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Giving Back, Creating Impact, and Crushing Goals

8 May, 2015

Lisa Landis

CEBer since 2010

Here at CEB, we love goals and metrics almost as much as we love volunteering and giving back to our communities. In 2013, the CEB in the Community team felt like the time was right to put some fairly aggressive 2014 goals in place for the work that we do. We’ve always tracked our work—hours volunteered, money donated, etc.—but had never written down specific goals.

Over the past several years, we had built and improved our infrastructure and processes, and we felt ready for a challenge! In January 2014, Tom Monahan, our Chairman and CEO, shared our first-ever set of Global Impact Goals with the firm:

And in typical CEB fashion, we crushed them—surpassing each goal by more than 20%! Collectively, we:

I’d like to unpack these goals a bit more and explain how we surpassed them:

Engage 1,000 Leaders in the Social Sector—We had hoped to help better social sector leaders by sharing some of the skills, talents, and intellectual property that represent CEB’s best assets. Social sector leaders were defined as either leaders of nonprofit organizations or people like me, corporate social responsibility professionals. The definition of “engagement” varied across the year, ranging from webinars to best practice research presented to various audiences.

Deliver $2 Million in Value to the Social Sector—This large dollar sign didn’t daunt us. The amount encompassed all that we do with CEB in the Community activities: grant-making, gift-matching, board service, hands-on volunteering, and pro bono and skills-based volunteering. For those of you not familiar with pro bono volunteering, it is short for “pro bono publico,” or “for the public good” and has come to mean professional services delivered at low or no cost to social change organizations.

Volunteering, believe it or not, has a dollar value. Pro bono volunteering is of significantly higher value to a nonprofit than traditional hands-on volunteering (valued at $120 per hour versus $20 per hour; see the great work of our friends at the Taproot Foundation for further explanation). In most cases, pro bono volunteering saves the nonprofit money that it would have otherwise spent on pricey consultants or vendors.

But this is not to say hands-on volunteering isn’t of value; we participated in our fair share of those types of projects across the year. Pro bono service simply allowed us a way to have an even greater impact on a nonprofit.

Provide 30,000 Volunteer Hours—We asked our global staff to start tracking their volunteer time. It was fascinating to learn where our staff donated their time across the year, including such groups as SPARK Chicago and San Francisco, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, Richard House, Project Dirt, City Year, Ronald McDonald House, LUNGevity, and Ashoka, as well as week-long missions and international aid groups.

This CEB in the Community post is the first in its series. Check back for future blog posts, including highlights of our 2014 pro bono work and Global Impact Week 2015. To learn more about how CEBers give back, follow LifeatCEB on Instagram.

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