Professional skills are currently in high demand by the community and voluntary sector. Charities either don’t have the skills in house or the money to buy the expertise. Given the current challenges with funding cuts and more demands on their services, charities, community and voluntary organisations need to look at sustainability i.e. will they be around in the long term to support their clients. Key topics include: using scant resources wisely to deliver excellent service, strong marketing including key messages to attract potential donors/funds and diversifying their income generation through innovation and creativity along with organisational specific strategy and general business advice. The KPMG Bright Ideas initiative was a perfect fit in meeting a number of the key needs of the charity sector at present.
After seeking submissions (through Business in the Community) from a range of charities, the group selected the following charities to work with: Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Coeliac Society of Ireland, Little Museum of Dublin, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and Youth Work Ireland.
The project ran over two days. Firstly there was a 1.5 hour kick-off meeting where each charity was introduced to their specific team of KPMG volunteers and the charity presented to the team about their organisation, the challenges they faced and the areas of help they wanted from KPMG. This meeting helped to set the context for the follow-on event and helped build a rapport. A week after the kick-off meeting, a Blitz Day was held in KPMG offices, where the KPMG team of 30 volunteers worked with their assigned charity on the challenges faced by each individual organiation. They collaborated with senior charity representatives to implement solutions to their specific challenges and empowered them to make positive change going forward.
The feedback obtained was overwhelmingly positive with charity representatives having the following to say:
– “A really great session thanks to your great staff for their wonderful ideas and insights into how we can bring our service to the next level”
– “Thank you very much for the expert support. It was very helpful and it gave us perspective that will inform our work going forward, that will be extremely productive.”
– “This was a very valuable experience – a great environment to have development ideas tested and evaluated”
– “KPMG were very generous with their knowledge and time they really took it seriously and worked hard with us to solve our challenge.”
Additionally, KPMG collected the following statistics:
Ann Howgego, CR Consultant Community Outreach from Business in the Community commented, “This KPMG initiative has been warmly welcomed by the charities involved. The feedback has been hugely positive. Professional skills is KPMG’s core expertise, and as a leading professional services firm it is a good fit with their CSR strategy and a great way of engaging their people. The charities have gained vital knowledge, expertise and significant value to their projects.”
By harnessing the power of our most valuable resource, which is our people, we can make a significant positive impact in the operations of these charities. This is a fantastic skills- based volunteering model that has received very positive feedback from all the stakeholders involved.