Type of Work: Employee Motivated Volunteer Program Client: KIPP Philadelphia
Each year, IBB Consulting Group brings the entire company for off-sites meetings to share company progress towards annual goals, increase employee engagement and spark new ideas. During an off-site meeting in 2014, IBB Manager B.B. Richardson asked if IBB could start a community service Special Interest Group, which gave birth to the IBB Community Action Network (ICAN). ICAN has a single purpose—to find innovative ways to support youth education.
IBB Consulting Group has been an important partner of Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) in Philadelphia Schools. KIPP is a nationwide charter school program that offers free elementary through high school education to students and families in under resourced educational areas.
The mission of KIPP Philadelphia Schools (KPS) is to develop the character, knowledge, and skills of its students so they will succeed in college, giving them the freedom to shape their futures and positively affect their communities.
The employees at IBB have supported KIPP in many ways over the years, but recently they wanted to do something different. They came up with the “Give A Little Bit Care Package Project” to replenish supplies for all 450 students and 30 teachers in IBB’s KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy.
Student Care Package materials included: 2,700 pencils; 1,078 erasers; 1,000 sharpeners and 480 notepads. And Teacher Care Packages materials included: 30 dry erase marker packages; 30 whiteboard erasers: 30 red felt tip pens: 550 care pack bags; 550 IBB stickers for hand-written notes of encouragement.
“Consulting is a profession where it’s better to spend more time with the client than with your own consulting company, which naturally reduces the level of engagement,” says Jefferson Wang, Senior Partner at IBB Consulting Group. “This reduced engagement combined with constant travel and long hours causes a potential attrition problem in our industry.”
Therefore, finding creative ways to increase that sense of belonging to something bigger while helping to improve youth education is vital to any company, Wang says.
“The ‘Give a Little Bit’ project perfectly aligns with IBB’s overall mission statement,” Wang says. “Employees were encouraged to get involved with the project by meeting with KIPP executives to identify a KIPP school in need, negotiate costs with school material suppliers and inspire others to help parse pre-assembled materials. The project brought all of IBB together, set a common goal, increased engagement, and helped each employee make an instant difference in the lives of every single student and teacher in a KIPP School.”
Q&A: What does winning a Social & Community Investment award mean to you, your firm and your employees?
Wang: “Thank you Consulting magazine for realizing the importance of Social and Community Investment. More importantly, thank you for realizing that Social & Community Investment isn’t always measured in the dollars given, rather in the impact each of us can make in our community. This award is an incredible source of pride for our employees that we can share with our clients and potential recruits. It shows that even a small consulting company can be innovative and make a difference to help.”