By: Danielle Holly, CEO for Common Impact;
– As the world continues to mourn and protest the brutal injustice of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others, as well as the systemic inequities faced by the Black community and other people of color, it is clear we are living through a defining moment in civil rights and social justice. This is the time for companies to step up, to act on their values and to demonstrate the power of corporate activism to make a difference. In fact, the public is demanding it; 84% of people expect companies to inform conversations on policy debates and 56% have no respect for CEOs that remain silent on important issues, according to Deloitte.
The next few months will make clear which companies are truly serious about committing their talent, resources and platforms toward ending racial injustice and inequality – and which are not. It is up to us as individual citizens and representatives of the companies we work for to hold our employers accountable for their promises and to come together to make real, measurable change.
Here are some ways your company can engage employees and pivot your volunteer efforts to support the fight for racial justice and equity:
Share Your Talents & Expertise
Skills-based volunteering is one of the most tangible, measurable connection points between employee engagement, values and corporate community goals. It takes advantage of a company’s strongest asset – its employees – to have a lasting impact on a community-based organization’s capacity to deliver on its mission and achieve real change.
Your company can participate in skills-based volunteering programs with social justice and equity nonprofits to support them in addressing business challenges that match your team’s professional skills in areas like marketing, finance, strategy planning or operations realignment. A skills-based volunteering program can be as short as a day of service lasting a few hours or something more involved like a multi-week or multi-month consulting project. Plus, virtual volunteering is something your company can do right now even as the COVID-19 pandemic has many corporate teams working remotely.
Provide hotline support to nonprofits
Common Impact recently introduced a new hotline model of skills-based volunteering to connect nonprofit executives with just-in-time coaching and strategic guidance from corporate professionals skilled in areas like risk management, operations realignment, crisis communications and technology. When time is at a premium for both nonprofits and volunteers, hotlines offer rapid response support for crisis situations or a quick injection of advice for capacity-strapped organizations.
This can be an especially valuable service to racial justice and equity nonprofits that are looking to scale their work amidst increased public attention and an influx of donations. Reach out if you’re interested in offering your team’s expertise.
Participate in Skills for Cities
Common Impact is dedicating our annual Skills for Cities days of service to supporting nonprofits facing the double pandemic of racial injustice and COVID-19, prioritizing nonprofits fighting for racial equity, serving Black communities and/or led by a people of color. Learn more about the events and how your team can get involved.
Funding is one of the best ways to support racial justice organizations. Consider shifting your employee giving campaigns to focus on nonprofits led by and serving communities of color, like these.
Offer paid time off
Give employees time to support the movement, whether that means joining a protest or campaign, fundraising or even taking a mental health day to recover from the trauma of the situation and come back stronger.
At Common Impact, we are engaging in conversations with our corporate partners to ensure that our programs are translating their advocacy and intent into actionable employee engagement initiatives that drive racial equity. Additionally, we are making a more concentrated effort to listen to, support and elevate the work of our nonprofit partners fighting for racial equity on our blog and social media accounts.
If you’d like to partner with us on skills-based volunteering projects that accelerate equality, we want to hear from you! In addition to this opportunity, if your seeking community-based or virtual volunteer projects, please visit CHC’s volunteer portal.