It was 2008 when the name Realized Worth was born. On Toronto’s Queen Street, Chris Jarvis and I walked the length of the streetcar tracks and painted a verbal picture of the future. We spoke in broad and colorful brush strokes of CSR programs built for efficiency and trainings that inspire action and of volunteering as a conduit for transformation. As ideas took form in the air around us, the months and months we had already poured into developing our business finally began to feel worth the struggle.
“… we are offering people the opportunity to be transformed by the experience of volunteering. We are giving them a chance to give of themselves, realize their own value, and offer that value to others.”
And it was a struggle. We believed in what this company would become, so while we maintained a living with our day jobs, we spent every spare hour in learning from people who knew more than we did. The most important thing we did those first few years was just listen. And as we listened, the identity of our company took shape.
It was a hot evening in Toronto, so we stopped at the park just after Woodbine to sit in the cool grass and continue our conversation. As we watched the evening stream by, Chris’ tone became more reflective.
“Who are we to help companies ask their employees to volunteer? Who are we to ask anyone to voluntarily give their time to anything?”
After a brief pause, he finished his thought:
“But you know what? That’s not what we’re doing. Instead, we are offering people the opportunity to be transformed by the experience of volunteering. We are giving them a chance to give of themselves, realize their own value, and offer that value to others.”
That afternoon, we started referring to the work we were doing as “Realized Worth.”
Needless to say, it stuck.
Since then, the consulting practice of Realized Worth has grown dramatically. We’re proud of our fabulous clients and honored to guide them in the design and implementation of their programs. But the most important thing we do remains what it was in 2008: listening. Our work requires us to learn, to perceive the needs of the field as it changes, to adapt to the challenges practitioners face, and to innovate beyond best practices. Listening requires hours of time spent on special projects, research, and thought leadership outside of our consulting practice. It also requires collaboration with academics and researchers, as well as partnerships with foundations and nonprofit organizations. Together, we learn, push the field forward, and achieve greater ends.
With this in mind, Realized Worth is pleased to announce the launch of the RW Institute. We finally have a platform to take action on the broader issues that are essential to move the practice of corporate citizenship forward and, most importantly, to invite you to take action, too.
What is it?
The RW Institute (RWI) is a think tank founded by Realized Worth. While Realized Worth continues to concentrate its consulting efforts on guiding companies in the design and implementation of volunteer programs, the RW Institute, functioning separately, will focus entirely on broad efforts to advance the practice and theory of corporate citizenship through innovative projects, research, analysis and public policy advocacy.
How does it work?
The Institute is comprised of an association of stakeholders who are committed to removing existing barriers and promoting the practice and theory of corporate citizenship on a global scale. Additionally, the Institute provides a practical mechanism offering ongoing development to employees playing leadership roles in their company mobilizing fellow colleagues towards voluntary pro-social leadership.
This work is expressed through two primary activities:
1. Stakeholder Tables
RWI Stakeholders are invited to initiate stakeholder tables that work towards the removal of barriers to corporate citizenship such as; a) limited resources, b) issues of scale, c) inconsistent global policy and legislative frameworks, and c) limited data to gain buy in and commitments from senior and mid-level managers. Stakeholder Tables typically represent multiple social sectors and form around the themes of practice, projects and research, allowing for collaboration towards shared goals that promote the practice and theory of corporate citizenship on a global scale.
2. Training and Development
The RW Institute offers specialized regional and virtual campus trainings designed specifically for both program managers and employees leading community investment programs across the company.
Who is leading RWI?
The RWI Leadership Council provides oversight on behalf of its identified beneficiaries and benefactors. These volunteers ensure that the Institute achieves desired results at acceptable cost and avoids unacceptable actions or situations and unnecessary risk. Please learn more about RWI’s outstanding leadership council here.
How can you get involved?
There are three ways to actively participate in the RW Institute:
1. Become an Affiliate
Affiliates are entities (individuals or organizations) willing to formally connect to RWI and invest in the establishment and long-term operation of RWI. The investments may refer to financial gifts, in-kind services or goods as well as investments deemed of value by the RWI Leadership Council. Effectively, RWI Affiliates comprise a giving circle that decides together how best to use collected funds and resources to achieve the objectives of the Institute.
2. Initiate a Stakeholder Table
If you represent an organization that has a vested interest in the practice of employee volunteering or giving, you are invited to explore initiating a stakeholder table. These tables of like-minded organizations and individuals work towards the removal of barriers to corporate citizenship such as: a) limited resources, b) issues of scale, c) inconsistent global policy and legislative frameworks, and c) limited data to gain buy in and commitments from senior and mid-level managers. stakeholder tables typically represent multiple social sectors and form around the themes of practice, projects and research, allowing for collaboration towards shared goals that promote the practice and theory of corporate citizenship on a global scale.
Become an RWI Friend
We are looking to create a broad network of like-minded individuals to create massive social change effected through policy, practice and innovation. We’d love to have you contribute your ideas with us and share in the journey towards a better tomorrow.
Join us on Friday, April 29 for the first ever RWI informational webinar.
- Friday, April 29
- 1:00 pm EST
Meeting number: 738 193 860
Join by phone
1-650-479-3207 US TOLL
Access code: 738 193 860
Realized Worth designs and implements corporate volunteer programs for companies around the world. Want to discuss your program with us? We’ll be happy to hear from you! Find us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Co-founder/Partner, Realized Worth
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