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Virtual Volunteerism: Solvers Get Creative About Giving Back

Virtual Volunteerism: Solvers Get Creative About Giving Back
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2022 by Carrie Clogg
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The transition to a virtual Workspace Anywhere brought new challenges—and opportunities—to how Solvers give back. 

At Businessolver, one of our core values is to Give Back. Our employees demonstrate this value in several different ways including volunteering, donating monetary gifts, and performing random acts of kindness throughout the communities where we work and live.

Last year, Businessolver fully transitioned to its Workspace Anywhere model, which presented great opportunities for Solvers to stay productive, prioritize their well-being, and better balance work and life. However, the transition also presented challenges for the Businessolver Foundation—specifically, how to engage a fully remote workforce in community service. We needed a solution for rallying Solvers—now stretched across 43 states—to engage in giving back.

In true Solver style, we found our answer in technology.

We leveraged Microsoft Teams, which we use as our virtual meeting platform, to create a nationwide virtual giving model by:

  • Dividing all employees into “Neighborhoods,” Teams channels grouped according to employees’ home region.
  • Giving each Neighborhood a share of Foundation funds to distribute to a local nonprofit. The only criteria? The organization had to match one of our three giving pillars: Mental health; STEM and career education; or diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
  • Allowing Solvers to pitch to their “neighbors” on behalf of nonprofits in their communities to receive funding.
  • Soliciting votes from members in each channel for a single organization to receive its Neighborhood donation.
  • Distributing funds and setting up volunteer efforts began with each of our newly “adopted” nonprofit organizations across the country.

What did we learn?

  • Employees like to participate and be involved in selecting the nonprofits their employer supports.
  • Using Teams channels allowed our Foundation to diversify giving—both by geographic area and expanding the number of organizations we support. This equals more impact!
  • This model allows employees to go all in on the process. From selecting the organizations we support to volunteering at organizations like Meals from the Heartland, Good Vibes in Des Moines, NAMI Colorado (Denver), and Surfers Healing on the West Coast, our employees are able to meet up with their colleagues and contribute to important causes—strengthening our organizational culture and our local connections.

Workspace Anywhere has helped open new doors and gain new perspectives about how we can can expand, diversify, and grow our charitable giving. It’s gratifying to see the Foundation following in the business’s footsteps, using our remote workforce to help (rather than hinder) our culture and stay true to our business values.

And if your nonprofit wasn’t selected by a team of Solver “neighbors,” you can still apply for support through the Businessolver Grant Program.

Happy giving!