Giving Back Through Technology
It’s the holiday season, and all through the land, business is booming, exactly as planned.
There are all manner of festive events to enjoy this time of year, ranging from Hannukah to Kwanzaa. Everyone has their own way of bearing good tidings to their fellow man in a way that transcends popular culture. It’s a celebration of human generosity, love, and giving that for a brief moment, once a year, unites people in a common cause through a reciprocative culture.
This is a season of good fortune and giving back to the world. During this time, many start thinking about ways to give back to their communities, those in less fortunate situations, and how to best spread philanthropy to those who need it. Technology companies are far from exempt from this, and in fact should be encouraged to leap headfirst into the proverbial snowdrift as a means of building brand character while supporting those around them.
There are many ways to go about this. Technology experts and tech companies can find very specific activities to help those in need and actually help them in an authentic, transcendental way. Tossing a few coins in the Salvation Army bucket is fine for spare change, but what we’re talking about are groundroots initiatives that accomplish fundamental change.
How Can We Give Back Through Technology?
The best way to help people isn’t by jumping outside your comfort zone into some new field and expect to perform like an expert. Leverage what you know best. Tech industry members - leaders and workforce alike - can strengthen their local communities by putting their knowledge to good use. Supporting these initiatives with company resources, by extension, becomes an investment in universal benefit.
Anything that you put enough care, resources, and time into can be turned into a corporate, meaningful social impact program which would also help build a more engaged and loyal workforce for that company. How you interact with the outside world is seen and appreciated by your workers, generating a motivated, happy company culture. We’re going to share some examples in this article.
1. Find a Purpose
Making a difference starts with finding the niche that your company fits neatly into. What is “your thing”? What is it your company does every holiday season that integrates with your company culture, skills, and talents for the greater good? Finding that particular way your company excels in to make meaningful experiences for everyone is the backbone of any given holiday philanthropic initiative.
As cliche as it is, Christmas spirit is real… in some senses. Not in the way of making sleighs fly or snow to fall on command, but in uplifting your efforts. When you do something you actually enjoy and authentically makes you feel like you’re giving back, it’s much easier to replicate and follow through on year after year. Don’t just do any program because it’s easy or you haven’t come up with any other ideas. “Your thing” should be as enjoyable for your business as it is for the communities you’re supporting.
2. Donate Your Technical Expertise
Technology is forever inundated in our lives. However, as technological innovation and growth continues to spike, year after year, there’s going to be a sizable portion of the population that’s not able to keep up with the new advances. Not everyone is a tech wizard, and even your average computer user won’t know how to work with the complicated inner workings without a thorough walkthrough guiding them through every step of the process.
Your company has a level of technical expertise that transcends the average layman’s. That’s something that can and should be openly shared. This ranges from helping seniors understand and use their smartphone to their full potential to donating your expertise to teach a specific tech stack to underprivileged kids that want to become IT professionals one day. Spreading your strengths and skills for widespread use evens the playing field in a way that directly benefits the individual’s daily life.
3. Donate your Company's Services to Charities
Charities are the top option for companies to show their giving side year-round. The holiday season, however, happens to be a convenient time to offer your company’s resources to improve the function of your choice in charities. Whether it’s services, hardware, or skills, you can donate in a way that creates monumental positive change in how a charity is able to operate.
iTexico has long been in the business of providing personalized improvements through charitable initiatives. We’ve been directly involved in supporting quality education in our communities in Mexico:
Partnered with groups such as DataLab and Guadalajara.
High school visits to talk about the benefits of developing a career in the IT industry, organizing workshops, or bringing them to our sites.
Partnering with the Government of Zapopan, where one of our delivery centers is located, we sponsor a bootcamp for professionals hungry to improve their situation. With over 200 participants, they were taught different courses such as UX design and React.
Charities are one of the top outlets for providing situational support to people in need. While you should always donate some portion of your profits to charity, those temporary benefits pale in comparison to providing the tactile benefits of your company’s services paves the way for long-term growth.
4. Help and Mentor Girls Into STEM
STEM industries are dominated by males, a demographic that has been explicitly targeted by high-earning jobs for years. The reasons why the STEM fields are skewed so heavily towards the male audience is too complicated to go into any meaningful detail, but what’s true is that there are countless ingenious minds out there who don’t have as easy access to entering STEM industries.
Despite accounting for over half of the college-educated workforce, women in the United States made up only 29% of those employed in science and engineering occupations in 2017. You can help give back to your community by mentoring girls interested in these fields by assisting them with building confidence, trust, and leadership skills, besides any relevant technical skills, of course.
Let’s take iTexico, an Improving company, for example. We sponsor Laboratoria, and 8 month bootcamp to bring women into the IT industry. During 2019, 4 graduates from Laboratoria were hired as junior developers in our company. Investing in these sorts of programs correlates with helping individuals fulfill their dreams, even if those dreams don’t end up being in the IT industry. These efforts empower women, facilitating them to choose their own paths in life, and enabling them to pursue their goals in STEM fields is an easy way for your company to provoke change.
5. Participate in Trainings for Your Team Members
The accessible procurement of information is one of the most powerful forms of progressive development seen in the modern age. You can type virtually anything into Google and find a way to take a class on baking, repair a car, learn about quantum mechanics, or how to write code. Facilitating the means to provide consistent, salient learning opportunities should be encouraged within your company.
If you feel you are an expert in a specific field, you can offer your team coaching. Create a program where each team member gives a class monthly, quarterly, or yearly, and that way you can all improve your skills and engagement overall. Everyone has something valuable to offer, and fostering a collaborative environment where your employees can help each other grow has widespread factors beyond personal fulfillment goals.
6. Arrange Volunteer Initiatives for your Team
Nothing beats a little elbow grease. Get together with your team or favorite coworkers and do volunteer work: plant trees, cook for underprivileged communities, read books to children, you name it. The options are endless. Involvement with initiatives that use your own physical labor toward creating a better world have tangible, visual results. When you pack that Christmas dinner, you know that by the end of the day it will fill someone’s stomach. By working with the local garden, you know that the plants will provide oxygen, color, and beauty to the surrounding landscape.
7. Build a Corporate Social Responsibility Program for Your Organization
Now is as good a time as any to get started on that Corporate Social Responsibility program you haven’t started on. A solid CSR program and committee is a great place to start in order to officially support and follow up with initiatives that can improve the quality of life of those around you. Not only does this sort of outreach leave a sizable impact on the social community in your area, it reflects kindly on your organization as a whole.
Reaching out to those in need is an exercise in generosity and tenacity. Ardently pursuing a better path takes effort, resources, and time spent on a segment of the population that needs it. While it might be easier to drop a donation in the box and call it a day, personally shouldering the responsibility of caring, cultivating, and enriching the lives of your fellow man yields greater rewards than any other medium.
Using our skills and our gifts, we can use technology to help people live to their fullest potential. We can connect the passion of IT industry members with their desires to make a difference through innovation. If you’re interested in learning more about iTexico’s own philanthropic efforts, or perhaps to learn more about what we can offer your, visit us at our contact page for more information.