As we see it, our contribution to communities near and far is not about giving back. It’s about investing. And if skills-based volunteering is our smartest investment, Data Philanthropy is its best expression — an opportunity to donate unique skills and talents no one else can.
Aimia Data Philanthropy
As a global leader in data insight, we understand how data can produce fresh perspectives for any organization — including charities. That’s why we developed our unique Aimia Data Philanthropy model. Pairing Aimia analytics experts with specific charities during intensive events, Data Philanthropy helps charities drive improvements in their operations, fundraising and recruiting. In practical terms, this may mean less poverty and more vulnerable kids kept in school and off the streets.
What does data have to do with charities anyway?
Think of the word “charity” and it would be a long time before you associated it with the word “data”. But charities often have vast amounts of data — on the way they talk to supporters, on the way their service users connect with them and on the delivery of the services themselves.
What they often lack is the technical ability or financial resources to make sense of all this data to improve the way they do things. A simple example: a sports charity whose coaches lose up to 30% of their time with children because they are collecting data on paper forms. Automating the process allows for much more time for insights and footie skills, gymnastics or swimming technique kids can be learning.
With the goal of exploring how better data analysis could improve the way charities achieve their mission, Aimia’s Data Philanthropy pilot projects were a resounding success. The company’s data analysts have given more than10,000 hours of their time to work with more than 40 charities in the UK and Canada and this large-scale pilot culminated with executive agreement to expand and extend support over the long term. Since then, activities have also been held in the United States, Australia and the Middles East. In 2015, the positive impact of Aimia Data Philanthropy was recognized with the Guardian Award for Social Impact and the Dragon Future Proofing Charities Award in 2015.
Read about Aimia’s first Global Week of Data Philanthropy, our pledge to create the first hub for data philanthropy in Canada and view our event videos.
At a time when money is tight and funders want evidence of success, data analysis is critical to the future success of the charity sector.
Social purpose is not just something we do; it is who we are. From our Aimia Executive Committee and our social purpose leaders to our employees around the world, we are all engaged and committed to Aimia’s social purpose journey — particularly with respect to skills based volunteering, which leverages our people’s formidable talents and magnifies their contribution. This can be any skill — including data analytics, loyalty, marketing, social media, communications, talent management and even sharing legal advice when it comes to consumer privacy for example… basically any skill that we have on our team. For International Volunteer Day Aimia asked some of its employees, “why volunteer”?
The Ambassadors Network: To identify needs and optimize impact
In 2015, we launched our network of ambassadors who are responsible to build more deep and meaningful relationships with selected charities. By focusing on charities’ needs and matching our volunteer activities on those areas where we have significant knowledge, experience and skills, we are able to bring the best of Aimia to our charitable partners and deliver results and insights that contribute meaningfully to making this world a better place for everyone. Examples of workshop and projects:
- Telephone skills: to help get the word out about applying for grants offered by MusiCounts to school music programs.
- Marketing plan: to help Equitas identify new avenues to diversify its sources of funding.
- LinkedIn Expertise: to support the David Suzuki Foundation, and all Beyond Miles partners and their ambassadors, by optimizing their use of LinkedIn for Human Resources management.
- Survey expertise: to help Médecins Sans Frontières build a survey for their donors, and ensuring that the resulting survey can be useful to all Beyond Miles partners.
We work in partnership with not-for-profit organizations to bring to life, sustain and strengthen initiatives that offer the best potential to enhance trust and reciprocity in the world.
Aimia Common Good Days, Teams and Travel
We encourage all of our employees to bring the best of their talent, skills and passion to the community. We created the Aimia Common Good Days to provide all employees worldwide with the opportunity to take one paid volunteer day any time throughout the year to work with a charity of their choice. Employees may choose to do this on their own, or teams can plan to do something together.
In order to further foster employee engagement and leadership, we also created the Aimia Common Good Teams and Trips, a program that offers employees the opportunity to participate in travel organized in collaboration with not-for-profit partner organizations — the Common Good Teams sometimes brings together employees from all regions where we operate around the world. Employees have to write a brief essay on why they would like to be considered to participate and are selected by the participating charities.
The experience offers employees the opportunity to experiment trust and reciprocity, share perspectives and develop leadership skills. The experience helps facilitate a deeper understanding of Aimia’s social purpose both from an environmental and humanitarian perspective and gives each participant an incredible international learning experience.
Aimia Common Good Teams and Travel were inspired, amongst others, by Aeroplan which organized an employees’ field trip with Offsetters in 2010 . The team was composed of 11 employees as well as guides from environmental organizations. The team travelled to British Columbia, Canada for one week where they learned about clean technology and sustainability in the province. They visited both local community-based and industrial-scale clean technology projects that are supported by Aimia in Vancouver, British Columbia, First Nations communities on Vancouver Island and the resort area of Whistler in the Coastal Mountains.