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30 Jan. 2018 | Comments (0)

EY Community Impact provides an immersive volunteer experience that delivers EY services to nonprofits that otherwise could not afford them. During one- to three-month assignments, Community Impact “Residents” share the best of EY’s knowledge and experience to strengthen our communities, while building leadership skills that strengthen their own careers.

When we look around today, we see broad societal challenges everywhere—issues like deepening inequality, jobless growth, and lack of opportunity for young people. At EY, we feel a responsibility to address these issues and demonstrate that business can be a force for social good. We also believe that EY is uniquely positioned to take meaningful action by sharing the best of our knowledge, business skills and experience with local nonprofits that are aligned to the three focus areas where EY can make maximum societal impact: supporting entrepreneurs, education, and equity in the workforce.

One exciting way we are making maximum societal impact through skills-based volunteering is through EY Community Impact, an immersive volunteer program that allows EY professionals to support nonprofit organizations in their home towns whose missions align with EY’s corporate responsibility strategy.

EY Community Impact “Residents” take one to three months away from their regular responsibilities to embed themselves fully within the nonprofit, working on specific stretch assignments that develop and sharpen their business and leadership skills. In return, these nonprofits receive our world-class professional business services, including the knowledge and experience of our people—a valuable benefit they could not afford on their limited budgets.

One recent example is Craig Villanova, an EY experienced-hire recruiter based in Secaucus, NJ. Craig supported Junior Achievement for three months in developing a diversity and inclusion strategy, revising and updating their recruiting and selection toolkit, and developing an employer branding strategy, a passive talent engagement strategy toolkit and a social media toolkit. His contributions will be shared with Junior Achievement offices nationwide and implemented at future learning conferences. “Working closely with [Junior Achievement’s] chief talent officer and office presidents to identify their challenges, and then developing the core strategies that would be the foundations of the deliverables, was most rewarding,” Craig said. “It was that ‘aha moment’ that helped me see the value I could deliver to the organization that would result in tangible changes to their diversity, inclusion, and broader recruiting challenges.”

Each skills-based EY Community Impact residency not only challenges our people to stretch and grow in ways they may never have thought of before, but also aligns their distinctive skills and competencies to the nonprofit’s needs. Anna Sevastyanova, an audit practice senior manager based in New York, volunteered at Endeavor, a nonprofit that mentors and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs globally. In addition to learning about the entrepreneurial world and its various sectors, business models and challenges, Anna saw the entrepreneurs' need for financial and accounting skills and the value in sharing even basic accounting knowledge. She said: “This project made me appreciate my experience and the skills I obtained throughout my career even more.”

EY leadership also sees the benefits of the program. David Gay, EY Milwaukee Office managing partner, was an early adopter, recognizing an opportunity for the Milwaukee office to make a unique difference both in the community and with EY people. “Our local United Way benefitted from having a business issue solved by a talented young professional they wouldn’t otherwise have had access to, and our EY Community Impact Resident built his business acumen by leveraging his EY skills in a different setting,” said David, “ All the while, we reinforced our global purpose of “building a better working world”.

Since Residents complete their assignments in their hometowns, there is no additional cost required to run the program, which will allow us to bring this program to scale across the US in the near future. We also plan to extend the program to countries outside the US within the next year, bringing even more opportunities for EY professionals to have transformative experiences that also benefit their local communities.

  • About the Author:Deborah Holmes

    Deborah Holmes

    Deborah established and leads the Americas Corporate Responsibility (CR) function at Ernst & Young LLP. Working to increase the firm’s social impact, the CR team has a particular focus …

    Full Bio | More from Deborah Holmes


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