Six months of amplifying social impact
Everyone wants to make changes for the better – including businesses. At Business Involved, we partner companies with social initiatives, helping them and their employees to create a positive impact on the region. In our first six months, we’ve matched a variety of social organisations to companies such as Wipro, Personio, Universal and Ernst & Young. Tailored to each of their sustainable and corporate responsibility goals, we’ve provided consultation and helped create volunteering programmes. Together, we’ve begun making a lasting impact for businesses and their communities.
Amplifying impact for social causes
Social causes can benefit enormously from corporate partnership. Take Stichting Studiezalen, an organization that offers schoolwork support, life coaching, broadening horizons and positive perspectives in vulnerable neighbourhoods. This organization is a forerunner in this area. In their numerous partnerships with companies, they look not only for grants and donations, but also for long-term relationships. "With regard to corporate social responsibility, money is not always the solution," explains Bojana Duovski, advisor at Studiezalen. "The real connection can be made based on knowledge and expertise. A commercial company is part of society and can contribute to this, because citizens are also employees and vice versa."
The resources, people, capital and expertise that businesses can bring to social organisations is invaluable. However, traditional models of sponsorship or donations are not always the answer. Instead, we at Business Involved facilitate meaningful, lasting partnerships between companies and social initiatives. And we’re happy to say that over the course of our first six months, we’ve been able to show what benefits this can have for both parties.
Enriching companies’ values
Such partnerships are also hugely beneficial to businesses. With the increasing importance of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, a company’s social impact goals matter to its employees and customers. Individuals want to become more involved in their companies’ social impact goals, and companies themselves stand to benefit from making that impact as meaningful and long-lasting as possible.
Besides, social organisations have much to offer businesses. Here too, Stichting Studiezalen has gained a lot of experience as a forerunner in this field: “By working with [Stichting Studiezalen], companies can fulfil their Sustainable Development Goals or Corporate Social Responsibility, or comply with a Social Return obligation,” explains Duovski. “We are also a good advisor and partner when it comes to practically shaping policy in the field of diversity and inclusion.”
Sophie Keijzer of social enterprise Oma’s Soep says that their own corporate partnerships often yield a range of unexpected benefits to businesses. This can include “events such as galas,” but also “healthy meals and soups that are made in a socially engaged way,” as well as social shares and access to new networks.
Benefits for employees
Besides the clear benefits to a business’s social impact, partnering with social organisations does a great service to a company’s working environment and each individual employee within it. Volunteering programmes improve talent attraction and retention, encourage employees to grow and develop, and reinforce HR values such as diversity and inclusion.
During our first six months, we’ve seen this in action multiple times. In partnership with Business Involved, employees at IT company Wipro have begun volunteering at various Amsterdam initiatives. In one of the first joint activities, Wipro employees descended on the Amsterdam nursing home Vreugdehof to help with clean-up, planting and maintenance work. “It was a great day,” says Michael Quataro, chief of staff. “Everyone was super excited to participate.”
Similarly positive reactions were heard from volunteers at Personio, a young international HR software company. Team members there helped at the Koffiehuis on Haarlemmerstraat, run by and serving undocumented migrants and homeless people. “My role as an amateur chef today was special and I enjoyed it,” says Justin from Personio. “Normally I sit at the office on a weekday and go from one, often digital, meeting to another. To be able to do this is very special and I would certainly like to do this more often.”
Get in touch
Are you looking for similar opportunities for your employees that are in tune with your company’s social values? Browse our list of volunteer opportunities or speak to one of our team members to find out what Business Involved can bring to your business or social enterprise.