I founded Revere Software because I believe in the power for good generated when nonprofits connect with skills-based volunteers.
Over fifty percent of U.S. corporations now include company-wide volunteer programs within their corporate social responsibility programs. Results are apparent; these experiences benefit the nonprofits and change the lives of the volunteers. Among many benefits, research has shown that helping others improves our moods and increases feelings of compassion.
I asked Employee Impact Specialist, Kendra Ott, to share some effects of the team-based projects at Autodesk, a global leader in design-and-make technology. Here’s what she had to say:
“Since 2014, the Autodesk Foundation has facilitated nearly 170,000 Autodesk employee volunteer hours, collectively reaching more than 4,000 nonprofits and social enterprises. Nonprofits and social enterprises, however, are not the only beneficiaries of Autodesk Pro Bono Consulting.”
“Autodesk employees also see huge gains – they get to volunteer their professional skills toward solving real-world and impactful problems – and they very often learn new skills and form lasting relationships along the way. The sense of camaraderie amongst partners and employees is palpable.”
Seven years of experience have demonstrated the impact skills-based volunteering has had on both the nonprofits Autodesk volunteers work with and the employees themselves.
Eight drivers that create purposeful work
Further research is highlighted in Bea Boccalandro‘s 2020 book, Do Good at Work: How Simple Acts of Social Purpose Drive Success and Wellbeing. Bea is well known for helping brands, including Aetna, Allstate, and IBM, increase work’s social impact.
When jobs are genuinely aligned with critical human values, employee engagement, performance, and well-being increase, while valuable nonprofits expand their reach.
Ms. Boccalandro explains how job-purposing works and she describes its many benefits.
“We are so hard-wired to make work-based contributions to society that it’s actually good for us. Dozens of studies provide overwhelming evidence that social purpose boosts our work motivation, productivity, satisfaction, and performance.”
Interestingly, her work coincides with the recent launch of our new team projects module, which simplifies the job-purposing process. By offering team project skills-based volunteering opportunities to your nonprofit partners and employees, not only do you create greater engagement in volunteering programs, it provides a chance to work on more complicated projects, leading to more in-depth, measurable social impact.
Look at the eight factors Bea identifies as the drivers of job-purposing:
Work-related refers to integrating all the drivers with the employee’s actual job.
Employee-crafted projects allow latitude to incorporate the volunteers’ input.
Group-based volunteering encourages and motivates greater participation.
Impact-evident results. We all need to see that something changed because of our efforts.
Viscerally meaningful projects and results touch us deeply, on an emotional level.
Evolving nature of work allows us to continue to adjust and create new experiences.
Introspective reflections allow us to create meaning as we describe our experience, verbally or in writing
Tenderly led refers to leadership that cares for the well-being of their employees at a heart level.
Meaningful work is fulfilling
We are more engaged with our job when we know we are using our skills, experience, and talents for the greater good.
New generations of workers are no longer satisfied with the solely extrinsic rewards of money and prestige.
Employees are looking harder at the social impact policies of their employers than their predecessors may have. Articles have noted that 90% of Gen X women and 76% of Gen X men, and 76% of millennials say it is essential to contribute to the world through work. (Team Projects: Skills-based Volunteering Goes Virtual)
Now that research has proved the value of skills-based volunteering, corporations and nonprofits face the challenges of implementing these programs.
In fact, an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review stated,
“To truly unlock this resource as a long-term, sustainable model for public good, both nonprofits and companies need to develop a new muscle in preparing for, managing, and making the most of skills-based volunteering.”
Technology can be a solution to the need to match skilled employees with the specific requirements of nonprofits. However, some projects need a team approach to implement a solution. For this reason, Revere Software has developed a new module to match teams with these projects through your company-branded platform.
Let us show you how this platform makes it easy for volunteers to collaborate with their nonprofit partners.