Social Impact Day at Bain Toronto

The Toronto office held its annual Social Impact Day earlier this spring and launched a new internal program to kick off the day together before heading out to the community to volunteer.

In the morning, we hosted a social impact forum for the first time, inviting current Bainies, Bain alumni, and our social impact partners to speak about their experiences in the social sector. In an effort to expose our office to as many different perspectives as possible, we decided to adopt a TED-talks-style approach, giving each speaker 15 minutes in which to distill their ideas and experiences. These presentations were supplemented by two Q&A panels, giving Bainies the chance to dig deeper into topics of interest. In total we had 12 speakers join us for the morning, speaking on a broad range of topics:

  1. Social impact efforts around the Bain system
  2. Local volunteer opportunities
  3. Social sector careers – with the personal story of a former Bain manager who joined the Heart and Stroke Foundation as their Chief Strategy Officer
  4. Extra-curricular social impact activities – from a current Bainie who took time off to develop a solar energy start-up before business school
  5. Introduction to Special Olympics Canada (social impact consulting partner) and live interview with Special Olympics athlete and volunteer
  6. Introduction to Motionball (community outreach partner) and views on how to engage the “next generation” of supporters
  7. Introduction to United Way-funded shelter (fundraising partner) and story of the speaker’s trajectory from successful business man to homelessness to executive director of the shelter

The inaugural social impact forum proved to be a great way for our office to start the day together. As one Bainie remarked, “it was exciting to hear about the impact of all the pro bono casework, volunteering and fundraising we’ve done as an office.”

In the afternoon, 60 Bainies took to the local community to volunteer. This year, we gave our office a choice between three volunteer activities:

  1. Sandwich run with Project 417
  2. Speed mentoring with ACCES Employment
  3. Dollars with Sense program with Junior Achievement

By the end of the day, our volunteers had collectively made and delivered 120 sandwiches to homeless individuals in the downtown core, provided career advice to 15 new immigrants, and taught basic financial literacy to five classes of seventh grade students across the city. Reflecting on her experience volunteering with Junior Achievement, one Bainie remarked, “the Dollars with Sense program was an incredible way to make an immediate impact, working directly in the classroom.  The experience reinforced the fact that we can really exert positive influence by sharing our skills and training with the kids.”

Overall, Social Impact Day 2013 was a huge success and we are looking forward to making next year’s event even bigger and better!

– Amanda, Associate Consultant and James, Consultant, Toronto

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