Softchoice is a North American provider of IT solutions and services, helping small, mid-market, enterprise and public sector organizations harness the power of innovations. Softchoice operates out of over 40 offices throughout The United States and Canada.
In 2007 Softchoice retained ORENDA to help guide and provide strategy for a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Softchoice had been operating with an undefined commitment to social responsibility, and was looking for a framework and structure to allow it to measure both social and business impact. Community Investment was scattered, ad-hoc and lacking focus and commitment to a relevant cause. Employees were enthusiastically engaged in random giving programs, however the company was unable to harness that energy and direct it to one focused, relevant and meaningful social purpose.
After assembling a cross-functional /geographical “cause” committee, ORENDA facilitated the FRAMEwork® process which allowed the company to identify a focused, relevant, authentic, measurable and engaging social purpose. The committee created the Softchoice Cares brand and identified “Bridging the Digital Divide” as their core social purpose. Opportunities were identified for Softchoice employees to provide both the hardware, software, technical expertise, training and ongoing support to build computer labs in both the developing world and the underserved communities of the cities where their offices are located.
By identifying a “Signature” cause and social purpose, Softchoice has provided an opportunity for employees to work together towards a common cause, measure the impact they are making and celebrate together. This common purpose has woven its way into the fabric of the corporate culture at Softchoice, creating a unique and inspiring workplace. Softchoice has seen a dramatic reduction in attrition, has become a “best workplace” and in 2010 won the HP award for corporate philanthropy.
Softchoice has built a number of labs in North America and Africa, and has bridged the digital divide for hundreds of children and adults that otherwise would not have access to technology.
Under the Softchoice Cares brand, Softchoice has also created “Sustain-enable”, a value added service that it provides to clients to help them understand how to minimize their carbon footprint through technology. Their breakthrough interactive digital Sustainability report provides templates and tools for companies to use to measure and track their own sustainability initiatives. http://www.softchoice.com/about/sustain-enable/
"ORENDA was able to help us take our good intentions and energy and focus it in such a way as to have a dramatic effect on our philanthropic program. With some amazingly strategic advice, they were able to help us see what literally was right in front of us and in so doing has catapulted our program into a core part of the way people in our company think of us in relation to the world! The result has been that we have been able to include our employees, customers and our vendor partners in our mission. Softchoice was recently recognized by Hewlett Packard for a Corporate Social Responsibility award at the America’s Partner Conference! Thanks ORENDA!"
Nick Foster, SVP Business Development, Softchoice Corporation
Corel is one of the world’s top software companies with more than 100 million active users in over 75 countries.
Decreasing market share, economic downturn, management changes and restructuring had taken a toll on employee morale at Corel in 2009. The company was looking for a way to breathe new inspiration into the workplace, and knew that it was going to require more than bonuses, incentives and team building exercises. Recognizing an opportunity to leverage a growing interest in volunteering and charitable activities, Corel retained ORENDA is 2010 to design, develop and execute a strategic community investment program.
ORENDA began with a Discovery process which gathered the attitudes, awareness and engagement levels of internal stakeholders in the company’s current philanthropic activities, producing a benchmark to measure future results. Low awareness and engagement scores validated to Corel the need for a re-design of their current community investment initiatives. ORENDA assembled a global cause committee and facilitated the FRAMEwork® process with them to identify the most relevant and meaningful cause for the company to focus on. Technology as a means for providing access to information, innovation and creativity emerged as a focus area, and COREL selected literacy as their “Signature” cause. Through a partnership with Room to Read, Corel has committed to building libraries in the developing world and filling those libraries with language specific books designed by local illustrators using Corel software. Employees around the world are participating through fundraising and hands on volunteer experiences.
The program was rolled out in early 2011 to extraordinary response. Annual fundraising goals were exceeded within the first month of execution, and anecdotal accounts of employees reaction has been both rewarding and inspiring. Corel employees are linking arms to make a social impact- one that they can engage in, measure and celebrate the success with the children whose lives will be changed because they have been given the gift of literacy.
“Corel worked with Peggie Pelosi and ORENDA to define and realize a new philanthropic program for our organization. ORENDA expertly guided Corel through a rigorous process that enabled us to clearly define our charitable program, identify a strategic partner in the not-for-profit sector, and ensure that we achieved an end-result that was well aligned with our company purpose and brand, and that was consistent with the priorities identified by our global employees. It has been a pleasure to work with Peggie and I would highly recommend ORENDA to any organization seeking to inject a unique philanthropic dimension to their business.”
Catherine Hughes, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Corel Corporation
Atrium Innovations Inc. is a globally recognized leader in the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of innovative, science-based natural health products endorsed by health professionals.
Acquisition is critical to Atrium Innovations success. As a result they have been acquiring companies throughout North America and Europe. Recognizing the importance of providing autonomy to each newly acquired company, Atrium was looking for some way to unify the newly acquired brands. The company wanted to mobilize its employees, customers and shareholders around a unified Community Investment strategy and vision, as part of an overall commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. Understanding that there was an opportunity to make a more significant social impact, drive key business metrics (retention, productivity, brand equity), and help unify all of its stakeholders, Atrium Innovations retained ORENDA in 2010 to design, develop and execute a Signature Community Investment program.
ORENDA began with a full Community Investment (CI) audit, which involved both qualitative and quantitative internal stakeholder research. Along with in-depth interviews with key stakeholders at each of Atrium’s subsidiaries, ORENDA implemented a professional CI assessment survey to all of Atrium’s 1000+ employees in 4 different languages. The purpose of the audit was to create a baseline measurement of stakeholder engagement, awareness, attitudes and opinions of existing and future Community Investment strategy. The results solidified Atrium’s desire to create a strategic global Community Investment program. ORENDA assembled a cross-functional global Cause Committee and facilitated a FRAMEwork® process to identify the most relevant and meaningful cause for the company to support.
To positively impact the quality of health of those in need, in both the developing world as well as within the communities that the Atrium family lives and works, emerged as Atrium’s new community investment mantra, and was branded as Growing Together. The Growing Together program has both a corporate initiative that involves an International partnership with SOS Children’s Charities, along with initiatives for each subsidiary in their local communities. ORENDA worked with the committee to create a communications plan, fundraising campaign and volunteer opportunities in order to engage all of Atrium’s employees worldwide.
The program was launched globally in February, 2011 to an outstanding response. Fundraising began immediately at each subsidiary, along with planning for a 2012 employee and management volunteer site visit to the project being funded in Peru through SOS Children’s Charities . The Growing Together website (http://atrium-innovations.com/en/our-company/growing-together-program/) has been created to keep all employees worldwide up to date as well to showcase the inspiring initiatives taking place at each subsidiary. The program has enabled Atrium to stand for something strategic and engaging, while further uniting its employees worldwide and allowing them to Grow Together with each other and with their communities.
“ORENDA helped us create a CSR program that has been successful beyond expectation. In our kick-off year, without any previous experience and with the guidance and leadership of ORENDA, we’ve seen a significant impact of our new CSR program on team building, employee engagement, and morale. We are also on track to surpass our fundraising goal for our selected cause, exceeding expectations as a result of the passion and purpose the program has sparked within our employees. This team building experience goes beyond our own company and includes team building amongst sister companies, as we’ve all been able to come together in a unified way to support a common cause. Our joint efforts even in this first year will lead to a significant and tangible impact on the health and well being of children in need. Michael is a versatile and efficient leader, with the ability to present a CSR framework clearly while moving things forward and in our case orchestrating a strong and cohesive CSR program over a number of companies and in a number of different countries. We are proud to now have a very successful CSR program as part of our company culture.”
Joy Devins, Vice President Business Development, Pure Encapsulations (An Atrium Innovations Inc. Company)