Recently, a prospective client told me, “We’re struggling to manage all the moving parts of our CSR program.”
She tapped her fingers, “There’s employee giving and matching, grant-making, traditional volunteerism, and skills-based volunteerism. Then, add the ESG our investors monitor and the DEI so important to our mission. It feels overwhelming at times!”
We get it. Most CSR teams are small. Meanwhile, they are charged with making enormous impact. We work with clients with only one or two employees dedicated to social impact. Even our Fortune 500 clients rarely have teams larger than five employees. There are a LOT of plates being spun by these small CSR teams.
As a CSR leader, you must prioritize.
And you have to understand what works for your organization’s leadership, employees, and overall mission—and what doesn’t.
We’re comfortable in our own skin when we say that skills-based volunteering (SBV) is not for every company.
It’s right for most Fortune 500 companies—but not all. It’s right for some “small” companies with under 5,000 employees—but not for all.
And I know it’s not due to lack of interest but lack of capacity. Part of my role as a leader in the SBV space is helping companies determine if they’re ready for SBV.
The challenges of creating a successful SBV program.
How can we tell if skills-based volunteering is the right fit for your organization? My suggestion is to schedule a discussion, and we’ll spend some time looking at these three things.
- We can share practical, proven advice on how to survey your employees and current and prospective nonprofit partners to help ensure the right match happens. There are tested steps to help ensure your project’s longevity and success.
- Creating a world-class volunteer program never occurs by accident. You need to crawl before you walk before you run. We recommend starting with a test program based on geography, business unit, or skills area. Then we can make any needed adjustments before a full rollout.
- Effectively communicating your skills-based volunteering program to your employees and nonprofit partners is critical to your success. It may be wise to budget marketing through a seasoned, purpose-driven outside marketing agency to get the attention you deserve for your program launch. As I like to say, if you do not communicate your SBV program to both employees and to the nonprofit sector, you’ll simply be winking in the dark. Nobody will see it.
A 2020 article titled Reimagine Your Corporate Volunteer Program describes one of the most common issues faced by CSR programs. Beth Bengston, CEO and founder of Working for Women said, “Building purposeful partnerships calls for a longer and deeper commitment than your employees may typically have available, and it’s not always easy to make the right match. To do that, you need to identify the organization(s) that aligns with the values of your business and might most need your help.”
We understand that CSR staff and nonprofit board members may not have the formal training to plan project proposals and to decide which employees are the best matches for their projects. So our SBV platform makes it easy for everyone to collaborate.
Let us show you how the Revere skills-based volunteering platform can help you connect your employees with organizations that need their expertise. Schedule a demo.