It was a pleasure to be a panelist yesterday at the Non Profit Initiative Luncheon featuring Amy Nisenson and hosted by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. I represented Neustar and a rep from Sam’s Club and Amy joined me on the panel.
We discussed the importance of a strategic approach to community involvement and activism from both a company and non-profit standpoint. The broad concepts of “partnerships” and “alignment” quickly became key during the panel. Namely, we agreed that to be successful, a company and the non-profit must form a mutually beneficial relationship that aligns with the core businesses of each.
The biggest take-away, for me, was that each side needs to understand the other’s business strategy.
Upon doing so, the relationship/partnership becomes dynamic, collaborative and long-lasting with results that exceed expectations. This helps to create a better community where the company’s employees work and live, while it also gives the non-profit opportunities to achieve their goals, which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. This type of relationship has the potential to be a win-win situation, but only if both parties have a community involvement strategy in place and those strategies align with one another.
I was happy to share Neustar’s community initiatives, including:
- our focus on STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics);
- our My Digital Life program, which educates and certifies students (currently in KY and VA) in digital literacy skills and responsibility through an interactive online experience;
- our relationship with Year Up, a fantastic organization that is working to bridge the technology gap by providing education and internships for underserved youth; and
- our corporate policy of providing employees with 8 hours of community service time per year.
It was a great event hosted by the Chamber and I am proud to have been part of it.