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Leveraging senior corporate volunteers
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Moderator: Fiona Halton (Pilotlight) Speakers: Gary Luton (Salesforce), Brian Gillies (Alchemist Group), Urvashi Devidayal (Thomson Reuters Foundation, Trust Law network), Liza Green (Credit Suisse Corporate Citizenship)
Summary of the content of the session: 1)
Why should we have senior volunteers?
There is a dollar value in senior volunteering. A pertinent case in point is the Trust Law network: a lawyer pro-bono with 1,000 projects in 150 countries, it could worth up to $35 million US$. It is also beneficial for the senior volunteers to gain continued learning by allowing them to pursue new interests, passions, energy, things outside of their formal work and is also a good tool for recruitment. Salesforce.com conducts senior corporate volunteering in a very whole-hearted fashion. The whole mind-set is a top-down approach from CEO and seniors and everyone gets engaged. To date, there have been 39 million grants and 200,000 proposals supported. The effective way to give financially is by supplementing the organizations with skills. Champions drive relationships and own the team
’s capacity. This increases
the stability of the project and allows them to focus on what they do, and not focus too much on fundraising. But people are busy and hard to measure their time commitment. This is also more effective for organizations because writing checks is not satisfactory. It is also important to teach the skills and experience you have, eg fundraising from private sector.
What models of senior volunteers are there and do they work?
Fun run, charity projects, community projects have been organized. Also, there have been examples of giving 1% of the product and in turn, giving product strategic advice to use the technology and rewarding people to get involved. It is also important to manage disasters and get customers involved. Another strategic model is
personal buy-in and support from the company. It is important to have the initiative championed with board involvement, communications and mentorship. There should also be more support from the government. For example, in Cambodia, senior IT groups are performing ongoing consulting to office IT systems in the target organization.