A little teamwork at Edelman Canada is set to make a big impact.
The PR firm is holding its national corporate social responsibility program, The Little Give, on June 14-16. Staff at its Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal offices will partner with eight local charitable organizations that fight hunger and poverty. They’ll be divided into teams (with each receiving $2,500 in seed money) and will have 48 hours to solve a challenge faced by the organization.
The Little Give was launched by Edelman’s Vancouver office in 2008, and the firm expanded the program to its Toronto and Montreal offices the following year. The idea is to “do something that’s going to be meaningful to employees while also giving back to the local community,” said Lisa Kimmel, general manager of Edelman’s Toronto office.
A kick-off session will take place in Edelman’s offices on June 14. Two days later, the teams will present their results in front of three guest (surprise) judges who specialize in CSR.
The event’s focus on poverty and hunger aligns with Edelman’s global CSR focus on this area, said Kimmel. (In the past it was children and youth). Edelman staff choose the charitable partners in The Little Give, with the only criteria being “they have to be really grassroots and don’t have the ability or resources to achieve a particular objective,” says Kimmel.
In 2010, a Toronto team raised $8,500 for the KUPE (Kids Understand Practically Everything) Arts Society, which provides children who have little access to musical instruments the opportunity to learn music.
Challenged with finding a home for KUPE, the team set up a “flash jam,” whereby the kids gave a spontaneous musical performance in Toronto. The Edelman team raised funds and canvassed local businesses to pay the monthly rent at a location they found with help from a real estate agent.