smoking cessation, healthy eating and skin cancer prevention activities for the workplace.11 Organizations like the YMCA may offer membership discounts to employers for their workers.12

While there are many free or low-cost community resources available to employers, it is important to choose community partners whose goals align with those of your organization.5 Shared values, common vision and clear communication have been identified as important components of collaborations between companies and their community partners, because they help ensure that all stakeholders agree on the approaches and directions proposed.5 Choose appropriate partners and take advantage of the many benefits that come from collaboration to enhance your organization’s workplace wellness program.