Next Tuesday, December 1 is Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement which inspires people to make a difference in their communities.
To participate, look for #GivingTuesday on LinkedIn and Twitter and learn about the people and organizations driving change.
To get started, we’re sharing a list of four nonprofit organizations that are confronting issues made worse by the pandemic, such as hunger and educational inequality.
First, Some Background
Before the pandemic hit, the focal point of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities was our own nonprofit organization, NS2 Serves, which enables veterans to earn free SAP certifications and places them in high-tech careers.
As of fall 2019, 335 post-9/11 veterans have graduated from the program, each of them receiving an employment opportunity. Once they successfully integrate into the workforce, they quickly become an invaluable asset to their organization.
Training and recruiting veterans isn’t about providing handouts or pure patriotism – it’s a good business decision that positively impacts the bottom line. And, our NS2 Serves program is one of the most meaningful ways we give back to our nation’s defense community—a significant part of the customer base that we serve.
However, CSR can’t always be about strategy or the bottom line. First and foremost, it’s about people. When people in our own backyards are struggling to meet the basic needs of their families, the business community has a responsibility to step up.
Challenges Worsened by the Pandemic
When the pandemic hit, we reached out to nonprofits in communities where our employees live and work. We simply asked, “How can we help?” What we learned was not surprising.
The opportunity and wealth gaps that existed before the pandemic had widened drastically, especially in two ways:
- Access to Food: The hunger crisis grew more severe as millions were forced into unemployment.
- Access to Education: Students without access to reliable internet or technology at home were suddenly at a major learning disadvantage.
Since March, we’ve recalibrated our community efforts to help address these urgent challenges. We’ve donated more than $200,000 to nonprofits addressing food insecurity and educational inequality.
Our Top-Four Picks for #GivingTuesday
This #GivingTuesday, take some time to learn about the nonprofits serving your community, and think about how you can help advance their mission.
Here are some that we support and recommend:
- The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools: “Access for All” and the “Kids in Need” funds
- Capital Area Food Bank: @foodbankmetrodc
- Feeding Tampa Bay: @FeedingTampaBay
- Philabundance: @Philabundance
Our Next Chapter in CSR: NS2 Gives
In summer 2020, we launched NS2 Gives, our new CSR program focused on three strategic pillars that foster digital inclusion and create opportunity for all people with a particular emphasis on underserved people and communities.
As part of the program, we’re holding our first-ever “Season of Service” through the end of the year to connect employees with volunteer activities that bring together individuals’ passions, expertise, and leadership skills to make a difference. Here’s a snapshot of our progress to date:
- $115,000 in monetary donations
- 200+ blankets for children
- 100+survival bracelets for our troops
- 80+mural paintings for hospitals
- 20+veterans mentored (in partnership with Hire Heroes USA)
We’ve also distributed dozens of protective masks, activity kits and backpacks for children at homeless shelters.
Stay tuned for more information about NS2 Gives. In the meantime, we hope to see you online for #GivingTuesday.