Recently, a team of John Hancock volunteers completed a Salesforce implementation project with the Urban Farming Institute (UFI), a social innovation organization that supports the development of urban farming and promotes healthier, locally based food systems. Since its founding in 2012, UFI has trained individuals to practice urban farming, increased the opportunity to farm by acquiring and leasing urban plots of land for farming activities, and developed awareness of the benefits of urban farming through public education and advocacy. As the organization grew, UFI leadership recognized that a more efficient and effective database would help them continue to scale their program and they ultimately selected a nonprofit-focused Salesforce system.
Last year, Common Impact worked with IMPACT2030 and Social Venture Partners Boston to demonstrate the power of cross-sector collaboration and skilled volunteerism by piloting the first-ever Skills for Cities Boston, hosted at The Boston Fed. Skills for Cities, a one-day cross-company skilled volunteer event, included more than 80 volunteers from 14 corporate participants to support capacity-building projects at 15 Boston-based nonprofits to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Through our work developing strategic partnerships that engage business professionals to create positive community change, we see two major STEM education challenges that skilled volunteerism can help address. Last week, we wrote about how skills-based volunteerism can help build capacity within the social sector to effectively deliver STEM education. Today we are sharing our perspective on how STEM education and volunteering can increase representation for women and diverse communities in both the social and corporate sector.
The education world is dense with data. And all those numbers can be numbing, especially for nonprofits trying to make a difference. One day each year, Fidelity Investments invites those groups to its complex near Grapevine Lake to help make sense of it all.
For this month’s Impact Inspirations spotlight, we’re highlighting John Hancock’s skills-based volunteer program, Signature Skills. Signature Skills aligns the talents and development goals of John Hancock employees with nonprofit capacity building needs. Signature Skills provides employees an opportunity to enrich leadership competencies, develop new skills, and engage more deeply with John Hancock, their community and each other.
We're excited to highlight an inspiring project with a talented team from Charles Schwab and its nonprofit partner, New Pathways for Youth (NPFY), who empower youth to fulfill their potential through mentoring and life skill development. The Schwab team created an onboarding plan to help NPFY train and retain their talent. The new process provides new hires with a better understanding of NPFY’s vision and culture and instills a sense of belonging.
This week, we’re highlighting a project with a talented team from State Street and its nonprofit partner, City Mission, a social justice organization that unites communities and transforms individuals through service, education, and advocacy. The team at State Street developed a refreshed brand and messaging in advance of City Mission’s 200th anniversary. As a result, City Mission secured funding for a redesigned visual brand and website, and to bring on a Director of Development to sustain the team’s work.
One of the Common Impact initiatives that intentionally works to engage a global and remote workforce is our program with Fidelity Investments Enterprise Infrastructure (EI). Fidelity has created the LEAP program, which is a best-in-class training and development program for high-achieving, recent college graduates. The program is designed to accelerate the skills of graduates to become high-performing technologists at Fidelity. As part of this program, graduates of LEAP who join the EI business unit become actively involved in Common Impact’s skills-based volunteer projects.
One of the Common Impact initiatives that best exemplifies shared value is its program with the Fidelity Investments Workplace Investing (WI) business. The program offers a unique experiential learning and leadership development opportunity for WI’s senior level associates and delivers tangible, long-term impact for its nonprofit beneficiaries. In 5 years, the program has supported 78 of WI’s strongest talent and future leaders in their career development and yielded a community investment valued at $1,334,725.