The Cloud's Silver Lining
To use the company’s time, talents and technology for social good. That’s the straightforward mission of Appirio Silver Lining, the corporate responsibility arm of the global cloud services provider Appirio. VolunteerMatch is thrilled to welcome Appirio as a partner; they are aiming for the sky, and they are reaching it: Since its launch in 2010, the Silver Lining program’s employee participants have donated over 15,000 hours, $350,000, and helped over 400 different nonprofits.
How do they do this? Three things: Professional pro bono services, paid time off for volunteering, and company-sponsored group volunteer activities.
Pro Bono Services
Since Appirio is a service provider, they don’t necessarily have physical products to donate. But what do they have? Technical expertise. A recent pro bono project was getting Can Do Canines set up on Salesforce.com. Can Do Canines, an organization that matches services dog with the people who need them, calls this a game changer – they can match people with dogs easier and more efficiently than ever.
Topcoder is a fascinating crowdsourcing platform developed by Appirio. It uses competition and rewards to encourage the world’s top developers, designers and data scientists to work on important problems while building their skills. In October, Appirio announced an initiative to donate the power of its topcoder community to the American Cancer Society (ACS). How? They’re developing a mobile app that will help ACS accomplish its goals in their fight against cancer. What’s unique about topcoder is that it extends to hundreds of thousands outside of Appirio’s employee base, creating an exponentially effective way for Appirio to spearhead positive change.
Paid Time off For Volunteering
Appirio offers employees 8 hours of volunteering time off (VTO) per year. Employees can use these hours for whatever cause activity they’d like. Kathleen Foley, Proposal Manager at Appirio and Silver Lining Committee Member, recently used her VTO to help out at Winter Nights, a rotating shelter that gives homeless families a warm place to sleep. Kathleen led fun activities for the kids, such as making paper bag puppets. “I tried to provide an experience where the burden of homelessness was lifted, and they could just be kids,” explained Kathleen. To learn more about Kathleen’s experience, read her blog post.
Company-Sponsored Volunteer Activities
One day a year, every Appirio employee takes the day off from their regular business and goes out into their communities to lend a hand. Dubbed “Future of the Cloud Day,” it sends Appirio employees to food banks, homeless shelters, youth programs, and more. For last year’s Future of the Cloud Day, employee Mark Klinski helped out by doing yard work for elderly residents of Fremont, California. “Not a huge, flashy thing that a lot of people are going to… notice, but for one particular person, this Future of the Cloud task will make a really big impact,” explained Mark.
Appirio employees in Japan work on a volunteer project for Project Linus during Future of the Cloud Day 2013
This year, Appirio is strategically pairing Future of the Cloud Day with #GivingTuesday. Both will take place on Tuesday, December 2nd. Appirio Silver Lining has over 40 regional volunteering events planned, and anticipates donating over 9,000 hours on this single day.
Furthermore, they are partnering with 92Y this year. 92Y (known in length as 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association) is a nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people from all over the world through culture and art. Appirio donated its time and talent to build a Salesforce Communities site for 92Y, to make it easier for people to interact online. They also created branding assets and toolkits so 92Y users can promote #GivingTuesday right from the site. Immediately, 92Y saw increased signups, more groups and more discussion. Kait Sheridan, Director of Partnerships and Programs at 92Y raved, “[Appirio]… went above and beyond the scope of the project to research and implement the best solutions for our platform.”
Appirio is encouraging its topcoder community of over 700,000 developers, designers and data scientists to get in on the #GivingTuesday action. They can join Appirio at regional company-sponsored events, or participate in virtual volunteering. Appirio is asking them to report their hours and causes in order to track the full impact of their #GivingTuesday efforts.
And join us in welcoming Appirio to the VolunteerMatch community. We look forward to hearing about more clouds finding their “silver lining”.