April 2020 Social Impact Roundup: Making a Difference in the Time of COVID

Alexandra Nemeth

Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Storytelling at MovingWorlds

How can we make a meaningful impact in the time of COVID? 

Take care of yourself. Take care of others. Take action to aid recovery.

It really is that simple (though we also know it’s hard.)

Every month, we write a summary of inspiring actions and insights to help people make a bigger social impact. During the time of COVID19, we’re experimenting with the format and content, but keeping the goal the same. If you have feedback, please do let us know!

Take Care of Yourself

Our team really resonated with these reminders from the UK’s NHS (find more tools and ideas on the NHS website here):

  1. You are not “working from home,” you are “at your home, during a crisis, trying to work.”
  2. Your personal, physical, mental, and emotional health is far more important than anything else right now.
  3. You should not try to compensate for lost productivity by working longer hours.
  4. You will be kind to yourself and not judge how you are coping based on how you see others coping.
  5. You will be kind to others and not judge how they are coping based on how you are coping.
  6. Your team’s success will not be measured the same way it was when things were “normal.”

This article from the World Economic Forum also contains some great advice from experts around the world about managing mental health during the coronavirus crisis.

Take Care of Others

As physically distant as we may be, we’re all in this together. Idealist shared a great list of suggestions for helping others during this time, including things like checking in on your neighbors and donating blood. Our team has also been inspired by this article from Quartz about how to ask better questions that go beyond “how are you doing right now?” Getting more serious about the questions we’re asking our colleagues, friends, and family is a great way to keep relationships strong and strengthen connection, even from a distance.

Take action to aid recovery

McKinsey shared a really useful framework that our team has been looking at daily. It traces the 5 stages towards recovery. At some point, we must start talking about return, reimagination, and reform. Many of the social enterprises in are sector are already working on reimagination of supply chains, access to education, and improving healthcare. These efforts can be supported now.

Our team also has been energized by Deloitte’s article on resilient leadership which recommends that we “Aim for speed over elegance… and… Embrace the long view.”

Here are a few other great ways to take action to aid recovery:

  1. Spend like it really matters (it does). Where you decide to spend your money matters. Get creative in spending money on local businesses and organizations. The Institute for Local Self Reliance has a list of 12 things you can easily do and SavingPlaces offers 5 tips to do so safely.
  2. Donate. Pick 5 charities and set up a monthly recurring donation to each. Why 5? The challenges we are encountering are systemic. We must work to keep improving multiple pillars of our society, and so a diversity of organizations need support. We donate monthly because the goal is to create long-term commitments with a monthly recurring donation so that nonprofits can plan. Pick one for the environment. One for health. One to protect democracy. One to improve education. And one to support sustainable economic recovery and job creation. Need help? Ask your friends and donate where they do. Not sure where to donate? Start donating to GiveDirectly.
  3. Mobilize your company. Your biggest level to make change is to mobilize those around you, and your job and company is an excellent place to do so. Read our guide to social intrapreneurship to find ways you can mobilize those around you. The World Economic Forum has some additional guidance, too.
  4. Support a social enterprise awakening. The social inequalities and environmental degradation (Tableau has a great report on the need for environmental leadership) that will most likely occur during recovery are terrifying (in fact, they already are). Integrating social enterprise into the economy is key to just, equitable, and sustainable recovery. Learn more how MovingWorlds is helping social enterprises plan for this.

In the meantime, we at MovingWorlds will continue supporting a more impactful, global social enterprise movement that employs more people in world-positive jobs and brings sustainable thinking to all sectors.