Citi and the Taproot Foundation launch Citi Skills Marathon
By Aaron Hurst, President and Founder, Taproot Foundation April 24, 2012 09:00 AM
Last week, more than 50 highly talented Citi employees spent the day using their expertise to help ten nonprofit organizations address critical capacity building projects. It is the first of hopefully many Citi Skills Marathons. We have been working with the Citi Foundation and Citi Women for the last few months to orchestrate the event and are excited to see it come to life.
The Citi Skills Marathon is using a relatively new model for doing nonprofit capacity building - the marathon. The idea is to find bite-size opportunities to impact nonprofits and pair organizations with teams of Citi employees with specific subject matter expertise in areas such as HR, marketing, or strategic planning. Citi volunteers and non-profit personnel then spend one day together focused on addressing one discrete element of organizational need. We carefully designed the projects to add value in a one-day setting, which allows for maximum impact and convenience for both the nonprofits and the employee volunteers. In addition, having all of these different projects with other nonprofits and employees happening together on the same day sends a powerful message about collective power in fostering positive community impact.
This pilot is a great step forward for Citi Foundation's 'More than Philanthropy' approach, which puts "the strength of Citi's business resources and people to work to help improve communities", and is also a tremendous learning opportunity for Citi and for other companies looking to harness the professional talents of their staff to make a difference.
The collaboration between the Citi Foundation and one of their leading internal affinity groups, Citi Women, also makes this project worth noting. Citi Women is Citi's company-wide effort to foster the ongoing development and advancement of women leaders from recruitment to senior management and this opportunity to contribute to some of Citi's New York City community partners is a great demonstration of the depth of that partnership.
It is wonderful to see a company take on not only making an impact but also trying something new in the hope that it will inform their long term work in the community and also and inform other companies. It is no surprise that when Citi offered peer companies the opportunity to observe the day, ten signed up to attend the Citi Skills Marathon. Congratulations to all of the Citi Skills Marathon participants! We look forward to hearing more about the outcomes of the great work.
If you'd like to learn more Taproot's pro bono collaborations, visit my blog, Pro Bono Junkie.