Businesses are increasingly seeking to drive positive change within local communities through corporate social responsibility programs and purpose-driven business models. However, it is often difficult to coordinate and scale these initiatives. That's where volunteer centers and other infrastructure organizations come in, as invaluable partners, advisors, facilitators and matchmakers. But what is the best way to empower businesses to enable social change?
On December 13, 10:00 a.m. (BST), Deedmob organised a new virtual knowledge session ‘Amplify the impact of volunteerism through corporate partnerships’ to answer this question!
This knowledge session provided a comprehensive step-by-step guide to forming meaningful corporate partnerships. The insights will be posted shortly!
Levi Witbaard (he/him)
Head of Growth at Deedmob
The combination of a Communications degree, extensive experience in a software startup and a background in education and healthcare led Levi to Deedmob, where he is the Head of Growth. Following the principle "alone you go faster, together you go further”, he combines the best of Marketing, Sales, Product and Customer Success to grow the impact for and with our partners. If he’s not trying to crack the case of how to create scalable impact worldwide, he enjoys life in the form of his family, business books, helping out a the food bank, 10k+ steps a day, discovering local food, anime and investments in a greener tomorrow.
Surprise Guest Speaker
In this knowledge session, we discussed different ingredients of corporate volunteering, with different roles for companies, employees, social organisations, and infrastructure organisations.
Although corporate volunteering is a potential win-win situation, it is often challenging to get off the ground. We discussed several benefits and challenges for all parties, and shared best practices to overcome these challenges.
One of the challenges is that companies often look for one-off activities for teambuilding purposes. What companies don’t realise is that there are often costs involved for the social organisation to guide these purposes and that ongoing projects (often) provide more value for both social organisations as companies. This indicates a mismatch in expectations for both parties involved.
Infrastructure organisations can play a big role in educating and influencing both non-profits and companies to convince both parties of the benefits and managing expectations to create long lasting relationships. So, share best practices, expand your network, and get to know both companies and organisations!
We also discussed some best practices with real impact. One of the best examples is Business Involved, a dedicated corporate volunteering platform supported by the municipality, the infrastructure organisation and Deedmob. Offering a distinct selection of corporate volunteering activities can prevent a mismatch while making corporate volunteering visible for all parties involved.
However, corporate volunteering remains often hard to set up. Therefore, we shared a practical guide to meaningful partnerships with several tips and tricks. These included, amongst others…
• Involve the right partners and the role of each partner (government, volunteer centre, corporates, platform supplier)
• Pool of ready to go volunteering opportunities and nonprofit partners, providing a basis for meaningful, sustainable partnerships
• Provide opportunities that are suitable for corporate volunteers: groups and inclusive
• Take care of necessary health- and safety checks
• Plan the activity, create a guide for fostering long term commitment
• Provide necessary tools and documents which are taillored to the requirement
• Evaluate, measure, document, share and diversify!
• Using the SDGs as a shared framework for the business communities and the social sector, as they work towards common goals
• Expand your network and investigate the different departments within your region: eg. Involve Economic Affairs, or Social Return on Investments desks
• Start small and scale up. Good examples are informal drinks in which social organisations and (local) businesses can meet each other