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Skills for Cities: Common Impact to connect corporate and nonprofit worlds to advance efforts around racial and digital equity

By Common Impact | October 21, 2021

One-day skills-based volunteer event will bring nonprofits together with their corporate peers to create actionable solutions for capacity-building challenges

Brooklyn, NY – Oct. 21, 2021 – Among the many consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the outsized negative impact it has had on communities of color and the organizations that serve them. Pre-existing challenges like the digital divide have been exacerbated, with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) facing less access to reliable internet service and the devices needed to access digital work opportunities, online education, and, increasingly, essential needs like healthcare.

Nonprofits working to meet the needs of BIPOC communities, address the digital divide, and deliver on their mission have responded admirably despite the additional challenges of the last two years, but too many organizations still don’t have the marketing, IT, strategy, finance, or HR infrastructure they need to thrive. That is especially true for BIPOC-led organizations, which are historically underfunded and overlooked.

To help social impact organizations across the country find solutions to these capacity challenges, Common Impact, a national leader in skills-based volunteering, will be hosting its signature event, Skills for Cities, on October 27.

Skills for Cities will bring together volunteers from 16 companies including Verizon, Boston Dynamics, Equitable, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, John Hancock, and Truist and leaders of 17 BIPOC-led, racial equity, and digital inclusion nonprofits in an intensive one-day virtual flash consulting event.

“Nonprofits are a lifeline for their communities,” said Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact. “Despite the critical nature of their services, these mission-focused organizations are sorely underfunded in the basic organizational building blocks that allow them to deliver those services over the long term. Key infrastructure such as HR, finance, technology, marketing, and more often get put on the backburner.”

“Without a focus on those areas, it can become challenging for nonprofits to sustain their services and expand their reach in the way so many have been asked to do in the past two years,” added Holly. “That’s where connections with the corporate sector and guidance from subject matter experts can be so impactful. The connections that are made at Skills for Cities, the ideas that will be shared between business professionals and community experts, and the solutions that are designed in real time will all help build core capacity for our BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving nonprofit participants.

17 nonprofits from across the U.S. will participate, each doing important work related to racial and digital equity. Cross-company teams of skills-based volunteers will help them tackle cash flow forecasting, assess website navigation, create a crisis communications plan, build a higher ed partnership framework, develop a plan to support staff during a re-org, and more.

The event will also include a “Community Conversation” exploring the role cross-sector partnerships can play in addressing the digital divide and advancing racial equity. Holly will moderate a discussion with Angela Siefer of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Dan Noyes of Tech Goes Home, and Latricia Boone of the US Chamber.

Previous Skills for Cities events have resulted in meaningful operational and financial developments for nonprofits (a sampling of relevant data from a 2020 Skills for Cities event can be found here) and corporate volunteers also consistently report that these events have a meaningful impact for their professional development.

“Skills for Cities continues to grow, and this fall’s event is the largest yet,” continued Holly. “We are encouraged by the continued interest in cross-sector, skills-based volunteer solutions to the tough challenges our communities face and cannot wait to see the kinds of actionable and creative solutions that are brought to life during next week’s event.”

More information on Common Impact and Skills for Cities can be found 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.

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