Blackbaud employees embarked on a special virtual give-back activity this month in partnership with Common Impact, a nonprofit organization that connects skilled volunteers to nonprofits in need of their expertise. Thirty employees from a range of departments and locations, including Canada, Costa Rica and eleven states in the U.S., came together for our first Pro Bono Pitch Competition. Employees were paired with two nonprofits, Christina’s House and Wings for Kids, to develop capacity building strategies and to help solve a problem presented by the nonprofit.
The event took place over four hours, beginning with an overview of each nonprofit’s challenge and a question-and-answer session so employee volunteers could really dig into the finer details. Soon after, employees were split up into teams and entered the incubation tank, where they quickly came up with feasible solutions to the challenges presented and a plan for implementing them.
The pinnacle of the event took place when all teams came back together to pitch their proposed solutions to the nonprofits to see whose idea would be the winning one. “I wish we had more time! I would have loved to spend all day doing this!” said Shannon Mumblo, Christina’s House executive director.
Blackbaud employee Elizabeth Favre, a technical writer, shared, “This was a really inspiring and re-energizing experience. I’m excited to get back to my Blackbaud work to help [our nonprofits partners] succeed!”
The event gave many employees the opportunity to collaborate with new colleagues for the first time and meet people across regions and business units that they wouldn’t normally interact with in their regular jobs. While there were ultimately only two winning ideas chosen, all of the solutions pitched that day became valuable assets for the nonprofits participating, as they were able to take all ideas back to their teams.
The impact that volunteers made that day will be long lasting. “Getting to work with individuals outside my department to support a non-profit –our real purpose felt met today” shared Laura Grannell, manager, Education Services, Blackbaud.