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“Don’t stop giving time and skills to your community!”

Posted: 31st May 2022

A purpose-led non-profit, connecting employers with employee volunteering opportunities, has increased its workforce from two to 10, as more businesses see the value in giving back to their communities.

As Volunteers Week (1-7 June 2022) approaches, Social Good Connect is marking its own second anniversary by making a heartfelt plea to businesses to share the professional and personal skills of their workforce with local charities.

Over 50 businesses, from small to medium enterprises to multi-nationals have already joined the movement, including Scottish National Investment Bank, Insights, DC Thomson, Thorntons Law, NCR, Ooni and Ninja Kiwi. Together, they are supporting a growing number of around 300 stretched and struggling charities.

Launched by Founder and CEO Caroline McKenna during the first lockdown of 2020, Social Good Connect attracted early-stage funding from the Scottish Government as well as investment firm Baillie Gifford and now employs 10 staff, bolstered by three interns. As part of its commitment to the Young Person’s Guarantee, the organisation provides a range of purpose-led workplace learning opportunities for young people to obtain the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to achieve positive destinations in life.

Social Good Connect’s search and match technology connects businesses, which subscribe to a monthly tiered membership enabling their employees to create a personal profile expressing their skills, interests and preferred causes to support. They are then matched with suitable in-person or virtual volunteering opportunities posted by charities, ranging from delivering food, befriending or becoming a trustee to assisting charities with finance, HR, marketing or social media.

Caroline commented, “The last two years have been incredibly hard work and exceptionally rewarding. Companies, large and small and in all sectors, are waking up to the fact that their staff really gain from volunteering, reporting a greater sense of purpose and morale boost amongst their employees. Similarly, the charities are benefitting greatly during a time when their need has never been greater.

“I’m always happy to hear Social Good Connect described as a ‘social responsibility no-brainer’, but please, let’s not let the good work stop just because we are navigating a post-Covid world or because businesses are busy reshaping and facing reshuffled priorities. Now more than ever, we need businesses and their employees to carry on giving back to the communities they serve and, ideally, not just financially. The traditional concept of volunteering has moved on massively, and there are so many ways for people to help, regardless of the time they can commit. We’re enjoying connecting these communities and making a genuine difference.”

One of the organisations to sign up this year is Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP).

Gill Simpson, Marketing and Communications Director, said, “ It can sometimes be hard to imagine how you can use your skills outside work or in the community – and Social Good Connect makes it really easy! Employee volunteering is a rewarding thing to do, and by doing it through Social Good Connect, it’s just easier. It won’t detract from people’s day-to-day work. We think that if anything, doing something for the common good will motivate people and bring something other than work into their daily lives.”

Meanwhile, James Buchan, Managing Director of Dundee-based software company Zudu, added, “People often worry about time constraints, but the benefits of employee volunteering will outweigh any concerns about having enough time to get involved. I like giving time to socially responsible projects, and I also think it can improve our productivity longer term.”

Social Good Connect is the proud winner of ‘Young Business of the Year’ in The Courier Business Awards 2021 and a regional winner in the Barclays Business Social Entrepreneur Awards 2021.
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