A couple of weeks ago I flew across the pond to our London office for a Skills Swap event hosted by Tim Stone, our Box.org EMEA committee lead, and our partner Tech Trust. This was inspired by another Skills Swap that we did this past summer where we partnered with 20 local nonprofits out of our headquarters in Redwood City to tackle specific projects with the organizations.
We welcomed 30 UK charities into our office for an afternoon of sharing skills and networking. The charities that attended were small to medium in size and spread the gamut of cause areas. We were grateful they were able to take the time to join us for the afternoon.
Tech Trust kicked us off with an introductory session discussing cybersecurity and available resources for charities to bring back to their organizations. Then, we broke out into two sessions where the charities chose from four offerings each session: collaboration, CRM (partnered with Salesforce.org), advanced excel and data security. Each session was hands on and interactive since the goal is to share information both ways - it's a swap, not a lecture!
We learned how to properly vet and build a relationship with a software provider before signing up with them, how to build subject lines for more effective emails, how integrations with a CRM tool can elevate grant making and volunteer management, how to manipulate large data sets and build pivot tables, and how to navigate and understand the ins and outs of GDPR.
It was fun to see our Box employees dive into these conversations, simultaneously sharing their expertise and learning from the charities. From the outside, it seemed energizing for them to see the impact of what they can do utilizing the skills they use every day. It also helps us to better understand the possibilities of how we can continue to partner with charities through our employees.
Despite the many hours of planning the logistics of the event and content for each session, we learned once again that Happy Hour is still one of the best ways to share information. The sessions were very informative; however, as time and any proper gathering has shown, some of the best conversations happened after we wrapped the official content and opened up some beer and wine. We were able to hear what information landed, build on the content that was introduced in the sessions, understand where charities are having difficulties with digital transformation, and listen so we can continue to think about how we better partner with charities. After all, our goal at Box.org is to do more good together.
We're excited to bring these Skills Swaps to more offices and regions, so stay tuned!