Tomorrow, the Realized Worth team will be in the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the United Nations for an historic announcement. It will be a “call to action” to the private sector to join IMPACT 2030, a global initiative to advance the practice of global volunteering. This is a game changer!
By Chris Jarvis
Why corporate volunteering matters
At Realized Worth, we believe the focus and energy of corporations mobilizing and supporting employee investment in community is revolutionary. For years, such actions have been philanthropic and charitable in their objectives. Now companies are tying these activities to concepts such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) and shared value. This new strategic alignment has positioned these formally philanthropic activities as essential components of an overall global business strategy. Employee volunteering provides an effective strategy with which to address often negative relationships that exists between business and society. This potential becomes even more profound given the backdrop of weakened nation states and globalized societies.
Corporate volunteering programs work towards a more civil society on a global scale, producing direct benefits for the community, the company, and the employees themselves. Employee volunteering goes beyond the efforts of CSR strategies in its unique utilization of social capital. Corporate volunteering programs enable employees to mobilize their personal resources for broad social benefits. The employees not only leverage the assets of the business, but also combine these assets across broader social networks utilizing trust and localized norms of cooperation.
IMPACT 2030 is a collaboration between the private sector, the United Nations, civil society, academia, and philanthropic organizations.
In 2011, Will Kennedy reached out to Realized Worth about the possibility of doing something to increase the global capacity of corporate volunteering. Will is the Programme Officer at UN Fund for International Partnerships. Together we developed the idea for IMPACT 2030, a business-led global collaboration between the United Nations, the private sector, and civil society organizations. The idea was to work with all sectors to increase the number and impact of corporate volunteers on a global scale. To provide an overarching framework for the initiative, we decided to align these efforts with achieving the United Nations’ Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals over their anticipated 15-year life.
Actions speak louder than words
IMPACT 2030 is a collaboration between the private sector, the United Nations, civil society, academia, and philanthropic organizations. Founding partners and collaborating partners are providing significant financial and human capital resources to establish this one-of-a-kind initiative. Each company has committed to strategically align and mobilize employee volunteer actions towards one or more of the sustainable development goals in the form of capacity building and civic engagement, raising awareness for the significant contribution being made by corporate volunteers around the world.
The big idea
The overall objective is to advance the practice and impact of corporate volunteering to advance the achievement of the post-2015 sustainable development goals. This objective will be achieved through a bi-annual global summit, along with substantive work conducted during the 2 years between meetings. This will leverage the convening platform, global influence, and mandate of the United Nations to promote dialogue and action among leaders across all sectors.
We believe this will advance the practice and impact of corporate volunteering to advance the achievement of the post-2015 sustainable development goals, which includes:
- Promoting awareness of the sustainable development goals to the business community globally and the appropriate use of corporate volunteerism to contribute to achieving the goals.
- Creating and facilitating avenues for cooperation between companies, the United Nations, governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, and civil society organizations to initiate joint commitments and actions where human capital skills and competencies are featured.
- Developing a framework comprised of existing definitions and data around corporate volunteering that will create protocols and principles across companies, industries, and regions across the globe that will align with the sustainable development goals.
- Creating and maintaining a global diversity of IMPACT 2030 through multi-sector regional voice forums.
- Developing and executing a yearly evidence-based research study that tracks both the growing impact of employee volunteering on the sustainable development goals and the collective results of the IMPACT 2030 network on the development agenda.
In September of 2015, the UN will host the inaugural IMPACT 2030 Summit, led by the CEOs and senior executives of the founding partner companies. The summit will be held in conjunction with the adoption of the sustainable development goals.
We are inviting the private sector, NGOs, governments, academic institutions, and noble families to join IMPACT 2030. Together we will provide employees the tools, support, and connections they need to make a meaningful difference in communities where they live and work. Be sure to connect with IMPACT 2030’s newly launched social platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.