By Andrea Wong, Co-Founder & President, Endeavour
The Scope-A-Thon, a one-day pro bono program developed by Endeavour, was hosted in partnership with Capital One Canada on October 22, 2014 at Capital One Canada headquarters in Toronto during 2014 Pro Bono Week and Capital One’s ‘One Week’.
Pro Bono Week – celebrated by Endeavour in Canada – is a global celebration of the pro bono ethic across all professions that use their talents to make a difference. Capital One’s ‘One Week’ is a company-wide volunteer initiative aimed at bringing Capital One associates and local non-profit organizations together to make a difference in the community through volunteerism.
To help both professionals and non-profit leaders engage effectively in pro bono consulting, the Scope-A-Thon workshop introduced employees and non-profit participants to the topic of pro bono, including readiness criteria, common pitfalls, best practices, how to develop a good problem statement and a well-defined project scope, and pro bono resources. With guidance from Endeavour, participants applied the learnings and tools to scope a pro bono project in a few hours.
A total of 22 Capital One volunteers and six non-profit organizations participated in the Scope-A-Thon. Capital One volunteers represented employees from different business units and levels, including the Chief Operating Officer, process managers, marketing managers, financial analysts, business analyst, and data analysts. Teams were created to leverage the diverse experiences and knowledge of Capital One employees.
Non-profit participants included leaders, staff and board members from Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes, CatalystsX, Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre (Eastview Boys & Girls Club), Moorelands Community Services, Social Impact Enterprises, and Toronto Centre for Active Transportation.
During a 4-hour breakout session, teams of Capital One employees helped their non-profit partners reflect on pro bono readiness, and develop a well-defined problem statement and project scope for a future pro bono engagement. The six project scoping exercises focused on revenue generation, marketing, branding and growth strategies. Throughout the event, Endeavour advisors provided feedback and support to the teams to ensure successful outcomes.
In the vast majority of cases, the Scope-A-Thon helped Capital One volunteers gain skills and knowledge relevant to their jobs and careers. Common examples included problem identification/formulation skills, project scoping skills, and meeting/group facilitation skills. Survey results also revealed that for all or a majority of Capital One volunteers, the Scope-A-Thon achieved the following additional outcomes:
• Increased their pride in their ability to help others
• Increased their pride in working for the company
• Contributed to team-building amongst colleagues
• Increased their likelihood of seeking volunteer opportunities that use professional skills
• Prepared them to provide pro bono consulting
• Increased their knowledge of the non-profit sector.
Survey results also revealed that the Scope-A-Thon achieved the following outcomes for all non-profit participants:
• Determined their pro bono readiness
• Increased their readiness to engage in pro bono
• Helped define their problem to be addressed through pro bono consulting
• Helped identify and prioritize solutions
• Created a better project scope
• Increase their awareness of where to access pro bono consultants.
Non-profit participants also noted that the Scope-A-Thon helped them in the following ways:
• Re-evaluating the organization’s main needs
• Experiencing a ‘mind frame shift’ that helped them see new solutions
• Developing an excellent plan on how to better use their volunteer resources.
• Clarifying the organization’s vision
• Assessing organizational competencies and developing clear objectives.
Scott Robertson, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes, a partner of Capital One, said “The Scope-A-Thon was an excellent process that enlightened us on the opportunities that exist with pro bono and helped us clarify our needs.”
All non-profit representatives said they would recommend others to participate in a future Scope-A-Thon, and almost all non-profit organizations indicated their interest in applying for Endeavour’s pro bono service now that they had a project scoped out.
Check out photos from the Scope-A-Thon at Capital One at http://goo.gl/k2lOqk
Corporate Pro Bono
For companies looking to get a taste of pro bono without a time intensive commitment, the Scope-A-Thon is a good option. Endeavour also partners with companies on longer pro bono engagements over a few months. Regardless of the program, Endeavour works to ensure that volunteers and non-profit organizations are ready for pro bono success. To learn more about Endeavour’s corporate programs, contact Andrea Wong at email@example.com.
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