Common Impact Blog

Common Impact, SVP Boston and Impact 2030 Post Strong Results from Citywide Day of Skilled Service

Skills for Cities delivered an estimated $80,000 in pro bono service to Boston nonprofits helping to advance UN SDGs

By Krista Van Tassel | Oct 25, 2018

BOSTON, MA – October 25, 2018 — Common Impact, a national leader in skills-based volunteerism, Social Venture Partners Boston, a nonprofit focused on local engaged philanthropy, and Impact 2030, a collaborative that uses corporate volunteerism to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrated the power of cross-sector collaboration and skilled volunteerism through Skills for Cities Boston, which took place on September 25, 2018 at The Boston Fed.

Skills for Cities, a one-day cross-company skilled volunteer event, was created to activate skills-based volunteerism as a powerful tool for social change in Boston, connecting the talent of the city’s workforce to its powerful social sector. More than 80 volunteers from 14 corporate participants including Berkshire Bank, BNY Mellon, Fidelity Investments, PwC, Cigna and more, collaborated to support strategic capacity-building projects at 15 Boston-based nonprofits.   

Skills for Cities provided an estimated $80,000 in pro bono services to the Boston community in just one day of service and delivered on the promise to increase longer-term engagement that will have a lasting impact on the city. Over 90% of volunteers and nonprofit leaders believe that the work they did during Skills for Cities will make a real difference for the organization. The event forged new partnerships and long-term connections as over 70% of volunteers indicated they will continue to lend their professional skills to the nonprofit they supported at the event, and 93% of nonprofits reported they made a new corporate connection.

“What made this model so unique is that it shifted the lever of change and the focus of volunteer efforts from one company to multiple companies, thus magnifying the connections, the scale and the impact that can take place during a single day of volunteer service,” said Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact. “In addition to collaborating across sectors, teams also partnered across companies to create unconventional partnerships that unlocked innovative solutions to our communities’ greatest challenges.”

Participating nonprofits were selected for their innovative approaches to tackling persistent community challenges that also deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) to reduce poverty, ensure good health and well-being, provide access to quality education, and promote decent work and economic development for all. The UN SDGs serve as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future by 2030 and Skills for Cities Boston was designed to more closely and tangibly connect Boston’s service efforts to the achievement of these goals. Over 60% of volunteers stated that they have increased awareness of the goals and ways they can personally advance them through volunteer service. One-third of participating nonprofits report that they have a better understanding of the connection of their local work to these global goals.  Additionally, Berkshire Bank was honored at the Impact 2030 Summit with an Innovation Award for the Skills for Cities Boston model.​

“If we are ever going to noticeably move the needle on the UN SDGs, we are going to need cross-sector and cross-organization partnerships like the one that took place in Boston,” said Gary Levante, Vice President of CSR at Berkshire Bank and the Regional Voice Lead for IMPACT2030. “We believed this model would work, but we are thrilled to see the incredible results, as this event engaged new participants in the goals, delivered meaningful impact and helped demonstrate a new approach to meeting our global commitments.”

After the event, an advisory board of Boston’s businesses and social sector players – across industry and size – will convene to shape the 2019 Skills for Cities Boston day of service as well as the launch of this initiative in other U.S. cities. Skilled volunteerism is one of the fastest growing trends in community and employee engagement, according to research from the CECP. In fact, 68% of participating Skills for Cities Boston volunteers were new to pro bono service. While Boston was the first city to host this new model of cross-sector collaboration and volunteerism, the event will be scaled to support skilled service in cities throughout the U.S.

“It was inspiring to see real global change happen in our backyard,” said Jessie Cronan, CEO of SVP Boston, “Boston is just one of many cities lucky to have civically-engaged leaders and community-minded volunteers willing to work on these tough issues. We look forward to sharing this model with others and supporting on-going engagement in the city.”

Corporate and nonprofit leaders interested in bringing a Skills for Cities event to their community should contact Common Impact at info@commonimpact.org.

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.

About SVP Boston
Social Venture Partners Boston is a diverse community of leaders investing time and money in nonprofits working to close the opportunity gap in the Greater Boston community. By combining expertise and giving, Social Venture Partners’ engaged philanthropy model has a transformative impact on the nonprofits with whom we partner, setting them on a path to grow at four times the rate of their peers.

About Impact 2030
Impact 2030 is a private sector-led initiative, in collaboration with the United Nations, social and public sectors, and academia, with the unique mission to activate human capital investments through employee volunteer programs to advance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Contact
Krista Van Tassel
kvantassel@commonimpact.org