Insights on Corporate Volunteering from Singapore in the Wake of COVID-19

A look into the corporate call to action from a Points of Light APAC partner, focused on the needs of both nonprofits and social enterprises during the response to COVID-19.

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Empact, a Singapore-based social enterprise and member of Points of Light’s Global Network, recently hosted a webinar on COVID-19 and corporate response entitled, “Rethinking Corporate Volunteering to Support our Social Sector.”

Empact serves as an intermediary to bridge the gap between grant makers, corporate partners and volunteers with the needs of the social sector. By collaborating with stakeholders, Empact channels its talents, skills and resources to co-create innovative solutions for capacity building. Empact not only seeks to address the need of capacity building for organizations in the social sector, but also contributes at least 20% of its distributable profit to charities and social enterprises.

As a leader in the social space, working primarily with Asian headquartered companies, their perspective on COVID-19 response is one of cross-sector collaboration.

Uniquely, Empact calls for corporate response to support the nonprofit sector, but also the corner of the market filled by social enterprises. In fact, Empact stresses the importance of social enterprises as they address societal, unmet needs through a market-driven approach highlighting their role in economic recovery post COVID-19.

As both nonprofits and social enterprises experience decline in their overall operations, the following insights, based on 151 responses from their network of nonprofits, social enterprises, and the Global Points of Light Network, can guide the corporate community in their response:

Nonprofits Social Enterprises
Needs on the Ground: Impact of COVID-19 on the Social Sector  - 21% reported more than a 50% reduction in ability to provide services and programming
- 28% reported a significant decline (50% or more) in available funding or expected incoming revenue
- 19% experiencing a reduction in cash flow
- 18% experiencing a decline in sales of products or services
 - 13% expecting to have an impact on their human resources
Corporate Call to Action Reported by Respondents  - More funding to cover emergency costs and operations
- Leniency on existing KPIs for grants
- Technology and digitization support
-Shared best practices for what is working or isn’t working in response efforts
- Skilled volunteers to help with program delivery and strategic planning
- Grants for emergencies
- Financial backing to tide through cash flow problems
- Real-time case studies on how small, growing business can respond and rebound after crisis
- Desire to co-create resources/strategies with volunteer business consultants or SMEs for strategic planning
How Skills-Based Volunteering Can Help - Implement support in the area of technology, digital marketing, and talent management
- Share best practices contextualized to the social sector
- Skilled-volunteers in critical business needs (finance, sales, business model, forecasting, and supply chain management) can help offset costs
How to Implement Skill-Based Volunteering Through Crisis/ COVID-19 - Webinars
- Team-based, pro bono consulting
- Virtual business clinics
- Needs assessments
- Mentoring

For a deeper dive into Empact’s recommended strategy, click the link below to watch the live recording of Rethinking Corporate Volunteering to Support our Social Sector

 Additionally, the webinar slides can be found here.

Em Clarke

Senior Manager, Corporate Solutions , Points of Light

Em Clarke has been with Points of Light for a year and a half working with corporate clients through POL's Corporate Solutions consulting practice. She is motivated by her work evaluating corporate accountability and social responsibility and has spent the last five years dedicated to improving the well being of local communities through global strategy and ensuring marginalized voices are heard when funders and decision makers choose to take interest. Upon receipt of her Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership from The University of Georgia, she joined the United Way system for several years before transitioning to Points of Light. Her professional experiences include managing teams of executives working collectively to design enterprise-wide programming, volunteer days of service, and funding strategies.
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