As a result of COVID-19, more companies are beginning to realize things like community engagement, corporate social responsibility and social purpose are not just nice for an organization to have…
They’re absolutely essential.
In this episode of B2B Tech Talk, Keri Roberts catches up with Jamie Ferullo
, the Director of Advanced Computing at Ingram Micro
and Jennifer Owen
, the Senior Account Executive at United Way of Buffalo and Erie County
. They discuss:
- How organizations can create new opportunities for generosity in the current climate.
- How United Way brings organizations together to create systemic community change.
- How Ingram Micro and United Way align on social causes for greater impact.
- How companies can use technology for corporate social responsibility.
The vision: thriving communities
This last year has been unlike any other in our lifetime.
But that hasn’t stopped United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. Before COVID-19, 40% of families in Erie County were living in financial hardship, and COVID-19 has only spurred them on to fight to rebuild an equitable and more resilient community. Because when families in our communities struggle, it impacts us all.
The leaders at United Way are dedicated to bringing people, organizations and resources together to create systemic community change. They envision a thriving community achieved through collaborative leadership.
That’s where Ingram Micro meets them. Sharing values of collaboration, integrity, accountability and service, it makes sense that Ingram Micro and United Way would team up to serve their communities.
“These are the communities we all live in and as an organization you’re only as good as the communities you work in, so it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we’re giving back and doing everything we can to help these communities thrive.” - Jamie Ferullo
The plan: adapting creatively
Ever since lockdowns and quarantines, organizations have had to create new opportunities for community service.
United Way of Buffalo and Erie County had to cancel events, but that didn’t mean they were done working. It just meant they had to get creative and adapt to the current situation. As everything began to shut down in the spring, they saw an even greater need among local food banks. So, they established a way to do a contact-less food drive in their parking lot. The result? They collected 10,000 pounds of food that they were able to contribute to local food banks.
Recently, they started getting other local businesses to participate in their campaigns, which resulted in more engagement and ultimately more funds raised for the community.
The partnership: Ingram Micro
Ingram Micro and United Way align on several foundational areas they’re trying to improve upon: things like early education, financial stability, and health and wellness. Because they share values, they’re able to share vision and execution to make sure they have as much of an impact as possible
Both Ingram Micro and United Way tend to be aggregators of vendor products and solutions. A unique strength of United Way is how they work their network locally and globally to make sure they’re partnering with other charities to maximize the impact all organizations can have when they work together.
Ingram Micro knows things like community engagement, corporate social responsibility and social purpose drive business value; corporate social responsibility can help attract and retain employees, build trust in a brand and create community impact.
“We’ve been forced to be more agile, more flexible, and to really listen and make space for collaboration.” - Jennifer Owen
The future of technology
Technology is a perpetuator of corporate generosity. Without technology, campaigns would be slow-going and less widespread. It would be nearly impossible to organize contact-less events, presenting both internal and external challenges. Because of the way technology revolutionizes communication and increases efficiency and security, organizations like United Way are able to engage partner organizations and expand fundraising efforts to create equitable and more resilient communities around the United States.
Learn more about Buffalo United Way or find your local UW office here.
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