Guest Blog: A Skilled Volunteer’s Perspective on Motivation and Impact
Celebrating Pro Bono Week 2014
Posted by M.D., a VP of Information Technology at a Boston-based financial services company
Our company, partnering with Common Impact, was soliciting skill-based volunteers to field small teams to support local non-profit organizations. The combination of volunteerism, supporting our corporate giving culture and leveraging my professional skills to help local non-profits was very attractive. I applied, participated and was rewarded. After the first engagement was completed, I immediately signed on for another!
By participating in numerous Common Impact projects, I’ve been exposed to causes with social meaning and have leveraged my years of professional experience assisting non-profit organizations with a purpose. Leveraging my marketing and branding experience, I’ve been exposed to the challenges and opportunities in the areas of homelessness, poverty and affordable housing. Using my technology and project management skills, our teams have delivered tools that support organizations working to promote economic empowerment, community building and education.
One of the many benefits of participating in corporate-wide Common Impact project teams is working with fellow employees; many I have no existing relationship with. Meeting and working side-by-side with people that have different skill sets, are from different corporate divisions, locations and even other countries, makes these projects both challenging and rewarding. Challenging from the perspective of building a team quickly, understanding team members’ strengths, defining roles within the team, developing an approach and executing. Rewarding from the perspective of meeting new people and the value of human connection, enhancing my existing soft skills, making a difference in my community and the recognition of the team’s accomplishments when the project is complete. Most recently, being a seasoned corporate veteran, it has been refreshing to work with project team members that are new to the corporate environment and their appreciation for social issues, approaches to collaboration and understanding of the current social technology landscape.
In addition to investing my professional talents in these challenging opportunities, it is important to understand the roles the participating organizations play. From the supportive corporate organizations that encourage and support employee participation, to Common Impact’s strategy consulting, program management leadership, project oversight and training to the social sector organizations and the people who work tirelessly to grow and fund their programs. The result is a network of organizations and people that help change, for the better, the communities in which we live and work.