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Motorola Mobility makes a strong case for corporate volunteerism

April 21, 2017
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This week in our Techweek Gives campaign, we caught up with Monica Hauser, foundation manager for Motorola Mobility, a Lenovo company.

Her company’s commitment to giving back runs deep, with a big emphasis on volunteerism. Volunteer opportunities even played a significant role in easing the company’s transition from its former corporate headquarters in Libertyville, Illinois, to the heart of Downtown Chicago. “I believe that our service projects increased a sense of understanding and pride for employees going through a life adjustment, and offered exciting opportunities for them to approach the new community in which they work,” Monica told us.

Read on for more from our interview with Monica. And check out the video below for more on the Motorola Mobility Foundation. 

What motivates your company to give back in the community? 

As an anchor of Chicago’s technology community, we understand that it’s our responsibility to foster the future of technology in Chicago by supporting tech entrepreneurs, increasing the pipeline of tech professionals, and breaking down barriers between technology and the people who need it most. Serving our community to make Chicago a great place for technology and innovation ensures a bright future for both Motorola and Chicago.

How do you engage your employees in giving programs?

Motorola Mobility’s Chicago employees are engaged in giving programs through regular hands-on and remote volunteerism, in addition to employee giving campaigns. Volunteer opportunities focus on leveraging our employees’ tech expertise to influence and encourage the next generation of tech innovators through partnerships with Citizen Schools, Illinois Science and Technology Institute, Project SYNCERE and Chicago Public Libraries, just to name a few. Motorola also matches employee giving to ensure that all employees’ personal generosity is recognized and bolstered.

What difference do you hope to make by giving back? 

We hope that the time of our employees and monetary support from Motorola Mobility Foundation ensures that Chicago will continue to grow as a technology hub in the United States. Lack of STEM professionals and lack of diversity in STEM are two issues that threaten not just Chicago, but the United States’ prosperity in the technology industry, and we’re working to change that by making STEM topics approachable and engaging for all students, even if they don’t naturally connect with math and science. We hope to use the arts, and the increasingly young ages at which youth are using technology, as natural “hooks” to promote interest in science, engineering and math. We’re proud of the strategic partners that further our mission to make an impact in the community by making STEM engaging and fun.  

What company/companies do you challenge to do more than your organization during Techweek Gives?

We are lucky to be in Chicago, a city with so many generous companies committed to giving back to the community. While we are humbled by the monetary generosity of our fellow Chicago companies, we’d like to challenge other companies to engage their professionals in more volunteerism. The meaningful donation of time and talent is one of the most challenging resources to arrange, but can also be the most impactful for our local organizations. We’re proud to have such a generous employee base at Motorola Mobility, and of the difference they make in the community. We would love to see more corporate partners challenging their employee base to take time to give back through consistent programming.

What was a time when making an impact in the community made an impact in your corporate culture? 

After moving to downtown Chicago from our former headquarters in Libertyville, Illinois, many employees were going through a difficult transition of longer commutes and less time with family. By creating volunteer opportunities that served the city of Chicago — whether it was mentorship through Citizen Schools or our annual day of service with Chicago Cares — we created a feeling of connection and ownership with the city that added meaning to an otherwise more complicated work life. I believe that our service projects increased a sense of understanding and pride for employees going through a life adjustment, and offered exciting opportunities for them to approach the new community in which they work. Employees who had never been on Chicago’s South Side can now point to communities’ schools, gardens or parks where they personally made a lasting impact. 

The Techweek Gives campaign, powered by uBack, is working to raise $1 million and commit 10,000 volunteer hours in 90 days. To learn more, click here

Corporate Giving, Employee Giving, CSR, Employee engagement;

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