Common Impact Connections: Skills-Based Volunteering in Times of Crisis

Preparing for a potential coronavirus outbreak in your area
Mar 12, 2020 8:00 AM ET

Common Impact Connections Newsletter

As news and anxieties surrounding COVID-19 spreads rapidly, Common Impact is working closely with our partners to ensure that their skilled volunteering efforts can continue while keeping volunteers safe.

The talents and expertise of the private sector are an enormous untapped resource in preparing our communities for natural and man-made disasters of all kinds, whether they be hurricanes, earthquakes, mass shootings or global pandemics like coronavirus. In times of crisis, it's even more important to invest in social sector organizations, which see demand for their services increase while many of the resources they depend on to deliver those services are at risk.

Last fall, we released Disaster Response - From Relief to Resiliency, an approach to cross-sector partnerships for disaster and crisis management. Now, with coronavirus shutting down schools, slowing business and disrupting travel, we want to encourage companies and volunteers to consider continuing their service efforts virtually. Skilled volunteering and pro bono — even event-based days of service — can easily be done from the safety of your home or office.

In a situation like this where physical threat and economic fall-out may go hand in hand, organizations can leverage skills-based volunteering and the continuity planning expertise of the private sector to develop resilient frameworks for internal and external crisis communications, operating with reduced or remote staff and the implications of domestic and international travel slowdowns.

If your nonprofit or business is interested in learning more about leveraging skills-based volunteering to fortify your community against coronavirus and other crises, email

New Pro Bono Perspectives Podcast Episodes

Looking for some social impact inspiration? We've got you covered! Tune in to hear insights from Net Impact's Cecily Joseph on embracing DEI in all industries, PwC's Jeff Senne on creating more equitable workplaces and communities and WFUV's Rita Houston on incorporating philanthropy into your job, no matter where you work!

New Arrivals

  • Tim Parsons, Chief Brand Officer: Common Impact's first Chief Brand Officer, Tim will expand the conversation on the vital role skills-based volunteerism plays in nonprofit capacity building and addressing inequality. He will lead Common Impact's branding and marketing activities with a focus on storytelling, innovation and collaboration. Get to know Tim!
  • Board of Directors: Please join us in welcoming our newest board members! These accomplished social sector executives were selected for their diverse professional backgrounds, innovative ideas and firm belief in the power of skills-based volunteerism to drive lasting social change. As we continue to grow, we’re excited to bring on thoughtful, driven leaders from across sectors who can help us navigate that growth sustainably, increase our impact and reimagine what it means to address inequality through service.

In Memoriam - Pamela Paton

Late last year, Common Impact’s long time board member, Pamela Paton, passed away unexpectedly. She was a champion of women’s rights and ensured that gender equity was integrated into Common Impact’s mission and growth strategy. This month, we honor her legacy by sharing her piece on women's leadership, "A Leadership Perspective from the Financial Services Sector."

Virtual Skilled Volunteer Opportunity

Succession Planning Coach: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County is seeking to proactively firm up its succession strategy to increase long-term sustainability. The organization's CEO requires the external support of a skilled volunteer to incorporate her role into existing planning and define and actionable succession strategy for the full leadership team. This remote or in-person opportunity is open to private or social sector professionals with past experience in nonprofit management and governance, succession planning, talent development, diversity, equity and inclusion, and coaching and mentoring. Time commitment flexible. Read more about the opportunity and reach out to if you're interested!

Common Impact in the News

Candid – “How to Maximize Your Impact with Skills-Based Volunteering”: Common Impact Field Building Manager Aruni Ranaweera shares insights on how to successfully build nonprofit capacity and develop lasting cross-sector relationships with Capacity Commons, our one-stop shop for skills-based volunteering.

Upcoming Events

Webinar – Leverage Skills-Based Volunteerism to Access Corporate Talent and Build Capacity (March 26): Nonprofit professionals can join this special webinar training with Common Impact and Candid to learn the basics of skills-based volunteering and how to leverage it to build lasting corporate partnerships that enable organizations to transform their operations and better serve their constituents. Plus, receive an introduction to Capacity Commons, Common Impact's one-stop shop for skills-based volunteering. Sign up by 3/18 to receive the early bird rate!

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