Thomson Reuters celebrates first global IMPACTathon
Meg Rauth VanWagner, Director, Social Impact Institute
At Thomson Reuters, our global IMPACTathon is an opportunity for employees from around the world to leverage their skills to contribute to the communities in which they live and work in pursuit of justice, truth, and transparency.
Building off a small pilot program in the United States in 2021, we launched a global IMPACTathon in the spring as part of our Global Volunteer Month celebrations by extending support to nonprofit organizations across the U.S., Canada, India, and the Philippines. More than 70 employees served as pro bono consultants sharing their expertise in technology, operations, strategy, communications, marketing, sales, and human resources.
Focused on providing deliverables that are both easily implementable and sustainable for long-term, mission-driven impact, Thomson Reuters employees volunteered over 560 hours. This equaled more than $110,000 worth in pro bono consulting services with an average of $6,400 per nonprofit in just five hours.
Post-event survey data showed that 79% of nonprofits expect their IMPACTathon project deliverables will strengthen their infrastructure — a huge achievement for a relatively small investment of time. The survey also showed this experience provided 71% of pro bono consultants with the opportunity to hone their skillsets in a new way. “Volunteering at the IMPACTathon was probably the biggest growth experience I've ever had,” one consultant said.
Much of the work focused on helping the organizations develop necessary capacity-building tools to enhance their own ability in areas not typically funded by foundation grants and individual donors. It’s genuinely a win-win: nonprofits receive expert advice, assets, and thought-partnership they might not otherwise be able to afford.
And, pro bono consultants get the opportunity to give back as well as learn more about the social good sector, dig deeper into a specific issue area they’re passionate about, and advance their own professional development by utilizing their expertise in a different way. It’s inspiring and energizing to see these cross-sector relationships blossom and benefit all involved.
Two organizations at this year’s IMPACTathon participated in our pilot last year, and here’s what they have to say about their implementation progress:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of our Thomson Reuters volunteers — I’ve built ongoing relationships; learned a great deal about branding, marketing, and communications; and have been able to employ all of it in our work. Such talented and fun people at TR! Their contributions to the Great North Innocence Project have made such a positive difference for us as we've built up our own staff capacity and capabilities.
“We now consider our work with TR to be the model for additional potential corporate volunteer engagements as we strive to connect with more people who believe in our mission and want to help. You all set the standard and a very high bar!”
– Sara Jones, Executive Director, Great North Innocence Project
“Thomson Reuters has been one of NAMLE’s most valuable partners in amplifying media literacy education for many years. In 2021, our pro bono consultant team provided ideas, examples, and strategies for increasing our effectiveness, reducing redundancy, and identifying a project management tool that worked for our team. Following the IMPACTathon, we implemented the tool organization wide and haven’t looked back!
“This year, we engaged with a team that helped us craft a plan for expanding our public relations beyond our own community. The experience of our volunteer team was critical in helping us navigate the muddy waters of press outreach and engagement and helped us build a roadmap for building relationships that will ultimately expand awareness about our work at both the local, state, and national level. Having the opportunity to expand our toolkit with the help of the experts provided by the IMPACTathon has been invaluable. We can’t possibly convey our gratitude with words for the organizers and volunteers who make the IMPACTathon happen each year.”
– Donnell Probst, MLIS, Deputy Director, National Association for Media Literacy (NAMLE)
We look forward to continuing to scale this annual event to extend our reach to organizations globally and further our social impact. We invite you to join us in the pursuit of justice, truth, and transparency by supporting our 2022 IMPACTathon nonprofit partners:
Achieve Twin Cities, Blessings in a Backpack, Bonton Farms, Hispanic Alliance for Career Development (HACE), Human Trafficking Institute, Impact Ventures, Innocence Project, KIND REPUBLIC (IMDOINGIT), Lawyers Without Borders, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, MOB Foundation, National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), Open Hands Legal Services, Sabathani Community Center, U&I Trust, United Way of Western Connecticut, Wellspring Living