Impact Makers: Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is one of the world’s most trusted providers of answers, helping professionals make confident decisions and run better businesses. Access to justice, truth, and transparency are at the heart of their work. By partnering with employees, customers, and trusted partners, they create opportunities for innovation, community investment, volunteer impact, and sustainable corporate citizenship. 

This mission is supported through their Social Impact Programs, which have been established to ensure robust, consistent, and sustainable community and societal support. Through these efforts, Thomson Reuters’ employees are able to support causes they care about by giving their time, skills, and financial support. Here’s a snapshot of some of their programs:

  • Matching Gifts 
  • Paid Volunteer Time Off
  • Team Volunteer Grants
  • Payroll Giving
  • Volunteer Grants 
  • Legal Pro Bono Support

To get a better understanding of their offerings, let’s take a deeper dive into Thomson Reuters’ Social Impact Programs and how they pivoted them in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rethinking Employee Giving

Like many organizations, Thomson Reuters was thrown a curveball with the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional, in-person volunteer programs became obsolete as the workforce was confined to their homes. The Thomson Reuters team embraced these changes and pivoted their programs to offer virtual volunteering to their employees. During a critical time for nonprofits in need of services and funds, the Thomson Reuters Social Impact team was able to execute a timely and successful shift in their programs. 

“We reached out to CyberGrants to explore how we might expand our virtual volunteer program and were able to integrate the VolunteerMatch database into our portal so our employees could easily search for virtual and in-person opportunities without having to go to multiple sites. We also worked with CyberGrants to create a feature within our portal to highlight a shortlist of virtual volunteer opportunities, which we update regularly.”

- Sheila Snapp, Global Community Relations Manager, Thomson Reuters

In 2021, Thomson Reuters’ employees logged over 10,000 volunteer hours through VolunteerMatch opportunities. 

But their work to expand volunteer opportunities didn’t stop there. Thomson Reuters’ Social Impact team worked alongside employees from their Global Volunteer Network, a collective of employee-led groups geared towards driving volunteerism at the local level. These  groups worked to arrange local volunteer activities within the communities where they live and work. 

“These groups utilize our CyberGrants portal to share and plan volunteer events, and they manage those events from start to finish right through the portal. The auto-log volunteer feature ensures we can track the volunteer hours for all events managed through the portal. We’re also able to pull volunteer hour reports using several different fields, which helps us manage our volunteer program overall.”

- Sheila Snapp, Global Community Relations Manager, Thomson Reuters

While volunteerism has always been an integral part of corporate giving, it looks vastly different from the volunteer opportunities of a pre-pandemic world. As corporations shifted to virtual and remote work in 2020, so did volunteerism. Through virtual volunteerism, employee giving became more flexible, and workers were able to give back in more ways than ever before. A rising trend in volunteerism—skills-based giving—allows employees to share technical skills from creating content and social media planning to coaching and business development. Last year, Thomson Reuters piloted a new program, the IMPACTathon, rooted in skills-based giving.  

The Thomson Reuters IMPACTathon 

In 2021, Thomson Reuters hosted its first-ever IMPACTathon— a creative spin on the traditional hackathon model. This pilot program leveraged the talent and expertise of the company’s employees in support of nonprofits that do work in the same areas of Thomson Reuters’ impact pillars: access to justice, truth, and transparency. The company partnered with six nonprofits in Minnesota, Texas, Washington, DC, and New York whose critical work spans from media literacy and human rights to defending those who have been wrongfully convicted. 

To get started, each organization presented a challenge statement and were then matched with a cross-functional employee who “hacked away” at these challenges throughout the day using their professional expertise.

“One of the great things about Thomson Reuters is that we have a robust field of employees that are specialized in different areas, such as business development, communications, customer relations, marketing, and social media planning, among others. We were able to work with these nonprofits, take their challenge statement, and see how we can best help them.”

- Kim Greene, Impact Communications Specialist, Thomson Reuters

Through the IMPACTathon, Thomson Reuters’ employees were able to assist their partner organizations in developing necessary capacity-building tools to enhance their own abilities in areas not traditionally supported by foundation grants and donors. Each organization left the day with tangible and sustainable action items that could be immediately implemented. But the proof is in the pudding! Here’s what the nonprofits had to say: 

"All of the action items will be highly valuable to us, but the positive and thoughtful interactions with the team were the best aspect of it all.” 

“The Thomson Reuters team that we worked with was excellent. Members had different strengths and perspectives related to our issue areas and it was great to pull the best from all of them.” 

Not only was this a rewarding experience for the nonprofit partners, but employees were excited about the opportunity as well. Here’s what they had to say: 

“I loved being able to talk through problems an organization was facing and sharing the tools I use so that they could walk away with an actual plan to help improve their everyday life. I didn’t even really know I had the toolbox in my brain until I had to lay it out. Pretty cool!” 

Measuring Success

Beyond meaningful testimonials from nonprofit partners and volunteers, here are even more reasons the Thomson Reuters IMPACTathon was a success: 

  • Employees provided more than $46,000 worth of pro bono consulting services, which is an average of $7,000 per nonprofit in just 5 hours of time. 
  • The average volunteer time off (VTO) logged per person was 8.6 hours.  
  • 81% of volunteers felt that this experience enabled them to learn or develop in new ways (e.g., career expertise, nonprofit knowledge, leadership skills, etc.). 
  • 100% of volunteers and nonprofits would recommend the IMPACTathon.
  • 75% of volunteers plan to continue supporting their nonprofit partners in the future. 

We congratulate Thomson Reuters for their forward-thinking, creative approach, and unwavering commitment to justice, truth, and transparency. We cannot wait to hear more inspiring stories from the IMPACTathon as it's taken globally in 2022! 

Ready to take your volunteer programs to the next level? Contact us today! 

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