As another year comes to a close, and we get ready to celebrate the festive season with family and friends, it’s important to reflect on achievements in the past twelve months. It’s been a busy year, with plenty of highpoints, and unfortunately just a few low ones too. But, one of my proudest successes of this year was running the London Marathon in April and raising $2,800 for First Step, a small local UK charity that supports families in need. It wasn’t easy getting the miles in for my training, but the feeling of elation on crossing the finishing line in The Mall, and the satisfaction of doing something small to support a great cause made it all worthwhile. I also don’t underestimate the support of friends and Xactly colleagues in helping me exceed my sponsorship target. I’m lucky to work for a company that actively supports employees to give back, through XactlyOne, our philanthropic foundation that promotes a spirit of giving and engagement into the communities where employees live and work. XactlyOne organizes volunteer opportunities and projects for employees, and encourages them to take action and donate their time and talents in their local neighbourhoods. It’s not an unusual model in the tech industry, but one of the differences from my previous employers is in the genuine passion to get stuff done! XactlyOne is run by a committee comprising colleagues across a range of offices, departments, and countries under the steerage of Francis Vo. All the members have their own day jobs in Xactly, but share an interest and commitment to help others in need. Each office has an XactlyOne committee and local employees are encouraged to suggest charities or events that they have a personal connection with. In the past year XactlyOne has generated 767 hours of volunteering and raised donations of over $34,500 to a range of charities globally – impressive results considering that volunteering is optional. XactlyOne gives employees an opportunity to interact with colleagues outside of their core working groups and helps foster a strong working relationship across all levels of the organisation, while also most importantly giving back to the community. All of the Xactly offices have generously given their time and energy over the year to support a range of amazing activities. Here’s a selection of some of the ways that XactlyOne has engaged employees to volunteer:
- The team in India arranged a collection during their holiday party to raise funds for various charitable organizations.
- In Denver the team put on a BBQ and fun run in aid of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and employees also volunteered at Denver Rescue Mission.
- The San Jose office organized a Family Giving Tree, collecting $3000 and 28 school backpacks for disadvantaged children in the community. They also ran a warm coat drive for the Sacred Heart Community Service during the winter months, and offered a mentoring program with Breakthrough Silicon Valley for middle school aged children.
In the UK office we’ve completed six XactlyOne events in 2016 – ranging from an International Food Evening in aid of a London Food Bank to a Pub Quiz with over 200 people which raised $3,100 for Save the Children. In December we set up a Giving Tree with the charity Kids Out and collaborated with other companies in our building to provide Christmas gifts for needy children. The quantity and range of gifts donated is impressive, and is sure to bring smiles and laughter to the recipients. As we head into the festive break it’s important to remember that giving is not just for the holidays. Thanks to the support of XactlyOne we can continue the spirit of volunteering and engagement throughout the year. The 2017 calendar is already filling up, I’ve already signed up a group from the UK office to run the Reading Half Marathon in March – the perfect way to shift the extra pounds after Christmas, and support a needy charity!