Ten million hours is a lot of time. 1,141 years, actually. So it is somewhat amazing to learn that that’s the total amount of time IBMers have spent volunteering through IBM’s On Demand Community initiative over the last five years.
Over a millennium of cumulative volunteer service in communities around the world; that’s a remarkable milestone in our journey to build a smarter planet.
That it is just one of the interesting pieces of information you’ll find in IBM’s latest Corporate Responsibility Report. The report provides an annual update on IBM’s strategies, activities and results in the areas of governance, supply chain, the environment, employment practices and community partnerships. You can access this interactive version that will let you dive into specific content and learn about how IBMers are making the planet healthier, more sustainable and smarter.
When you look at those 10 million hours of service, you can see a clear trend. Skills-based volunteering is on the rise. People are directly applying their professional talents, experience and education to local charitable efforts. This is how you build a smarter planet; not just by writing a check and making a donation, but by volunteering your knowledge to make the systems in your community smarter.
One example is Linda Adams. Linda, an IBMer in New Jersey, realized her son’s school needed a technology overhaul when a manual phone notification process failed to inform her of an emergency lockdown. So she embarked on a mission to make her local school system smarter by applying her skills, not just by donating her time. She started by transforming the school’s manual phone chain into an automated, computerized system. Through her multi-year journey of volunteering at the school, Linda came to view it as a set of interdependent systems that could be made smarter. She has since streamlined school newsletters and directories, built online calendars and curricula, developed web-based interfaces for the PTA, and more. In effect, she is taking her professional expertise as a project manager and engineer and applying it to a local, meaningful cause. [Listen to a conversation with Linda to learn more about her skills-based volunteerism.]
IBMers like Linda can access similar opportunities through an internal portfolio provided by On Demand Community, IBM’s volunteer and community service initiative. It helps IBMers find local volunteer activities and identify the skills and expertise they can contribute. It also lets IBM’s employees and retirees log their volunteer hours, thereby earning IBM Community Grants for the schools and nonprofit organizations they support. Since its inception, over 10 million hours have been logged in On Demand Community by nearly 150,000 participants.
Access the 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report for more on skills-based volunteerism and other ways IBMers are building a planet smarter.