Image for post
Image for post
Image by DarkmoonArt_de from Pixabay

My life’s been a roller coaster since the start of the pandemic. I suspect this has also been the case for you. But even in the midst of what I can only describe as chaos I still had time to pause and think, not necessarily by choice, but out of mere survival. Of course, much of my energy was spent thinking about work. That’s only natural and just reinforces Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. But while thinking about my work (namely engaging volunteers as a social impact professional) I went down a rabbit whole. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

While participating on a recent panel hosted by the Association for Leaders In Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE) called “Resiliency in Volunteer Engagement: Lessons from a Pandemic”, I shared my personal experiences and take on resiliency while managing life through the COVID-19 pandemic. I also gave my prediction on what we’ll see across the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) landscape specific to corporate employee volunteering and opportunities for volunteer engagement professionals. The panel was chalk full of robust discussion featuring others including Rob Jackson, Lindsay Baker and moderator Faiza Venzant, the newly appointed Executive Director for the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

“Cancel culture” is popular. It’s hot. So, what is it? Well, as described by Merriam-Webster it’s “the removing of support for public figures in response to their objectionable behavior or opinions. This can include boycotts or refusal to promote their work”. But as the act of “canceling” has grown in popularity I suspect this single vanilla flavored definition may be a bit off. Sure, we’ve seen tactic used against individuals (Louis C.K., J. K. Rowling, Dave Chappelle and many others), but we’re also seeing this used against major brands. But here’s where it gets weird. …


Image for post
Image for post

Disaster season! We’re nearly two months beyond June 1st, and for those who don’t know, that’s the official start date for hurricane reason in North America. But, there’s just one issue. We’ve been hyper-focused on racial equality and this little thing called COVID-19.

Don’t get me wrong, both are important.

COVID-19 most immediately needs to be dealt with. Like other types of disasters, it uncovered (yet again) the disparities among communities of color in America. But we won’t have a vaccine until 2021 by all estimates. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Zoe VandeWater on Unsplash

Part 1 opened dialogue about my place in the profession of volunteer engagement (non-profit and CSR alike). I shared my thoughts on the role of those in this field in advocating for a more diverse and inclusive profession. We also dove into the practices those in this profession can implement to make their own programs more diverse and inclusive in terms of those they’re engaging in the act of volunteering. But that’s only a part of the equation. After making a commitment to the profession and then implementing practices that remove barriers to participation in the very programs we manage, then what? …


Image for post
Image for post

I wish there were more people who looked like me in my profession.

I’m a social impact and sustainability professional. For the greater part of nine years I’ve engaged volunteers to solve some of the world’s most critical social and environmental issues. But, when I network, collaborate with cross-functional teams and attend conferences I notice something. In many cases I’m the only man of color at the table or in the room.

I want to be clear about something before I continue. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image by Patrick Behn from Pixabay

It’s common for companies to offer Paid Volunteer Time Off (PVTO) as an employee benefit. While many offer eight hours of PVTO some companies offer as much as forty hours a year. There are even some more progressive companies offering what they call “unlimited” PVTO. This shouldn’t be a surprise. With social and environmental issues becoming more front and center in society employees are expecting their employers to sponsor opportunities to solve these critical issues. They’re also expecting more time to do so. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by munshots on Unsplash

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know the number of unarmed black men that’ have died at the hands of law enforcement here in the United States. But here’s what I do know. That number (whatever it is) is unacceptable. With the recent death of George Floyd, we’ve seen protests erupt in over 25 cities across the nation. It would be the understatement of the century to say people are upset. And this isn’t even the first time. As a child living in Los Angeles during the riots of 1992 I’ve seen this far to often. It’s scary. …


Image for post
Image for post
United Nations COVID-19 Response

More so then any point in my lifetime we’re seeing humans at the center of virtually every decision. Although I’m young, I can’t say I’ve seen such a convergence of government, private and non-profit sector resources and solutions for the greater good. While we can question the motives of some and debate the best course of action, I believe most are genuine in having good intentions. Perhaps I’m naïve in thinking that. Maybe you’ll be the person to wake me from a delusion. But, regarding the private sector response to COVID-19, perhaps this is the catalyst that’ll shift the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to human social responsibility (HSR). You may recall my thoughts on how COVID-19 accelerated the role and expectations of corporate responsibility. But, is HSR the answer? …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Two Paddles Axe and Leatherwork on Unsplash

Originally posted June 2017, but reformatted and updated for current times.

If you’re in a senior position at a non-profit, serve as a board or an advisory committee member or you’re the founder, listen up. I’m about to drop some knowledge on you. While my words will initially sting, know that this is intended to help you sidestep a landmine or two when planning future events, making staffing decisions, and even expanding the scope of your organization’s programming.

While many acknowledge the value of volunteers, the overriding behaviors in society say otherwise. Why? Because there are myths that exist about volunteers. Sadly, I’ve felt this in my career working in both the non-profit sector and in corporate social responsibility (CSR). I suspect I’m not alone. But I reckon only those who have directly engaged volunteers as their primary daily function truly understand. And while some will automatically be appalled at the mere existence of this post, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Why you ask? …

About

Jerome Tennille, MSL, CVA

Social Good advocate for CSR, Volunteer Engagement, and Sustainability. Veteran. Manager of Volunteerism at Marriott International. Visit www.jerometennille.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store