Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Turning To ‘Virtual Volunteering’ To Do ‘Some Good’


S&P Global and REC successfully shift to “virtual volunteering” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Dailycsr.com – 11 May 2020 – People are open to volunteer even though coronavirus pandemic seem to crippled normal pace of life, as in volunteering one doesn’t have to be always physically present, as from a distance one can “do some good”. However, one needs to keep in mind certain points before venturing into “virtual volunteering project”.
The pandemic started to cast “an increasingly disruptive effect on life” in the U.S. from March 2020. And it is during that time that the employees of S&P Global were volunteering with REC, “Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center”, a non-profit based out of  San Francisco, for marking the International Women’s Day.  According to the press release of Common Impact:
“REC empowers under-served individuals facing systemic challenges, including women entrepreneurs, to start businesses that bring jobs to the local economy. They provide support with everything from inception to business planning, access to capital and resources and ongoing assistance”.
REC depends on volunteers for delivering their services. Likewise, the organisation has come up with a couple of “well-attended single day volunteer opportunities” such as “mentoring programs” programmes and plan reviews. Nevertheless, REC required to establish “deeper, longer-term relationships” with the volunteers so as to increase the impact of their work.
Skilled volunteers from S&P were working with REC to come up with plans of improving the “volunteer stewardship” and designing activities to be prepared to match the requirements of “rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic” so as to quickly move teams to “a safer, remote format” of volunteering.
Common Impact specialises in bringing companies in contact with non-profits under “skills-based volunteer projects”, whereby the organisation turned REC’s event into “a virtual engagement via webcam and screen sharing” as a result, the programme was carried on as decided maintaining same level of “communication, collaboration and high-quality deliverables originally envisioned”. In the words of a volunteer, Regine Labog coming from S&P Global:
“It was eye-opening to hear about the positive impact and high-quality support that the REC provides for up-and-coming female entrepreneurs. I’m grateful to work for an organization like S&P Global that takes such a proactive approach to giving back, and I definitely got just as much from the program as I gave. Thank you to Common Impact for serving as facilitator for the day and the REC for taking the time to share their challenges and mission with us.”
While, the chief corporate responsibility and diversity officer of S&P Global, Annette O’Hanlon:
“S&P Global is committed to creating a more inclusive economy. This partnership with REC provided a unique opportunity to boost the participation of women in the workforce, a pledge we’ve continued to promote as part of our #ChangePays campaign. We’re proud of our efforts to help improve REC’s volunteer engagement infrastructure and to increase the capabilities of entrepreneurial women.”
A survey was carried out following the project wherein all the team members were of the opinion that the event was “a useful professional development opportunity” and they recommended “S&P Global as a great place to work”, while they also added that it created a meaningful difference for REC. Moreover, the chief executive officer of Common Impact, Danielle Holly stated:
“We realize that with a virtual project, it’s best to have extra volunteers on standby, since some people may not be able to make it or their technology may fail”.
“The situation can be especially challenging when one or more team members is working from home, especially right now with school out and life in general feeling so disrupted. We’ve also found that shorter sessions are better. It can be difficult to maintain focus over several hours when looking at a screen.”