20 associates from Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, helped four Charlotte nonprofits find solutions to tech issues in a volunteer event on Friday, April 29, 2022. This pro bono Day of Service paired Retail Business Services Information Technology professionals with the following nonprofits:
- Stiletto Boss University Youth EntrepreneurshipProgram
- ASPIRE Community Capital
- Profound Gentlemen
- The Black Social Capital Initiative.
These nonprofits are all participants in Unite Charlotte, an initiative at United Way of Central Carolinas that provides not only funding, but also capacity-building initiatives, to local grassroots organizations advancing racial equity and addressing economic mobility. Their challenges range from creating an automated homework system for students to diversifying donor databases.
We were generously hosted by EY in the EY Wavespace, which was the perfect setting to gather and collaborate.
Enjoy a video overview of the Day of Service.
Apparo’s Technology Advisor, and lead on this event, explains the mutually beneficial value of this day, “This forum offers nonprofits a unique opportunity to explore possibilities in business and technology areas with which they are not familiar. With a small team of objective volunteer thought partners, they can discover and describe their business needs, conceptualize a plan toward resolution and identify and prioritize viable next steps. As skilled volunteers, RBS associates are offered a new way to tap their skills and expertise with out-of-the-box thinking and creative solutioning to guide nonprofits that typically do not have access to business consultation. With a small time-commitment, associates make a big impact on the community and benefit from expanded cross-departmental networking opportunities.”
We surveyed the nonprofit participants at the end of the session. 100% of respondents shared that they found the session thought-provoking, educational, rewarding, valuable and worthy of their time. They shared praise and appreciation of the RBS volunteers and the day:
- “They were super knowledgeable and they really authentically cared about our tech challenges.”
- “The volunteers were amazing. They shared ideas and solutions that would be beneficial both short-term and long-term.”
- “Loved they were down to earth, non judge mental, and provided solid advice”
- “This was extremely helpful and appreciated!”
- “Very well organized and orchestrated in a very creative space.”
- “We need more of this! Such amazing opportunity that I can see other orgs would benefit”
- “Our team woke up refreshed today after our Pro Bono consultation session…We were able to walk away from the session with a better ‘framework’ for the changes within our organization, and we look forward to building on this momentum as we enter the final quarter.”
We also surveyed RBS volunteer participants. 100% of respondents shared that the day:
- Was enjoyable, rewarding, worthy of their time, a good use of their skill set and a good way to build workplace connections
- Helped build their leadership, collaboration, communication, problem solving and creative skill sets
- Made them feel proud to work at RBS and increased their job satisfaction
They also shared their appreciation for their nonprofit partners and the day:
- “Good experience, liked the choices of non profits. The location was fantastic”
- “This was an excellent experience to learn about a local organization with significant community impact who I would not be exposed to otherwise and allowed an easy opportunity to leverage my professional skill set in service to others”
- “Great to help people that truly give back”
- “Rewarding and informative”
- “Great to apply our IT skills to help non-profits in the community”
- “Great time and very rewarding assisting non profits fulfill their mission.”
Jen Rothaker, Senior Communications Specialist at RBS shared with Apparo, “You all are rock stars! Thank you so much for organizing such an impactful Day of Service. As I popped into the breakout sessions, I was so moved to hear such productive and rich conversations. I’m eager to follow the nonprofits’ progress over the next several months!
A big thank you to Jennifer [Ray] who crafted a thoughtful agenda, kept me on track in her velvet hammer style and adroitly handled a number of twists and turns – all the way up to event day. She’s a pro! Thank you again, Apparo team. I’ll be singing your praises to other CSR friends and look forward to working together again!”