Tackling Local Issues Through Citywide Days of Skilled Service

Oct 24, 2019 1:20 PM ET
Article

When it comes to supporting their local communities, companies have a lot more to give than just their dollars. One of the most powerful resources they can contribute is the expertise of their employees and their dedication to where they work and live. For nearly two decades, Common Impact’s skills-based volunteer programs have leveraged corporate talent to address societal needs from hunger and health to education and employment. But no one company can solve these complex challenges alone.

Lately, we’ve seen companies think more expansively about how to work with their neighboring businesses to target regional issues. This expanded definition of partnership – not just companies with nonprofits, but companies with each other – has opened up opportunities for businesses to make a difference in local issues, such as homelessness in San Francisco, food deserts in Baltimore and natural disasters in Texas. Companies are embodying the spirit of “think global, act local” in seeking out corporate sector partners, nonprofits and service projects that work to solve the issues affecting the regions they operate in.

At Common Impact, we're facilitating these partnerships through Skills for Cities, a regional skills-based day of service that brings multiple companies and nonprofits into the same room to solve a common challenge. The events connect the talent of a city’s workforce to its vital social sector, bringing together local professionals who might not otherwise interact. Skills for Cities gives them the opportunity to combine their business expertise, social sector know-how and shared love of their city to create custom solutions to nonprofits’ business challenges and to contribute to the welfare of the greater community. We see these citywide initiatives as one of the key drivers of the future of pro bono.

In Boston, Skills for Cities has created almost $180,000 in immediate value to date.

Here’s a quick look at some of the initial results of Skills for Cities:

  • New Cross-Sector Partnerships: 93% of nonprofits reported they made a new corporate connection
  • New Skilled Volunteers: Over 70% of volunteers indicated they will continue to lend their professional skills to the nonprofit they supported at the event
  • Business Value: 90% of volunteers felt more inclined to recommend their company as a great place to work and 94% reported that Skills for Cities was a useful professional development opportunity
  • Social Impact: Most importantly, 95% of nonprofits reported that the work accomplished at Skills for Cities made a real difference for their organization

Interested in learning more about bringing Skills for Cities to your area? Reach out to info@commonimpact.org.