By: Danielle Holly, CEO for Common Impact;

5 Ways Your Company Can Advocate for Racial Justice

– 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.

Donate

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.

Danielle Holly, CEO for Common Impact

Danielle Holly is dedicated to creating previously unseen pathways for individuals to meaningfully contribute to making their communities thrive. She is the CEO of Common Impact, an organization that brings companies and social change organizations together to create meaningful change through skilled volunteerism. Recently recognized in BuzzFeed for one of the “30 Big Ideas that Can Change the World,” Danielle has led the social sector movement to channel individual talents and superpowers as a force for good. For the past 13 years, she has helped Fortune 100 companies shape their community engagement and investment programs, supported nonprofits in effectively leveraging service for strategic ends and built the industry-leading tools that enable companies and nonprofits to work together effectively. In addition, she hosts Pro Bono Perspectives, a popular podcast currently in its second season that highlights the careers of cross-sector leaders.