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Common Impact Releases Insights on Pandemic’s Impact on Nonprofits, Grows Leadership Team to Meet Those Needs

By Common Impact | August 31, 2020

According to a new report from Common Impact, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nonprofit organizations is staggering and the skills and expertise of corporate employees are a critical part of restoring and sustaining the sector.

The COVID-19 Nonprofit Impact Report: A Guide for Providing Philanthropic and Skilled Volunteer Support, released today, indicates the organizations hit hardest are community health centers, food banks and pantries, human service agencies, and organizations that provide education or childcare services. The report analyzes in detail the unique challenges and needs of nonprofits by issue area category and offers recommendations for companies, individuals, and other organizations to leverage their unique skill sets to meet those needs.

Common Impact, a national nonprofit leader in skills-based volunteerism, has expanded its leadership team to meet this growing need, with the appointment of Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald as Chief Program Officer and Katie Stearns as Senior Director, Partnerships. Elizabeth is an established leader in the skills-based volunteering sector and Katie is an expert in corporate partnerships and volunteer engagement.

“The COVID-19 Nonprofit Impact Report outlines the state of the social sector during this double pandemic of COVID-19 and racial injustice. It highlights opportunities for companies and individuals to leverage their skills – our largest untapped philanthropic asset – to help nonprofits meet increased needs,” said Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact. “Adding Elizabeth and Katie to the team during this time enables us to meet the growing demand from nonprofits and partner with companies to shape their social impact strategies to align with the changing needs of the current moment.”

Most recently, Elizabeth worked with Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), a leadership development organization with a commitment to nontraditional civic leaders. Prior to her work with LEE, Elizabeth spent 10 years at the Taproot Foundation. During her tenure at Taproot, she launched Pro Bono Week (now a global celebration of skilled volunteering), oversaw the establishment of the Global Pro Bono Network, and drove the organization’s thought leadership, resulting in the launch of new resources targeting pro bono as a resource in tech for good, food security, and nonprofit leadership development. Elizabeth is an instructor at the Kellogg School for Business Nonprofit Management Center at Northwestern University and Smith College Executive Education programs, offering courses in social impact, nonprofit management, and board development.

“The potential that is unleashed when corporate and nonprofit executives work together to solve community challenges is game-changing,” said Schwan-Rosenwald. “I see the work of Common Impact spotlighting and advancing those opportunities for impact. When we first began to see the devastating impact of COVID-19, I realized it was an urgent moment to harness the power of skilled volunteering to address the widening gaps in inequality, which aligns perfectly with Common Impact’s vision.”

Katie most recently worked at iMentor, leading volunteer engagement strategies and partnerships that enabled the Chicago program to grow by 650% over five years. She also served in longtime leadership roles at Points of Light and Chicago Cares, where she directed Chicago’s largest day of volunteer service, developed custom capacity-building projects for nonprofit organizations, and partnered with dozens of companies to create CSR and employee engagement programs.

“I am passionate about building nonprofit capacity and engaging corporate volunteers in experiences that transform both individuals and their communities, and – as our COVID-19 report demonstrates – that work is especially important right now as we continue to navigate the pandemic and actively work toward anti-racism,” said Stearns.

To access the full report, please click here.


About Common Impact
Common Impact is a national nonprofit that works to build a society in which individuals and businesses invest their unique talents towards a shared purpose: strengthening the local communities in which we live and work. Founded in 2000, Common Impact has partnered with Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of the country’s leading nonprofit organizations to create transformational change through skills-based volunteering. Learn more about Common Impact’s services, impact, and clients.