Just over a year ago VA Partners joined the 1% Pledge. The 1% Pledge is a corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making the community a key stakeholder in every business. VA Partners is pledging 1% of employee time for their communities. This time is not taken as vacation, but paid time for VA Partners employees. VA Partners had donated time to many different causes since our inception, but this was mainly on an ad hoc basis. The 1% Pledge allowed us to better structure our volunteer plan. Over the past year, VA Partners donated 130+ hours to a mix of local and international causes. Here are a few of the organizations our team members worked with from August 2016 to July 2017.
TEDxToronto is Canada’s largest TEDx event, a platform for exceptional ideas, and a catalyst for profound change. In addition to the annual, one-day conference, which draws a diverse and passionate array of speakers, performers, demos and audience members, TEDxToronto runs community programming throughout the year exploring issues with local relevance. Talks from the conference have been viewed millions of times around the globe and six of their speakers have been featured on TED.com, one of the world’s leading platforms for big ideas. One of the VA Partners teams members volunteered as a project manager.
Bay Street Hoops
Bay Street Hoops is one of Toronto’s largest sports-related charity events. The tournament brings together fun, community and charity to make sports more accessible to children and youth in Toronto. Typically, over 600 players from Toronto’s leading law and accounting firms, financial services companies and other corporations, as well as hundreds of spectators and volunteers, attend the tournament and its related events. Two VA Partners team members volunteered this year, supporting their website and producing a series of videos for the 2017 tournament.
Daily Bread Food Bank
Daily Bread Food Bank is a registered charity that is fighting hunger in our communities. A distribution hub, Daily Bread provides food and support to almost 200 food programs across Toronto. Daily Bread also works towards long-term solutions to hunger and runs innovative programs to support people on low incomes. The whole VA Partners worked in the food sorting at the main warehouse in the fall of 2016. We make this a yearly event.
Farm Radio International is the only international non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to serving African farming families and rural communities through radio broadcasts. They currently work with more than 650 radio partners in 40 sub-Saharan African countries to fight poverty and food insecurity through high-quality radio programs that help small-scale African farmers help themselves. Together, they reach tens of millions of small-scale farmers with life-changing information and opportunities to have a stronger voice in their own development. VA Partners help to find corporate partners and donations. Farm Radio International is particularly close to VA Partners Co-Founder Mark Elliott, as his grandfather, George Atkins, started the organization.
If your organization would like to get involved with the 1% Pledge, check out their website.