Announcing the Impact Makers: Johnson & Johnson Managing Volunteering in a Virtual Environment
Johnson & Johnson stays true to their guiding principles by using their size and reach for good, and working with partners around the world to forge a healthier and more equitable future for those they serve. Their Global Community Impact (GCI) organization drives programming for community giving, social impact, and other philanthropic activities around the world.
We had the chance to speak with Saadia Malik, Manager for the Talent for Good program, and Yezenia Ramos, Senior Manager of Employee Engagement NA, about how their volunteer programs have shifted in the wake of the global pandemic. Johnson & Johnson's GCI team approached the transition of volunteer programming by taking the initiative to put a pause on volunteering programs before the official shutdowns, and evaluating how best to continue delivering outcomes to partner organizations in a virtual format.
Communication is Key
One of the most important aspects of Johnson & Johnson's pivot to virtual volunteering was that they took the time to speak with their nonprofit and NGO partners to truly understand the new and changing needs of their partners. During our CoffeeTalk conversation, Ramos notes that "We can't assume that the needs that they had in the past are the same needs that are there today." Additionally, they reached out internally to better understand their employees' capacity to give back as home life has shifted for many with stay at home orders and widespread closures. The goal was to come together and identify opportunities for continuous positive impact in ways that would be effective both for volunteers and the partners they are serving.
Fortunately, this pivot was made a bit easier thanks to the diverse programming already in place. Johnson & Johnson's GCI organization had experience with virtual and remote volunteer opportunities, which allowed for traditional programs to be transitioned more quickly. Communication remains a core element of transitioning with success, as it is imperative to understand that prior needs of partner organizations may be changing.