SUCCESS Gives: a Look at 2023 Pro Bono Projects
At SUCCESS, our purpose is to “use what we do well to make life better for those around us.” We’ve found a way to use our various skills in IT, finance, marketing, teaching, and more to help our community. Throughout 2023, our employees identified organizations close to their hearts who could benefit from what we have to offer.
Two of our biggest projects this year were with Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, which provides free social and emotional support for anyone currently impacted by cancer, and Clare Housing, which provides affordable housing and supportive communities to optimize the health of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Gilda’s Club Twin Cities
Taylor Goetz, Marketing Manager at SUCCESS, had the opportunity to use her skills to support Gilda’s Club through social media. Working alongside their Marketing Coordinator, Taylor sourced content, created graphics, and drafted posts and stories for their Instagram profile. This content focused heavily on fundraising, Gilda’s Club news, and resources and activities for members. Taylor remarks:
“I have several family members who have had cancer and I wish we would’ve been aware of Gilda’s Club when they were going through treatment. The support groups and resources they offer are endless. My mom serves on the board and through her, I’ve been able to learn more about all the wonderful things Gilda’s Club does to support our community… this organization is outstanding and working with them made me feel like I had a real impact on their mission.”
Taylor also gained new professional insights through this project. She noted that she was challenged to consider how brands represent themselves to the market, which she has translated back to her role at SUCCESS to determine how we want our audience to feel when they interact with our brand.
Lindsey Myers, Project Services Engineer for SUCCESS, also worked with Gilda’s Club through her expertise in IT consulting. Gilda’s Club “has a special place for me because of how much support and love they showed my Mother-in-Law,” says Lindsey. “She has multiple myeloma and has found a lot of comfort with Gilda’s Club and its community.” Lindsey’s gift of IT came into play by advising Gilda’s Club on their wireless solution and making tailored suggestions to the organization’s situation and the work that they do. She also gave them money-saving ideas for their IT budget and guided the team to learn more about non-profit tools that are available to them, such as Tech Soup and SharePoint.
Lindsey reflected that this project required a different mindset than her usual role as an engineer. She says:
You get to take a step back from the nitty gritty details and have a real partnership with them to find what they need… I think that being an engineer in my day to day allowed me to give them advice beyond the product’s promises of perfection and being a consultant gave me a great opportunity to take another look at client perspectives.”
SUCCESS’s Director of Training and Development, Alex Storey, had the opportunity to create an e-learning course that was not only educational, but also engaging and relatable for the staff at Clare Housing. Alex remarked that, in the process, he learned a lot about HIV/AIDS as well.
To address the stigma around HIV/AIDS effectively and empathetically, Alex collaborated with Clare Housing’s Human Resource Specialist Angela North. They discussed and identified the specific behaviors and skills that the staff needed. “This involved developing interactive and animated content that was easy to digest and self-paced, ensuring that learning was accessible and convenient,” says Alex. “Our approach was learner-centric, tailoring the course to meet the unique needs and experiences of Clare Housing staff.”
The opportunity to support Clare Housing resonated with Alex, who is committed to using his professional skills for meaningful causes. He looked forward to making “a real difference in the lives of those living in Clare Housing and the staff supporting them. This project aligned perfectly with my passion for creating impactful learning experiences and contributing positively to the community.” Alex confirms this project was a significant milestone for him professionally, as well as being valuable on a personal level. Designing an informative, empathetic e-learning course on a sensitive and vital topic was both challenging and rewarding. He says:
“It deepened my understanding of the challenges faced by individuals living with HIV/AIDS and highlighted the power of education in breaking down stigmas. It was a reminder of the importance of empathy and informed understanding in our interactions with others.”
In reflecting on the meaningful work by our employees this year, we take immense pride in our team’s commitment to leveraging their skills for the greater good. Witnessing the positive impact of our collaborative efforts on these community-driven causes has fueled our enthusiasm for the coming year. In 2024, we anticipate new opportunities to extend our support, fostering continued growth and empowerment for organizations dedicated to making a difference. Our purpose remains true. We are here to make life better for those around us.