Friday, January 28, 2011

Deloitte's Documentaries Show How Volunteerism Makes a Difference

While this is not the first time that we have profiled inspiring films and documentaries about giving back, philanthropy, and volunteerism, Deloitte has taken this concept to a higher level of achieving impact and influence both for the non-profits and organizations that they serve as well as for their own company, by not only telling but showing how they are “Making a Difference….Differently” .

Chris Jarvis, of Realizedworth, recently posted his perspective on asking the right questions of a company's  volunteer program: Not-"how much did you do?"- but rather, "what does what you do matter?"
One would suspect that Deloitte understands the point Chris has been making, as their four documentaries  titled: Skills, Fellowship, Empower, Ready, answer that very important question of: “what does what they do matter?" as well as there own well posed questions.

These documentaries are not only self promotion for Deloitte's community involvement as they share the spotlight with the charities and organizations in these videos, so that a viewer learns a lot about each of them and their the impact to their communities. Each of these documentaries starts with the non-profits talking, followed by the stories of Deloitte's employees and their pro-bono work for each of these organizations, and a message reiterating Deloitte’s key mantra, that of adding value to the charities beyond just handing them a check.

By showing the added value of skills based volunteerism, the films provide several benefits to the charities and the company: they provide the charities more publicity and acknowledgment, good PR for the company’s community involvement programs, and they also serve as a great employee recruitment and development tool.

These are the things that matter, but beyond that Deloitte has chosen to provide inspiration to others through the use of the medium of video, showcasing them not only on their company site but on YouTube as well.

I chose to post the "Skills" documentary here because of the message that using skills-based volunteering creates the most value and has the most impact. You can watch it below and link through to see the others. Or you can see the entire documentary series at and on YouTube.

Skills: “Why is skills based volunteerism so effective in eradicating effects of poverty?”
Robinhood Foundation gives grants that help New Yorkers’ build better lives for themselves and their families. They use investment principles and apply them to measure the impact of fighting poverty. Deloitte plugged into their by dedicating one of their "fellows" with six months of full time skilled volunteering to help Robinhood with  impact measurement and their  philanthropic investment returns.

Fellowship: “How can one pro-bono fellow help provide a new sense of purpose to returning war vets?”
Paralympics is an athletic competition run in conjunction with the Olympics, for veterans with injuries such as head traumas and of the spinal cord. Deloitte‘s philosophy is to match employees with the cause that gets them engaged personally. In this case, Deloitte brought in a wounded war veteran, an employee, to volunteer with the Paralympics program as well  as to help to increase the number of rehabilitation institutes that offer Paralympic sports programs as part of their rehabilitation programs.

Empower: “How can data help create a college-going culture...and change the life of a 16 year old?”
College Summit helps kids from low income communities go to college with programs that involve peer leaders, mentorships and academic training as well as provides help with college applications and raising money for their college tuitions. As part of Deloitte’s signature commitment to supporting education, Deloitte has developed for College Summit a multimillion dollar database that has helped the organization to improve their programs and better deliver relevant information to high school and colleges. An outcome of this has been an increase in college applications and acceptances for their students and an overall 20 percent increase in college enrollment.

Ready: “Can project management really help save lives?”
California, a state with constant potential for major disasters needed a comprehensive volunteer organization. Disaster Corps, a cadre of a thousand highly trained government trained volunteers was created to address this problem. Deloitte brought in a team of advisers to analyze the needs of the program, to design the technology tools for improved project management that would help define the capacity of the volunteers, leverage their skills,and coordinate the volunteer organizations to deliver the emergency volunteer services. In essence to help California better able to respond to the eminent emergencies.

For related posts with videos:

Corporate Volunteers Get Into Gear For Back To School

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