The 2017 Social & Community Investment Awards: EY


Type of Work: Pro Bono Client: Rio 2016 Organizing Committee

As an Official Supporter and exclusive professional services provider to the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, EY created the Olympic Legacy Volunteer Program (OLVP), a skills-based volunteer program designed to create a positive legacy within the communities of Rio de Janeiro.

Embodying EY’s overall firm purpose of Building a Better Working World, the OLVP connected 27 professionals, from eight different countries, with six Rio-based nonprofits for three months of Pro Bono project work.

After identifying specific needs, each nonprofit was matched with a cross-functional team that worked remotely, and then traveled to Rio to finalize their deliverables and present their projects to several nonprofits, which will continue to benefit from the value delivered by the EY volunteers even though the Games are over, says Deborah K. Holmes, Americas Director of Corporate Responsibility.

“Hosting the Olympic Games was a world-class opportunity for Rio and for EY. The Games showcased the best the city and its people have to offer, but it also shone a light on social issues that must be addressed to improve the lives of local communities,” Holmes says. “At EY, making a positive difference in the world is not a side activity; it is the core of our purpose: Building a Better Working World.”

Over three months, in addition to their demanding day jobs, the OLVP volunteers collaborated to build a better working world by going above and beyond to successfully deliver high-impact tools and assessments for these nonprofits. The majority of non-profits agreed the OLVP teams provided knowledge and expertise they would not have had without the program, she says.

EY believes that business can be a force for good in society, Holmes says, and the program allowed EY to deliver its services to Rio-based non-profits that otherwise could not afford them. “Our people were able to use their professional skills to positively impact the communities of Rio de Janeiro,” she says. “This is the perfect example of Building a Better Working World in action.”

As far as winning a Social & Community Investment award, Holmes says EY is always looking for opportunities to Build a Better Working World.

“It’s in our DNA, so it’s great to be recognized for doing it,” Holmes says. “Hopefully this recognition will inspire more of our employees to get involved, and maybe even inspire other companies to give back to their local communities, too.”

Q&A: How would you characterize the employees’ overall reaction to the project?  

Holmes: “This was an excellent opportunity for our OLVP participants to develop their global mindset and expand their networks, since a major component of the program required them to work virtually with their team members who were spread across eight countries in the Americas, Belgium and the Netherlands, before arriving in Rio for the final week of the program. Our participants were excited by the opportunity to work with new colleagues from other service lines and countries, and were energized at the thought of assisting the NGOs and making a lasting impact on the communities of Rio de Janeiro.”

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