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Pro Bono Perspectives, the New Podcast Seeking to Inspire Social Impact

By Leon Kaye


Common Impact, a nonprofit that pioneered corporate skills-based volunteering, is launching a new podcast – Pro Bono Perspectives. Hosted by CEO Danielle Holly, Pro Bono Perspectives is the latest in a series of Common Impact initiatives focused on showcasing the people, organizations and ideas that are shaping new models for purpose-driven work.

As millennials and Generation Z professionals are determined to make significant social impact through their careers, this workforce demographic shift offers an opportunity to rethink how corporate responsibility practitioners - or really, all and any professionals, for that matter - can engage at work and in their community to create sustainable positive change. Skills-based volunteerism is a growing engagement model that can bridge the professional development and community impact gap for the next generation of leaders.

“I am constantly inspired by the people who touch our work and help to make our communities better -- the nonprofit leaders who work tirelessly towards their missions, the corporate employees who pole jump over the standard ‘way of doing business’ and the cross-sector chameleons who are able to bring people from different backgrounds, experiences and values together,” said Common Impact CEO and Pro Bono Perspectives Podcast Host Danielle Holly. “Now, I have the chance to share the stories of the people who drive our work – and me – every day.”

Be sure to tune into the podcast series today, Tuesday, October 2, as our own Dave Armon will talk about next month's 3BL Forum and the brands taking stands movement that is transforming corporations' role in society.

TriplePundit recently caught up with Danielle Holly to learn more about this series.

3p: Who should listen to this podcast, and why?

DH: Pro Bono Perspectives was developed to inspire anyone interested in social impact. The podcast features interviews with everyday leaders from all backgrounds and provides an in-depth look at their career and how they apply their experiences to create a meaningful impact in their communities. In creating this podcast, our hope was to provide our listeners with real-life examples of how to navigate across sectors as well as build a career in social change work no matter their interests and skill sets. Pro Bono Perspectives examines the increasingly prevalent  idea of a purpose-driven career and provides listeners with both inspiration and tactical next steps to be a change-maker in their own communities.

3p: What are you hearing from corporate responsibility professionals out there?

DH: We have all heard about the social conscious of millennials, and as this generation moves into leadership positions, we can see an increasing demand to create tangible, meaningful impact in their day-to-day work. They want their employer to take a stand on issues of social and environmental importance, give back to the communities in which it operates and involve them in the process. This trend appears to continue as Generation Z enters the workplace.

We are also continuing to see a real need for capacity building with nonprofits. Movements like the Full Cost Project reinforce the social sector’s need for infrastructure support. This creates a huge opportunity for skilled volunteerism. Research also indicates that there is growing corporate interest in skilled volunteerism with more than 50 percent of companies managing a formal skilled volunteer program. But along with the growth in demand come some challenges. Skilled volunteerism is something that works incredibly well when done right, but needs to be approached in a way that appreciates and fully utilizes the perspectives and skills of participants from both the corporate and nonprofit side of the partnership.

Common Impact has described the components of successful skilled volunteerism (a panoramic perspective, skill sharing and sticky relationships) through a concept we call The Knitting Factor. Our podcast conversations with cross-sector leaders and practitioners support this concept while also providing practical guidance for organizations and individuals who want to create meaningful change on a personal, professional and community level.

3p: What do you hope Common Impact can achieve with this podcast series in a year from now?

DH: Our hope is that our listeners are able to take what they heard from our podcast guests and translate that into action in their own lives - whether that means finding a new passion for social impact, activating their inner 'intrapreneur' within a company, or becoming a change marker in their community on an issue that gets them out of bed in the morning. At Common Impact, we know first-hand how pro bono, when done right, can have a transformational impact on a nonprofit organization and their surrounding community. We hope that Pro Bono Perspectives demystifies pro bono work and brings it to life for people of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences - whether they are working at a large fortune 500 company or entrepreneurial nonprofit. We also hope to bring new voices to the conversation to help lower the barriers to entry for small to medium sized businesses and encourage people to feel empowered to get involved in purpose-driven work no matter where they are in their careers.

Future episodes will feature social impact leaders such today's podcast with Dave Armon; Rachel Hutchisson, VP Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy at Blackbaud; and Colleen Olphert, Director of Membership and Member Services at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.

Image credits: Common Impact


Leon Kaye headshot

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

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