Pfizer Global Health Fellows (GHF) is a sector-leading international employee volunteer program that places Pfizer employees with international development organizations in key emerging markets. Over the last decade, more than 300 Pfizer employees have improved supply chains, business operations, and health prevention in partnership with 40 development organizations.
Pfizer's long-term impact
Through the True Impact pro bono management platform, Pfizer collects post-project and 12 months post-project data from NGO partners and fellows to determine the long-term impacts of the GHF experience, finding:
- Immediate and long-term NGO capacity gains
- High employee and partner satisfaction
- Long term employee skill and leadership development
- Strategic business and corporate brand benefits
Pfizer partner long-term capacity gains:
Click here for a case study on the social, employee, and business impacts of Pfizer GHF.
Pfizer commits to a two-year cycle of Fellowship placements with each organization. Through continuity and building on past Fellowship work, the program is able to develop longer-term community impacts. Focusing on fewer partners and specific health challenges in the 2-year cycle also enables Pfizer to be simultaneously relevant to community needs and the expertise of Pfizer employees.
An example of the GHF program’s partnership model is the six-year GHF project with Mothers to Mothers, an organization committed to reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV through education and empowerment. The first Pfizer Fellows joined M2M when it was just a 4-person team, working to develop its revenue stream and infrastructure. Today, Mothers to Mothers employs 1,000 mentor mothers with HIV in seven sub-Saharan African countries.
After 10 years, the GHF alumni have become a part of the extended program team, supporting Fellows in the field, reviewing initial applications, and rating top prospects. In order to connect back to the business with a formal platform, GHF alumni formed the Alumni Business Network. The Network organizes a leadership speaking series, network events, and quarterly newsletter to promote high‐value skilled‐based volunteerism and leverage their Fellowship experience back to the business.
Click here to download the full Pfizer Global Health Fellows case study.
For the full Volunteer ROI Tracker report, click here.
For more information on how the Volunteerism ROI Tracker collects social and business impact data, or to participate, click here.
The social value of volunteerism can be measured in terms of two distinct impacts on nonprofit beneficiaries: avoided cost and increased capacity.
Avoided cost. Volunteers help nonprofits save money by providing services for free that the nonprofits would otherwise have to pay for. You can monetize the total value of these services by multiplying the total number of reported service hours for each volunteer activity by an hourly rate for each activity type: we use the Bureau of Labor Statistics as our source for this information (e.g., Food preparation and sorting is $11.28/hour, Computer networking support is $27.90/hr., etc.).
The following benchmarking data (from our most recent dataset of 29 Volunteerism ROI Tracker companies) includes the overall average value per hour of each organization’s volunteerism portfolio. So, companies with a higher percentage of their volunteer activities dedicated to high-value activities do better in the ranking than those companies with smaller percentages of high-value activities.
The graphic below illustrates the distribution of volunteer activities performed across all of the participating companies. The majority of these activities (by hours served) included traditional, or “hands on” volunteerism, with relatively low value per hour. Skilled-based volunteerism, which on average had three times the value per hour of traditional volunteerism, made up only 15.7% of all volunteer activities analyzed.
* Excludes activities classified as “other”
This table illustrates heavy weighting of participants’ portfolios towards traditional volunteerism, as compared to higher-value skilled-based volunteerism:
> Column 1: the range of activities recorded by volunteers
> Column 2: the total hours performed of each activity
> Column 3: the value per hour of each activity
Increased capacity. Volunteers can help improve nonprofit capacity in three ways:
Increasing efficiency (i.e., enabling the nonprofit to use fewer resources -- in terms of time or money -- in performing its operations or delivering services)
Increasing effectiveness (i.e., improving the success rate of the nonprofit’s services)
Increasing reach (i.e., enabling the nonprofit to serve a greater number of beneficiaries)
You can measure these impacts in terms of resulting resource savings or increase in successful outcomes, and also monitor how frequently these effects occur among your volunteer projects. The following graphic illustrates how frequently volunteers reported capacity gains across our benchmarking group:
Together with the economic value of the volunteer services provided, the following table summarizes the range of these benchmark results:
N = 44,053 respondents, 29 companies
Select Findings/Best Practices. Together, these results strongly support the current trend in the sector towards encouraging more skills-based volunteerism (i.e., where volunteers apply professional-level skills) as a way to increase social impact. Additional findings:
National Volunteer Week is almost here! Your t-shirts are ordered, your events are planned, and your employees are ready to make a difference in their communities. Using your existing projects and assessment systems, we'll provide easy tips that will help you to:
- Ensure employee engagement and skill development
- Generate the greatest social value, while also driving business interests such as brand development, recruiting, sales, and stakeholder engagement
- Measure social, employee, and business impacts - with the tools you already have
By the end of this brief workshop (20 minute presentation + Q&A), you’ll have a set of concrete tactics for maximizing and measuring the value of your volunteer events. Join us!
The recent news from Yahoo’s Chief Executive to end remote working arrangements for several hundred employees brings a spotlight to the benefits of bringing people together to build employee engagement and productivity.
As employees increasingly telecommute, work across national and international sites, or even in large departments, a persistent challenge is the lack of ‘passive face time’ that can foster relationships and spark innovation. And therein lies a key benefit of many community involvement programs, particularly traditional (or “hands on”) volunteering: bringing employees together to build relationships and camaraderie around worthwhile, fulfilling, and energizing tasks.
Engagement is a measure of employees’ commitment and affinity to the company, and is a proven driver of people to putting in their best work. It’s about having employees excited to be part of the company, and is driven by many factors, including workplace opportunity and fulfillment, strong management, compensation, and values.
Volunteer programs are an opportunity for companies to speak to employees’ personal values and enable employees to live those values at work. Further, volunteerism also strengthens the social capital – i.e., the personal networks and relationships – that generate engagement. Indeed, of the 12 questions in the Gallup Poll’s popular Q12 Employee Engagement Index, two questions are specifically about personal relationships at work:
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
- I have a best friend at work.
Whether your company uses the Q12 or some other methodology to track employee engagement, consider borrowing some of its component metrics to track how your individual community engagement programs contribute to these engagement effects. For example, our Volunteerism ROI Tracker surveys collect data from volunteers on the effects of specific volunteer activities on job satisfaction and team development. Such measures can provide crucial insights that help prove the value of your programs – and illuminate opportunities to improve their value.
Where Traditional Volunteer Activities Win
For all of the recent (and well-deserved) attention being paid to skills-based volunteerism and pro bono service, our research has found that skills-based volunteerism had greater social and business impacts than traditional volunteerism in every category except one: team development. In our latest study of volunteerism’s social and business impacts, including more than 44,000 volunteers from 29 companies over the past two years, 57% of volunteers performing hands-on, traditional activities reported new or stronger team relationships compared to 48% of skills-based volunteers.
Top 5 volunteer activities reporting new or stronger colleague relationships
Painting, construction, handy work
Landscaping and grounds keeping
Market research support
Janitorial and cleaning
Social service support activities
Volunteers report significant team benefits from traditional volunteerism:
- “By working side by side doing manual labor, I got to see my co-workers in a much different environment than I usually do”
- “Working together for a common purpose reminds us how much we rely on each other in our daily work”
- “I met HQ staff whose names I recognized only on email. It was terrific to stand shoulder to shoulder with them in an effort to complete the project. I had the opportunity to relate to them in an different way than as we do at work”
Employee volunteer programs become even more essential as colleague relationships cross regional and cultural boundaries. Volunteer programs that nurture human interactions are key to engaged employees, locally, remotely, and globally.
For more information on the social, employee, and business impacts of volunteers, read our white paper on the 2013 volunteer activity findings.
As the New Year approaches, many of us will make resolutions to eat well, quit smoking, or exercise. Despite the booming New Year’s resolutions business, making better choices a habit can feel overwhelming.
Measuring the impact of your CSR programs can generate the same feelings. CSR managers all know they should be measuring the impact of their program, but getting started on a measurement program can feel daunting.
It doesn’t have to be that way. First, consider how resolving to make 2013 your year for impact measurement will have long-term health benefits for your CSR programs.
The Benefits of CSR Measurement
Measurement communicates impact (not just generosity)
Measurement enables you to report on the value of your programs to both your external and internal stakeholders. Instead of relying on anecdotal evidence, you can share concrete data with senior leadership, employees, customers, and the community. Reporting the dollar value of the services that your company’s volunteerism provided to nonprofits is powerful and tangible evidence of the impact of your programs.
Measurement improves management
Measuring the impact of your programs improves decision making as you move forward with your programs in the coming year. For example, if lowering staff turnover and recruitment costs is a goal, track which volunteer activities generate the greatest job satisfaction and engagement. Once you identify the top performers, you can plan more of those activities -- or incorporate design elements of those top performers into your other volunteer activities.
Measurement proves you (and your programs) are worth it
In these times of budget cuts and layoffs, connecting the value of your programs to your company’s bottom line can help ensure stability and growth. When seniors leaders see the correlation between skill development (which lowers training costs), overall employee satisfaction (which lowers the turnover rate), and even sales leads (which can lead to increases in revenue) with your programs - it’s difficult to justify cutting budgets and staff.
How to Implement CSR Measurement (and Make it Stick)
So, now that you’ve made the resolution to make 2013 your year of impact measurement - where and how do you begin? You can apply the research on the psychology of making resolutions “stick” to your Impact Measurement Resolution.
One step at a time
Pick one area of your CSR program to measure. Trying to measure everything at once is a recipe for feeling overwhelmed, so you’re less likely to follow through with your commitment. Select just your volunteer program. Or, just your skills based volunteer program. Or, just your skills based volunteer activities for one quarter. Once you master this small step, taking on other areas to measure will be less daunting.
Get the word out
Let know team, your managers, your CSR colleagues at other corporations know that you are resolving to measure the impact of your programs this year. Show them some of your preliminary data. Brainstorm ways to use the data to improve your program’s impact. Having others onboard will help keep you accountable for following through. Seeing other’s enthusiasm for your results will be inspiring to stick to the plan.
Make it easy
Simplify and automate. Make impact measurement something you don’t have to think about implementing, but a core, automatic process. For example, quarterly surveys that ask employees report on the impact of their volunteering or non-profits to report on the impact of your corporation’s philanthropy can be pre-scheduled and automated. Schedule your surveys for the year. Done. Plan in place.
Get help when you need it
There’s a reason Personal Training is a booming business. Life coaches, business coaches, executive coaches...you name it, there’s a coach out there to help you with the resolutions in any area of your world. When people feel stuck or unmotivated, a bit of coaching can go a long way. This can come from experts -- or even from peers on the same path.
At True Impact, we're passionate about helping CSR managers to prove and improve the value of their programs through practical measurement solutions. We make measurement simple, practical, and compelling. We serve as an impact measurement coach and partner; and we offer case studies, free webinars, implementation tips. And of course, our ROI Tracker Tools are a series of web-based surveys to measure the impact of your Volunteer, Board Service, Green Team, and Grant initiatives.
We’d love to help you succeed with your resolution to make 2013 your year for Impact Measurement. Call or email today!
A client recently asked why we focus our Volunteerism ROI Tracker surveys on active volunteers instead of the broader employee population. Doesn’t focusing on the employees who have drunk the Kool-Aid of CSR skew results?
Indeed, taking the temperature of your entire employee base's interest in volunteerism is important for understanding the reach and awareness of your volunteer program. Adding a question to the annual HR survey will also measure volunteer rates if you suspect that employees are not reporting or tracking their actual volunteer hours. In light of the low usage rates of "dollars for doers" programs, non-volunteers might tell you if your program is really as user-friendly as you think.
Several studies explore employee awareness and perception of corporate community involvement programs. The results? Most employees value volunteerism and CSR initiatives, even if they don't volunteer. An interesting insight, but not very useful for improving the value of your volunteer program for employees or the community.
We approach data collection by focusing on how information can make real change. It’s what the Boston Center for Corporate Citizenship calls actionable measurement, one of their Seven Drivers of Effectiveness for employee volunteer programs. Volunteers are best equipped to inform volunteer managers on, for example, skills gained and networks developed. Employees who don’t volunteer might offer insight on how to make your volunteer program more convenient, but not how it drives business and social ROI.
What non-volunteers can tell you about your employee volunteer program:
- Convenience and resonance of volunteer program with employees
- General belief about the importance of volunteerism and CSR
What volunteers can tell you about your employee volunteer program:
- The impact of volunteerism on job satisfaction
- What professional skills are gained and strengthened by your community initiatives
- If engagement develops new relationships with potential clients, partners, and other stakeholders
- New recruitment opportunities
In addition to your own volunteers, the best informers for improvement are other companies. The Volunteerism ROI Tracker provides a benchmarking scorecard ranking your impact with data from volunteers at some of the wold’s most respected companies, so you’ll have real context for your social impact and business performance.
January 17, 2013
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Morgan Stanley Headquarters
1585 Broadway, New York City
Join A Billion + Change and the Association for Corporate Contributions Professionals (ACCP) for this special event, where we will ignite a conversation on how corporate skills-based volunteering is emerging as a key strategy to engage employees and meet critical community needs. This event will spotlight the passion and innovative skills-based volunteerism of corporate change-makers across a variety of industries, who are all committed to lending their best and brightest to help nonprofits build stronger futures for our communities.
Come and network with leaders in industry and civic engagement, share best practices and trends in skills-based volunteering, and learn about A Billion + Change, a swiftly growing national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono services from corporate America. More than 255 of America's favorite brands have taken the A Billion + Change pledge to create or expand a skills-based volunteer program to lead meaningful social change. To learn more about A Billion + Change, visit: www.abillionpluschange.org.
Register online (Free for A Billion + Change pledges and ACCP members)
Karen Davis, Vice President, Hasbro Children's Fund
Meredith Fontecchio, Manager, Brand, Communications & Community, Deloitte LLP
Michael Haberman, President, PENCIL
Daniel Horgan, Senior Director - Community Affairs, Capital One
Jamie Horst, Director, Community Engagement, Alcoa Foundation
Farron Levy, President, True Impact
Susan Portugal, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Bank of America
Mark Shamley, President & CEO, Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals
Space is limited, so register today on ACCP's website!
This year marked the launch of The Civic 50, a national initiative led by the National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light, and Bloomberg News, to comprehensively evaluate the community engagement practices of the nation's largest corporations. The goal: to recognize those companies employing the most progressive civic-engagement practices, while illuminating the path for others to follow suit.
Measuring civic engagement is not an easy task. With input from a broad range of corporate, nonprofit, academic, and government leaders, The Civic 50 ultimately created a multi-tier rubric for assessing corporate practices and policies across a range of dimensions. True Impact was privileged to provide technical expertise and the web-based infrastructure to help translate The Civic 50’s rubric into a national survey and evaluation process.
The following outline summarizes key principles of The Civic 50’s innovative rubric -- sound guidance for evaluating any program or initiative, CSR-related or otherwise.
3 Guiding Principles for Program Evaluation
1. Be outcome focused (begin with the end in mind)
What does success look like? Define that, and then collect data that helps you to evaluate performance compared to that end goal. The Civic 50 working group ultimately identified seven characteristics (or dimensions) that definied successful corporate community engagement. These dimensions became the foundation upon which the data collection (survey) and evaluation (scoring structure) could be built.
Seven Dimensions of Engagement
Measurement / Strategy. How strategic a company is in designing its programs, and how well it tracks its performance towards achieving those goals.
Leadership. How involved the company’s leadership is in guiding and supporting its civic engagement programs.
Design. How well the company’s civic engagement activities are integrated into the company’s operations.
Community Partnerships. The company’s level of stakeholder engagement, including feedback from employees and community partners.
Employee Civic Growth. How civic engagement programs recognize volunteer efforts, build employee skills, and nurture talent and leadership.
Cause Alignment. How the company addresses issues, whether reactively based on outside pressures, proactively based on company assets, or in a way that aligns the company’s mission with community capacity in order to solve social problems.
Transparency and Awareness. How transparent the company is in their civic engagement, including public relations, cause marketing, and disclosure of environmental and labor practices.
The following table summarizes the performance levels required to achieve each medal status (bronze, silver, and gold) across each of the seven dimensions:
2. Use metrics that reinforce your objectives (mixed methods are OK!)
Often "success" is defined by multiple characteristics, with varying criteria and levels of importance. A single rating approach may not be sufficient to accommodate these differences. The Civic 50 provides a good example of mixed-method evaluation, including qualitative rating (for text responses), quantitative scoring (for multiple choice responses), and scoring on a curve (for open-ended quantitative responses). Further, responses to particular dimensions were weighted more than others, to reflect variations in importance.
Such flexibility with measurement methods is essential if your subjects are multidimensional and nuanced. Additional details:
The Civic 50 surveys included long-form qualitative responses detailing the structure, impact, and institutionalization of corporate civic engagement programs. Using a scoring rubric of the seven dimensions of civic engagement, multiple evaluators reviewed each submission's qualitative responses, assigning points to each question. Final scores for each question were calculated based on an average of all the evaluators' ratings.
Companies earned points based on their responses to multiple-choice questions capturing the frequency or scope of their community engagement activities. To control for corporation size, points were awarded based on percentages reported and not net values (e.g., the percentage of employees engaged, not the total number of employees engaged).
As part of the quantitative scoring process, some questions were evaluated on a curve. For questions with a continuous distribution like volunteer hours or pro bono services per employee, companies were scored on a curve (again, accounting for size). Consequently, a company in the 25th percentile performed better than 75% of the other ranked companies, even if the performance of all of the companies clustered around very high or very low values.
3. Practical implementation
Finally, it doesn't matter how logically sound the design of your data-collection and evaluation structure is if it's not practical to implement. That means ensuring that the process is easily understood and implemented by both those who are submitting information to be evaluated and those who are conducting the evaluation. Examples include:
Economy. Extraneous survey questions increase the burden on respondents and evaluators. The Civic 50 was careful to streamline questions and identify those similar to the CECP’s Corporate Giving Standard (CGS), to reduce work for applicants.
Specificity. In order to delineate between levels of engagement, specific indicators for bronze, silver, and gold responses were incorporated into the scoring regime. These indicators acted as “bright lines” to ensure evaluators rated each company proposal with a common understanding what types of answers earned what level of points.
Simplicity. Even with a large amount of data to collect and review, the entire process -- from the initial Participant Packet, to the the web-based survey tool, to the evaluator interface -- employed clear and consistent categorizations and user-friendly point-and-click tools to help applicants, judges, and managers to easily navigate the process.
To learn more about The Civic 50, visit www.civic50.org, or contact Civic50@NCoC.net.
To learn more about True Impact's proposal management and evaluation tools, click here.
The Green Team ROI Tracker, True Impact’s latest web-based measurement tool, helps calculate the impact of employee-led sustainability projects. This series provides step-by-step instructions for how you can measure the impact of your own Green Team initiatives, using frameworks embedded in the ROI Tracker.
With analysts forecasting a 40% global water shortfall by 2030 and a host of associated financial, regulatory, and reputational risks to business, companies are increasingly attentive to strategies for tracking and conserving water.
The following organizations offer a range of useful resources:
- The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has many resources for water sustainability at work. In collaboration with Irbaris, IRRC Institute and Ceres, WBCSD developed a free excel-based tool, Ceres Aqua Gauge, to help companies assess, benchmark and advance their water management approach.
- For a tactical guide to conservation, WaterUseItWisely.com provides 100 Ways to Conserve Water.
- The EPA WaterSense program lists many resources to help corporations save water. The Fix A Leak Week encourages individuals and companies to check fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks (Download the Fix A Leak Week PDF). They also certify water-efficient products and appliances through the WaterSense program.
- The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) has developed a water sustainability tool to help you better understand and guide your own organization's relationship to water.
Strategies for tracking & measuring excess water use
Regardless of what strategies your organization adopts, tracking and measuring your activities and water-reduction impacts is key to proving, and improving, the value of those strategies. Here are four simple examples of how to conserve water and measure changes in water use.
1. Tighten leaky faucets
According to the EPA’s WaterSense program, a leaky faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.
How to measure: Count each sink that is leaking water from the faucet or the base of the spigot, and multiply that number by 3,000 gallons per year. This calculation assumes water leakage of one-drip-per-second, so if a faucet drips rapidly (two drips per “Mississippi”), multiply your result by 2. (If you’re using our Green Team calculator, count that faucet as two faucets in the calculator).
2. Stop running toilets
A constantly running toilet uses 200 gallons of water or more every day – the equivalent of washing 20 loads of laundry. (Source: U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Water Science)
How to measure: If you can hear water cycling through a toilet after the bowl is full, count it as a running toilet. Multiply the number of running toilets at 200 gallons per day by the number of days running to calculate annual water loss.
3. Test leaking toilets
Leaking toilets are also called “silent leaks,” often caused by a broken or degraded flapper that leaks water from the toilet tank to the bowl. A silent leak can waste up to 7,000 gallons of water per month. (Source: EBMUD Water Smart Tips)
How to measure: To test for leaks, add about 6 drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and leave it for a half an hour. If the water in the bowl becomes tinted, you have a leak between the tank and the bowl. Check and replace toilet flappers that may be causing leaks, and count each leak at 84,000 gallons lost per year.
4. Seal irrigation leaks
The U.S. EPA WaterSense program calculates that a running irrigation system with a leak the thickness of a dime can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month. Here are two options for measuring a leaking irrigation system.
How to measure:
a. Flow meter
With permission of your buildings and grounds or facilities manager, turn off the main cut-off to isolate the irrigation system from the water supply. Using the system’s flow meter, determine if the system continues to use water. The flow meter will alert you to leaks and measure the amount of water lost.
b. Counting Leaks
If you cannot measure a leak through the water meter, check irrigation tubes for leaks, nozzle seals for water, and sprinkler heads for weeping. Count each water leak from the system as one leak, wasting 75,600 gallons per year per leak, according to EPA calculations.
Measure Your Impact with the Green Team ROI Tracker
True Impact’s Green Team ROI Tracker uses embedded sustainability calculators to quickly provide you with environmental impact data on your Green Team initiatives. The ROI Tracker measures employee environmental impact on water through dollar savings and gallons of water saved. The impact data provided by the Green Team ROI Tracker will help justify your water-reduction efforts and reduce your water risk.
For more measurement tips for Green Teams, see our comprehensive Green Team ROI Tracker Measurement Guide. To learn more about True Impact’s measurement work, get in touch.