Green[in] on InDay: Building Teams and Supporting Nonprofits
April 26, 2013
One Friday a month, every employee is given time to reflect and work on passion projects outside of their day to day duties. We call this InDay.
The Business Operations team at LinkedIn takes our InDays seriously. Every month, someone on our team volunteers to organize an event aligned with the month’s theme. I’ve spent more than a year of InDays getting to know my teammates better through social events, volunteer activities, professional development opportunities and more.
Volunteering at an organic farm
This month’s InDay theme was Green[in] in honor of Earth Day, so I took the initiative to organize a volunteer opportunity with Hidden Villa, a nonprofit organization that uses its organic farm and wilderness to teach the community about environmental and social justice. We started off the day with an organic farm tour to learn about more about Hidden Villa. After a group lunch, we then spent over 3 hours building gopher cages, planting trees and mulching a large area of the orchard.
Helping nonprofits build a stronger presence on LinkedIn
While we were mulching, the staff at Hidden Villa had questions about how they could make the most of their LinkedIn Company Page. My colleague, Jackson Wang who works on Company Page metrics, volunteered to help them build a better company page and educated them how to best leverage the LinkedIn platform. We all believe that there is a huge potential for nonprofits to build their social footprint on LinkedIn to raise brand awareness, build long term relationships, and strengthen their community. And who better to help Hidden Villa than someone who works on the product every day?
Using our skills to make a positive impact
We also had an opportunity to talk to Karen Chmielewski, Director of Development at Hidden Villa, who told us about the complexity and challenges of their operations.
“Which programs are more interesting and effective?” “Who should Hidden Villa reach out for donations?” These questions are very useful in their day-to-day operations and they have a lot of data around it, but no one on their staff of 30 has the technical background to glean insights from the data.
Dan Yoo, our Senior Director of Business Operations, immediately offered to help them build a database and tools to help increase operating efficiency. Karen was overjoyed because they had been looking for someone with that skillset for a long time.
It was so refreshing for all of us to spend a day outside our cubes, away from our spreadsheets, to build some team camaraderie. What set this apart from other InDays was that we all found ways to leverage our unique skills and talents to help an organization that’s really making a difference in our community.