As the world’s largest technology company, HP is in a unique position to use its global reach to serve billions by leveraging all of its assets to enrich society and drive sustainable economic growth. Global citizenship at HP creates long-term shared value that will benefit customers, shareholders and consumers. To pursue this further, HP launched its Pro Bono Volunteer Program in Spring 2011 to help Community Partners grow their capacity while flexing HP employees’ skills by delivering services and achieving strategic aims of each Community Partner. The program has grown from eight successful projects in the San Francisco Bay Area to include other countries such as Brazil, China and Germany, with the goal to scale the program across 170 countries where HP has a presence.
Taproot Foundation has been working with HP to develop their program and we were inspired by quality and impact of their pilot projects. We wanted to share this case study as an example of the power of pro bono to create a memorable brand story.
The Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula’s (BGCP) vision is to have all youth aged 6-18 of the Bay Area Peninsula graduate from high school with a plan for post-secondary education or training. Over the past six years, in neighborhoods where less than half of their youth graduate from high school, 85% of BGCP’s school site members have graduated from high school with a plan. BGCP has doubled graduation rates by implementing proven practices in strategic partnerships, continues to serve all youth, and motivates students to succeed academically.
Before collaborating with HP, BGCP’s vision statement reflected the organization’s national vision to provide after school programs for underserved youth. However, BGCP wanted to develop positioning that emphasized its additional core goals around high school graduate rates and postgraduate plans. BGCP made a commitment to its region to focus on additional core goals and needed a brand that also acknowledged its unique contribution to its local community. BGCP needed a comprehensive vision statement in order to attract the right constituent base. Because BGCP’s leadership desired to build upon its existing brand story, they sought out HP’s expertise through the Pro Bono Volunteer Program.
A dynamic team consisting of an HP employee who has been with the company for 20+ years, Bryan Stahmer, and a new HP employee, Amanda Peterson, led the Pro Bono Project with Community Partner, BGCP. Amanda and Bryan conducted collaborative workshops and briefings with Board members, project managers, employees, and volunteers. With the data they collected, Amanda and Bryan created a SWOT analysis identifying opportunities to emphasize BGCP’s unique contributions to the Peninsula. They created four inspirational communication themes as a starting point for BGCP’s new brand story. BGCP’s leadership worked collaboratively with Amanda and Bryan to create the final comprehensive and memorable brand story. It incorporated the themes Amanda and Bryan designed as well as BGCP’s key points that best aligned with the organization’s vision.
The volunteer experience energized both HP employees because of the enthusiasm, passion and commitment of BGCP’s leadership team. By encouraging HP colleagues to serve their community outside of the office environment, Amanda states that she felt like she was “enhancing skill sets” as she worked along side her seasoned colleague, Bryan, and an established community organization. Amanda found the Pro Bono Project to be incredibly stimulating and made her feel good about the company that she worked for. Because of the direction provided by the HP employees, BGCP was able to articulate its mission and vision statements with a memorable brand story and anticipate that this would attract more schools to partner with BGCP. This also differentiates the organization and its participants from other Bay Area non-profits and provides clarity of purpose for its target constituent base. The new brand story will be implemented into BGCP’s annual report, website, marketing materials, and social media strategies. In addition, BGCP reported that they would absolutely work with HP again.