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When members of the Odigo team raised the idea of increasing community outreach, Engagement Days was a natural fit. In a series of collaborative meetings with French NGOs, Odigo volunteers had the opportunity to share skills and help shape the NGOs’ strategies according to the same principles that drive Odigo’s success.
The sessions occurred online between December 4th and 15th. The first two workshops were both focused on helping NGOs increase fundraising. The third one brought a new challenge for the analytically minded, who were tasked with establishing metrics and creating a dashboard to measure the organization’s success. Finally, a fourth team engaged directly with young people facing difficulty entering the workforce. Feedback from organizers and participants on all sides was overwhelmingly positive.
Engagement Days began with two organizations facing similar challenges. The first, L’Association des Paralysés de France, represents people with impaired mobility. They explained that although they are one of the largest NGOs in France, they lack name recognition. They were particularly interested in raising their status in the business world where much of their fundraising is focused. The second, Le Pari Solidaire Lyon, promotes homesharing between elder citizens looking for a helping hand, and caring young people in search of a home. They’re currently facing a similar challenge, trying to increase private sector participation in a micro-donation campaign. Both companies are keenly interested in improving their fundraising strategies.
The two sessions met in virtual workshops. Participants from Odigo began by learning about the challenges facing the NGOs. They discussed general strategies, then split into teams, and used creative thinking techniques to develop competing fundraising pitches. The workshops culminated in showdowns between the teams to see who had the best pitches. “It was such a nice time of sharing, empathy and openness,” says Odigo human resources manager Lydia Lagattu. She continues, “It was a breath of fresh air: an occasion to be useful, and also to enjoy a moment with the team.”
L’association Authenti-Cité was created in 1993 on the initiative of young people from the struggling Parc district in Nanterre. Their mission is to bring local people together, share practical skills, and strengthen connections within the community. To ensure that their actions are translating into real gains for members, Authenti-Cité asked for help establishing and tracking a set of KPIs.
The meeting began with representatives of Authenti-Cité discussing their organization and its goals. They then worked together with six high-level Odigo employees to establish quantifiable data points to correlate with success and created a simple but powerful dashboard. “I’m very happy for the opportunity to help this association,” says Odigo stream leader Agathe Van Eecke. “When the six of us learned about this interesting request, we leaped at it. I wish Authenti-Cité all the best going forward.”
The fourth and final workshop was with Écoles de la 2e Chance, who provide education and job-seeking skills to young adults looking for work, but lacking diplomas from traditional educational institutions. A critical focus of the program consists of crafting effective resumes and gaining job interview skills and confidence, and this is where Odigo stepped in to help. This was the only session in which Odigo participants had the opportunity to work directly with the beneficiaries of the non-profit organization.
Odigo volunteers helped the young participants optimize their resumes, showcasing the value they hope to bring to future employers. Participants then paired off, and a rigorous mock interview process began. Odigo sales associate Laetitia Kouakam Takougang shared her thoughts on the initiative: “This is a great opportunity because in these unprecedented times, we, at Odigo, realize that we are privileged to still be able to work compared to many people. Taking part in Engagement Days is just a simple way to give back to the community.”
Engagement Days provided an opportunity to share not only Odigo’s professional skills, but guiding values as well. Lydia Lagattu expressed that the project was, “completely in line with our values of humanity, commitment and openness.” The NGOs were extremely happy with the sessions. Corinne Pasquier-Belot, Director of Pari Solidaire Lyon, called the workshop a “beautiful and new experience,” and said she felt “very confident” about the fundraising plan the group developed. “We all have something to give to someone,” she went on, “and a cooperative framework just strengthens each of our contributions.”
Odigo expects Engagement Days to become a yearly community outreach event, giving employees who missed it this year many more chances to participate. “I recommend my colleagues try it,” says consultant senior delivery Cédric Lumpp. “This is a wonderful initiative.” Given the all-around success of the 1st edition this year, Engagement Days 2021 will surely be much anticipated.