BIG Alliance recently celebrated the conclusion of a very successful Community Resourcing Programme (CoRe) for 2017. Launched by Macquarie Group in 2009, and delivered in partnership with Slaughter and May since 2013, CoRe is an established skills based volunteering project that uses the business skills and competencies of volunteers from both organisations to build the capacity of the local voluntary and community sector. Over a six month period, organisations and volunteers work through a structured programme, starting with a 'Deep Dive' session to clearly define the scope and objectives of the project, before beginning the project work itself. Groups come together at the halfway point to share challenges and learning before the celebration event at the end of the six months. The collaborative nature of the project is key to its success with volunteer teams made up of employees from both companies, ensuring there are complimentary skill sets within each team.
This year, the CoRe programme saw an impressive total of 55 volunteers from Macquarie Group and Slaughter and May deliver over 1,220 hours of support to eight community organisations and leverage over £61,000 of in-kind support. Volunteers were asked to use their business skills to deliver strategic projects that helped meet business objectives. Projects focused on projects such as financial analysis, developing marketing materials, undertaking a feasibility study and writing a successful grant application for a new website.
94% of volunteers reported using their negotiation, problem solving and strategic thinking skills through the project. Volunteer feedback also showed how volunteers felt the project benefited their own personal development with one commenting: “I am very linear about how we think of our skills and having this recognition that there is a broad application is very helpful”. Another said, “It helped me realise that I can do a lot more than my day-to-day work with my skill sets.” When surveyed, 100% of community organisations said they would recommend the programme to others, with one charity saying: “It has been eye opening - transformational for us.”
The impact that volunteers had through the programme was recognised at the recent Islington Volunteer Awards where Laura McCarthy Cronin, Associate Director at Macquarie Group, won Employee Volunteer of the Year for her work on the programme with Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation.
You can read the full CoRe Programme 2017 evaluation report here.