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Employee Champions inspire colleagues to give back

Camaley Jennings image

Camaley Jennings @camaleyjennings1

Marketing & Project Manager, GitHub Social Impact
Toya East image

Toya East @toyae

Program Manager, Hubber Giving, GitHub Social Impact

December 9, 2021 // EmployeesPartnerships

Published on: December 9, 2021

Practicing kindness in our local communities

At GitHub, we lead with kindness. From our customer interactions, to our interpersonal relationships, we aim to treat one another with empathy, respect, and generosity. One of our pillar Social Impact programs, Employee Giving, feeds directly into this notion by encouraging employees to give back to their local communities.

Employee Giving leverages the power of employee charitable donations, volunteerism, and mentorship to help social sector partners reach those in need. With events like April’s annual Volunteer Month and charitable programming like December’s GitHub Gives, Employee Giving reaches across all staff, departments, and teams.

As GitHub grows—we’re currently at over 2,000 employees across the world—we know it’s more important than ever to provide giving opportunities that are available and accessible to all. Not only are these employees located across time zones, but their interests and shared experiences run the gamut, which can make it challenging to curate opportunities that resonate with everyone. In order to have a deep reach across the company, we started the staff Champion initiative.

Encouraging employee engagement

Throughout the year, the Social Impact team works with these Champions to act as advocates for the Employee Giving work. Not only do they graciously champion the planned activities and initiatives, they serve as representatives for fellow employees when it comes to new ideas and feedback. We’ve found the best way to encourage employees to get involved with our programming is to listen to their stories and feedback. Be it about a donation to an employee resource group fund or a volunteer experience at a local animal shelter, these anecdotes inspire others to get involved.

We meet monthly with Champions to discuss upcoming plans and evaluate previous programming together. Leading up to events, we provide templates for peer outreach that Champions can tailor to ensure communications are clear and work for each team. A dedicated Slack channel provides open communication between our team and the Champions, so we can quickly brainstorm, provide help, and offer feedback whenever the need arises.

As GitHub grows, we are excited and honored to onboard more volunteers for this advocacy position. Thank you to our Champions: without you, our impact would not be possible!

In the words of Champions:

Being a Champion is an honor. Identifying, advocating, and finding solutions to support communities locally and globally during a time of need has been some of my proudest work!

~ Andrea Armanino (@andrea-nino), Executive Assistant

Being a Champion is about facilitating the immense generosity that my colleagues have always displayed by identifying the best opportunities for them to give.

~ Laura Coursen (@lecoursen), Technical Writer

Being a Champion has empowered me to build a community that shows up in action through ProgramEquity!

~ Manisha Priyadarshini (@manishapriya94), Enterprise Business Representative

Being a Champion has given me the opportunity to put down my computer and connect with colleagues to support causes that matter to us in our communities.

~ Simon Taranto (@Srt32), Senior Software Engineer

Being a Champion gave me a sense of purpose in life and made me realize that each one of us possesses the power to change situations around us.

~ Smita Agrawal (@smita-finance), Head of Finance, India

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