Common Impact Blog

Common Impact Announces New Initiatives to Build Nonprofit Capacity through Pro Bono Service

Programs Focused on Disaster Resiliency, Citywide Engagement and Virtual Education Will Expand Skills-Based Volunteerism

By Krista Van Tassel | Jan 22, 2019

NEW YORK, NY, Jan. 22, 2019 — Common Impact, a national nonprofit leader in corporate skills-based volunteering, is launching a model to engage private sector talent in supporting community disaster preparedness and resiliency, as part of a broader expansion of its program models and leadership team. The move is designed to meet the demand of U.S. communities faced with recovery from wild fires, hurricanes, and other disasters brought about by climate change, with long-term preparation and recovery services from catastrophic events.

Today more than 50% of companies offer a formal skills-based volunteer program to engage employees who are seeking a purpose-driven career and drive positive, long-term change in their communities. Additionally, the recent spike in both natural and man-made disasters such as the 2017 hurricane season and the 2018 fires has highlighted the need for coordinated and targeted corporate engagement to help impacted communities.

Common Impact has appointed Molly Weinstein as Associate Director, Field Building to lead this expansion. In this new position, Weinstein will direct the evolution and growth of cross-sector projects focused on disaster resiliency and climate justice, virtual education tools for pro bono service and the expansion of Skills for Cities, a Common Impact-led model for city-wide skilled service and impact.

“We are excited to have a tenured staff member and proven pro bono leader like Molly shepherd this important and innovative work for the organization,” said Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact. “As the potential for skills-based volunteerism continues to rise, Common Impact is in an exciting position to move beyond working with individual nonprofits and companies, and activate the power of pro bono service to help solve some of the most overarching, complex challenges our communities face.”

Weinstein was selected for this role because of her extensive experience building cross-sector coalitions that achieve positive social change. In her tenure at Common Impact, she has designed, launched, and scaled skills-based volunteering programs for leading Fortune 500 partners, including Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments. Through these programs, Molly has overseen over 400 nonprofit capacity-building projects, providing an estimated $3.5 million in services to the social sector. Weinstein has presented at a number of industry conferences, including CR Magazine’s Commit Forum, Points of Light and VolunteerMatch, on topics such as developing female leadership through skills-based volunteerism and scaling pro bono impact for nonprofit organizations. She graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in history and political science.

New Initiatives to Support Skilled Volunteerism

Building Community Resiliency & Climate Justice
Skills-based volunteerism can be a powerful way to help communities prepare for disaster and support their ability to recover more quickly when one inevitably strikes. While the private sector can be relied upon to respond to disasters through financial and in-kind support, these efforts often address only the immediate needs, not longer-term recovery or resiliency efforts. Through a new program focused on disaster resiliency and climate justice, Common Impact will define a more effective and informed role for companies and their employees to support environmentally vulnerable communities across the United States. This work will help the private sector move from responsive to proactive engagement on crisis recovery efforts and will define the important role that pro bono service can play in helping affected communities sustain ongoing social services, meet new acute and unanticipated needs and recover from the impact of disaster more quickly and efficiency.

Delivering Open Source Tools
As the benefits of skills-based volunteerism become clear to the social sector and corporate partners, so does the need for widely accessible resources and tools to effectively connect pro bono professionals with capacity-building opportunities and ensure more successful outcomes. In 2019, Common Impact will update, enhance and relaunch an interactive version of The Readiness Roadmap, a go-to resource for self-serve pro bono tools and guidance. The new tool will educate nonprofits at their initial point of exposure to skill-based volunteerism, connect organizations to skilled volunteers who can provide quality pro bono service and support them throughout their engagement from scoping project readiness to reporting results.

Expanding Skills for Cities
Following the success of the inaugural Skills for Cities Boston, Common Impact is expanding this innovative model for a citywide day of skilled service to new U.S. cities in 2019. The event in Boston lowered perceived barriers to skilled volunteerism by inviting organizations of all sizes and industries to participate. Nearly 70% of volunteers participating in Skills for Cities reported being new to pro bono service, and the event delivered an estimated $80,000 in Social Return on Investment or SROI to the greater Boston community.

About Common Impact
Common Impact is a national nonprofit that works to build a society in which individuals and businesses invest their unique talents towards a shared purpose: strengthening the local communities in which we live and work. Founded in 2000, Common Impact has partnered with Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of the country’s leading nonprofit organizations to create this transformational change through skills-based volunteering. Learn more about Common Impact’s servicesimpact, and clients.

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