“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen’s famous words were a source of comfort for Pro Bono Perspectives host and Common Impact CEO Danielle Holly – and many of us in the social impact field – during this difficult year.
Tom Crohan, Vice President & Counsel, Corporate Responsibility & Government Relations at John Hancock, joins host and Common Impact CEO Danielle Holly to talk Skills for Cities and John Hancock’s response to COVID-19, racial injustice, and social inequity. John Hancock co-hosted this year’s Skills for Cities day of cross-sector collaboration aimed at supporting racial justice and BIPOC-led nonprofits amidst the dual pandemic of racism and COVID-19.
As someone who started her career in the non-profit sector, I know first-hand that making meaningful impact on a daily basis can be a struggle. There is no doubt that good intention, vast intelligence and valuable skills are not lacking in the current employee base of non-profit organizations but I believe the ability to attract and pay the experienced talent they need to magnify and grow their non-profit remains a challenge.
The private, public, and social sectors have long been stuck on how to define the value of donated time – the inspirational stories and output reporting we’ve all relied on just don’t tell the whole story. Common Impact was ready for a better way, so we worked closely with the measurement experts at True Impact to move beyond outputs and look at the real value-add volunteerism – and in particular, skilled volunteerism – can deliver for communities.
Pro Bono Week 2020 came at a time of unprecedented difficulty and uncertainty, but in spite of that – or even for that very reason – it produced some of the strongest, most inspiring, and most necessary cross-sector collaborations we’ve ever witnessed. Corporate, public sector, and nonprofit professionals participated in everything from webinars and conferences to skills-based volunteering projects ranging a day or a week or several months, all in the name of better supporting their communities through COVID-19, racial injustice, and intractable societal challenges.
As the second wave of COVID-19 surges, so does the urgency of needs in our most vulnerable communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by the resultant economic instability. Basic needs – food, work, housing, health – are at risk for many.
A Virtual Volunteering Day of Service Case Study from Common Impact
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As COVID-19 unfolds, many nonprofits find themselves facing an urgent need to revamp their digital marketing strategies to navigate the unprecedented situation. In June 2020, Common Impact and Verizon partnered with three nonprofits - the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Change is Simple, and Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement - to help them do just that, providing each with targeted marketing support via a virtual skills-based volunteering day of service.
Building Equitable, Resilient, and Prosperous Cities
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Chris Tyson, President & CEO of Build Baton Rouge, joins host and Common Impact CEO Danielle Holly to share about the redevelopment authority’s mission to bring together people and resources to promote equitable investment, innovative development, and thriving communities across Baton Rouge.
It’s Pro Bono Week! But this one looks unlike any other we’ve experienced before. Instead of large skilled volunteering events or gathering by the hundreds in event spaces for keynotes on social impact, we’re logging on to video calls from our homes or mostly empty offices. Handshakes have been replaced by waves on screens. Digital breakout rooms are the new space for collaboration.