I’m Brian Kurth with Revere Skills-based Volunteering Software, and today I’m excited to welcome Alissa May. For those few people who haven’t heard of you or the work you’ve done in the field of CSR, why don’t you give us a brief introduction?
My career has really centered on empowering others to give back to their community. I started with the Red Cross in New York, then moved to the Bay Area to do disaster response work. That work led to working with one of the most extensive volunteer efforts in the area, Super Bowl 50.
Most recently, I’ve been with Salesforce, leading their global philanthropy programs, which led to over 80,000 employees globally giving their time, talents, and resources back to the community. So when people ask me what I like about my job, I say it’s the employees. They are so amazing.
That’s what I say, too, about our corporate clients. We work with people who, of course, care about the bottom line, but our clients are capitalists with a heart.
I agree. I love that!
So, Alissa, what are your three tips?
As I was thinking about this, the ideas all came together around a driving theme, even though I prefer electric vehicles.
Put the Keys in Your Employees’ Hands
We know that your CSR and ESG teams are typically small compared to your company’s sales, engineering, and marketing departments; the only way to be successful is to enable employees to be an extension of you and your team’s goals in the community.
I will always advocate for putting employees in the driver’s seat of social and economic change. Create opportunities for education on what is an inclusive and impactful partnership and how to go out into the community and create meaningful change.
Drive Behaviors, Not Hours or Dollars
I am entirely bought into the psychology behind what makes social impact movements successful, and what we are truly looking to do is change behaviors to create impact across the world.
How can you do that? It’s easier said than done. First, get clear what those high community impact behaviors are: skills-based volunteering, donating AND volunteering for an organization, serving on their board, multiple repeat donations, and volunteering visits to the same organization—again and again and again.
Those are the behaviors that drive impact in the community. Remember these ideas, and the hour and dollar measurements will certainly follow.
“The day you stop racing is the day you win the race” – Bob Marley
Stop for a moment and listen to your employees and your partners in the community. We’re all going 100 mph. So, stop and listen. Our stakeholders have the answers on how to help win this race.
Be open to taking their advice and trying something new—schedule time to sit down and focus; talk to your partners every year. Time passes so quickly! We can’t get so deep in our work that we don’t take the time to listen.
It could be utilizing your technology in a new way or engaging in a partnership in a way you haven’t done before. Exciting things can come from stopping, listening, and implementing new ideas.
That puts you in a place to triumph. The day you stop racing is the day you win the race.
Well, Alissa. Thank you so much for sharing your 3 Tips in 3 Minutes. How can people reach you?
The best way to find me is on LinkedIn. I’m active there, so please—I’d love to hear from anyone who listens to our interview. I am happy to answer your questions and hear your comments, thoughts, and dreams.
Alissa has been in the social impact and environment, social, and governance (ESG) space for over 15 years. Where she excels and finds the most joy in her work is in managing a team to develop and execute strategic programs in a constantly changing work environment, pulling together key stakeholders to drive towards mutual goals, and communicating their shared successes.