Linklaters, a major ‘Magic Circle’ law firm, is a responsible business with a culture that encourages its people to volunteer in community investment programmes.
The Corporate Responsibility Challenge
When Linklaters’ Corporate Responsibility Team contacted Thrive in 2016, they had a well-developed community investment strategy supported by global champions across their areas of operation and a healthy culture of volunteering. However, there were still significant challenges including:
- Promoting and managing programmes in a single place unique to other initiatives within the firm
- Recording the participation of employees on programmes for more accurate volunteering data
- Seeking feedback from employees to learn about the impact and experience of the programmes from their perspective
“In a business so focused on time recording, it was ironic that for half the firm, logging volunteering time effectively proved so hard. We needed an accessible, intuitive system which not only captured this activity but also helped it to grow by better promotion and sign up. I am delighted at how well our partnership with Thrive has achieved this.”
Matt Sparkes, Head of Corporate Responsibility
Linklaters chose Thrive as their software partner to deliver an integrated tool to address their challenges.
Thrive’s Product and Technology Teams worked closely with Linklaters’ CR Team over a six-month period to configure a tool, later named the ‘Volunteering Hub’ at Linklaters, aiming to tackle such challenges.
The final product included:
- A branded user interface for Linklaters people to easily browse and register for community investment programmes
- A dashboard for admins (e.g. the CR Team and global champions) to upload and manage community investment programmes
- Areas within the dashboard for admins to review and export volunteering data such as
- Hours automatically recorded for each programme per volunteer
- Feedback submitted per volunteer (optional via a form automatically emailed at the end of each programme)
“Thrive were able to suggest best practice methods used by their other clients as well as alternatives for Linklaters’ unique challenges to deliver a comprehensive tool.”
Andrew Lee, Global Corporate Responsibility Coordinator
Initially demoed to the global champions at Linklaters’ Corporate Responsibility meeting, hundreds of employees from various offices registered for programmes following a series of local launches. These programmes supported Linklaters’ community investment strategy, particularly the Realising Aspirations and Growing Capabilities strands, in addition to some others which were non-strategic.
The tool automatically tracked volunteers, meaning champions could spend more time promoting their programmes and building on relationships with community partners. The CR Team also found it useful to have a one-stop shop (e.g. the dashboard) to see what was happening firmwide.
Some of the early successes champions reported included:
- Having a sole place to direct colleagues for programmes
- Taking less time to fully recruit volunteers
- Gaining more feedback
“With the help of Thrive, we now have a more consistent and efficient way of managing volunteering programmes. It has reduced the administration and frequency of emails, for both the Corporate Responsibility team and volunteers, as everything is in one place on a user-friendly system.”
Rebecca Leake, Global Corporate Responsibility Manager
Since the launch of the ‘Volunteering Hub’, Linklaters’ CR Team have been working with Thrive to understand whether a ‘Finance Hub’, capable of easily enabling champions to make donations whilst self-validating, is possible via their Grants Module.
This would also support with the annual reporting for London Benchmarking Group (LBG) to understand the potential impact of each