Viacommunity Takes Talent for Good West
by Rita Papadogiannis
Last month, Viacommunity journeyed to Viacom’s Hollywood office, the Paramount Lot and the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank as part of an official West Coast launch of Talent for Good, Viacom’s skills-based volunteer program in conjunction with Catchafire.
The program kicked off with an exclusive Rapid Fire event in Hollywood. We matched five teams of Viacom and Paramount volunteers with one of five local nonprofit organizations to take part in a two-hour brainstorm, exploring solutions to each nonprofit’s challenges. All five teams then shared their solutions, forging connections with their colleagues and local nonprofits. Each organization left with clear next steps and tools to overcome their challenges and move closer to achieving their missions.
The participating organizations and their respective challenges were as follows:
Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest legal organization advocating through impact litigation and public policy work for the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV. The organization’s premier L.A.-based annual event, the West Coast Liberty Awards, attracts more than 400 supporters to honor advocates, activists and companies whose work complements Lambda Legal’s mission. Lambda Legal seeks to elevate their visibility as a Hollywood “influencer” so they can appeal to a new, younger audience.
My Friend’s Place assists and inspires homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives in Los Angeles. In 2018, the organization will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a spring gala and special campaign, complemented by storytelling that communicates and celebrates their heritage. The group needs creative thinkers to brainstorm inventive ways of sharing that history through unique storytelling that will drive engagement with their anniversary celebration.
Youth Mentoring hosts an annual Miles of Music 5K with KIIS FM, which allows corporate sponsors to support at-risk youth while receiving three times the value of their sponsorship through promotional airtime on KIIS FM. The organization is seeking advice on how to strengthen and scale the number of participating sponsors, which is currently smaller than desired.
Homeboy Industries provides hope and training to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, helping them redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community. While the organization has a thriving social media presence with an engaged audience, they are seeking social media experts to provide best practices and innovative, executable ideas to drive their year-long 30th anniversary campaign.
#HashtagLunchbag orchestrates volunteer bagged-lunch-making events to empower and inspire humanity. As a volunteer-run organization with only one paid member of staff, #HashtagLunchbag receives more partnership requests than it can accommodate. The organization is seeking input on how to transform this healthy interest into successful event and long-term, impactful partnerships.
Viacommunity also held Talent for Good info sessions that week at Paramount and the Nick Animation Studio, introducing employees to the many ways they can utilize Talent for Good to strengthen their skills and build new ones while benefitting generous causes across the country.
Viacommunity is the umbrella effort representing all of Viacom's social impact programs.
Through the power of entertainment, Viacommunity works to inspire social change hand and hand with the people we serve, the employees we work with, and the communities in which we operate. Some of Viacommunity’s key areas of focus include building diverse and inclusive societies, promoting healthy living, inspiring future generations through education and empowering our employees with the tools, resources and freedom to truly make a difference.