How We Make Philanthropy Part of Our Mission

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National Philanthropy Day is celebrated annually on November 15th to highlight the importance of working together for the common good. Here at Arcweb Technologies, we’re always looking for ways to make our company, and perhaps even the world, a better place—so we decided to take a look back at some of the good we’ve done in hopes of inspiring more philanthropic support for the communities we live in and serve.

 

Broad Street Ministry

Broad Street Ministry (BSM) is an alternative church community that “believes that diversity of belief, skin tone and life circumstance” strengthens our community, which is definitely a sentiment we can get behind. BSM’s outreach and support of the underserved and vulnerable is inspiring and we’ve been happy to support them many times over the years.

In October 2017, ten Arcweb employees volunteered to set up for BSM’s annual Be Our Guest event. Be Our Guest is a unique fundraising gala event that includes a dinner party and both live and silent auctions. Arcwebers helped by preparing the venue, including cleaning, setting tables, and preparing materials for guests. Sometimes, just an extra set of hands can make all the difference. We were proud to be a small part of an event with such a broad impact.

In early 2021, Arcweb’s UX design team leveraged their professional expertise to brand and promote BSM’s annual fundraiser event, Cocktails for a Cause. The event was held virtually due to Covid-19. Several Philly celebrities participated by devoting a half-hour virtual cocktail hour to those who bought a raffle ticket and were drawn as winners. Arcweb worked with BSM over the course of a few months to create graphics for social media and web use that captured the spirit of the event.

With the branding strategy decided, Arcweb executed on social media images, a website banner, and developed the landing page for the event where contestants could buy raffle tickets. We’re thrilled to report that BSM reached their fundraising goal and also saw an increase in followers, higher engagement, and outreach numbers on their social platforms.

Not to be outdone by the design team, our engineering team helped BSM establish an online ordering system to track distribution of custom personal care packages for Philadelphians experiencing poverty. The effort was part of a multi-organization partnership to address the inequities in public health exacerbated by the pandemic, with the focus on getting out into the community in a Community Hygiene Truck. Think a food truck—but instead of a tasty meal, it delivers clean underwear, socks, soap and additional toiletries to those in need. We identified the necessary system requirements, analyzed available technology platforms, and determined a free solution that would meet BSM’s needs to power this amazing initiative.

 

Critique for a Cause

We haven’t limited our love and support to just BSM, however. In Fall 2020, the Arcweb design and marketing teams planned and facilitated Critique for a Cause, a virtual event through our Meetup group, Shame on UX. Arcweb connected with three local non-profits who were interested in a free usability audit of their websites: SquashSmarts, Black Phoenix Ink, and Back on My Feet.

We kicked off the event by giving attendees an overview of Jakob Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics for user interface design, then split up into breakout sessions to apply those heuristics to each non-profit’s website. Each group went through the 10 usability heuristics and documented where usability improvements could be made to the websites. In addition to giving these non-profits valuable and immediately actionable feedback, many volunteers were inspired to further support the organizations’ missions beyond the event’s activities.

 

Supporting Tech Talent

In both 2018 and 2019, the Arcweb design team supported the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s CHOP Tech: STEMulating Experiences with Healthcare Technology event, which invites girls in grades 6 through 10 to listen to professionals in the Information Services and Nursing Informatics fields speak on the importance of technology in healthcare and how a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education can lead to exciting and successful career opportunities.

Our designers presented the design thinking methodology we use in our client work and then guided the girls through a team-based design thinking activity. Because our talented and capable team was composed of women, the girls in attendance not only learned how design impacts technology development, they also got to see themselves in a career field that desperately needs their vision.

Another way Arcwebers have supported up-and-coming tech talent is by participating in mock interviews. Organizations like Hopeworks and LaunchCode provide training and job placement support for a diverse population of folks that often have limited-to-no experience interviewing in the tech industry. Mock interviews give them experience interacting with professionals that actually serve as interviewers in their company’s talent acquisition process. We’re able to impart constructive criticism and help build their confidence, so they can more effectively present their unique value to prospective employers.

Giving back and elevating those around us isn’t just something we pay lip service to. We’ve made it a part of our DNA, from our Core Values, to our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy, to our Certified B Corp status.

We believe business can be a force for good and we’re committed to playing our part. So, get out there today and figure out how you can make a difference!

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About The Author(s)

Mark Hughey
Mark Hughey is a Principal Consultant at Arcweb Technologies who provides expert digital strategy, product management and agile consulting services to growth-focused leaders and innovators.
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