Noor Khoja, a software manager in Dallas, saw a chance to make a difference. For several years he had been a volunteer with the Aga Khan Foundation’s Walk|Run team, helping to raise corporate awareness of AKF’s work to improve life for marginalized communities in Asia and Africa.
“Last year I saw the opportunity to do something more,” Noor said. In his work with the Dallas office of Deloitte, the international professional services company, Noor learned of the office’s Impact Day. For Impact Day, employees give their time to meaningful nonprofits. The effort had grown each of the previous two years, with Deloitte employees helping at homeless shelters or installing drywall at low-income housing developments. (Deloitte has also been a program partner with AKF for programs in Central Asia.)
For 2019, Noor applied for AKF to be one of the handful of nonprofits featured as a Deloitte partner on Impact Day. What he proposed was different than the typical Impact Day activity. This time, Deloitte staff would bring what they do best every day: brainstorming and sharing organizational skills.
Growing the Impact of Volunteer Events
Noor’s proposal was approved and earlier this year, the Impact Day partnership launched.
In breakout groups the Deloitte team sat down with a group from the local AKF volunteer team and delved into AKF’s three local fundraising events to scope opportunities for improvement. They examined the past experience of the AKF Dallas Soiree, Golf tournament, and the Walk|Run.
“Deloitte had 30 volunteers join us,” says Hussain Manjee, AKF co-lead for the Central region. “We had a full day with these practitioners. By the end of the first two-hour session, they felt like knowledgeable advocates of our cause.”
The ideas that came out of the session were state-of-the-art. “We created a marketing plan and strategy,” says Noor. “And it was fun.”
“Impact Day with the Aga Khan Foundation was a great success,” said Michael Van Boven, a Deloitte manager. “We look forward to doing more with the Foundation in years to come.”
New Partners in Improving Quality of Life
Altogether the Deloitte team donated 240 hours of experience, a tremendous boon to AKF’s efforts in the Dallas area. What is more, notes Hussain Manjee, the event made Deloitte’s team more familiar with AKF’s work and successes.
“Even now, people at Deloitte still tell me, ‘Be sure to sign me up for next year,’” Noor says. For them, the view of AKF’s work in Asia and Africa proved eye-opening. And the Foundation’s partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S. government agencies impressed them as high-quality partners in important work.
For next year, there are plans for Deloitte to engage with more AKF volunteer regional teams for a national Impact Day. Stay tuned.