Dropbox: Lending our good fortune to the community
Dublin Dropboxers. Image: Luke Maxwell

Dropbox: Lending our good fortune to the community

15 Mar 2017232 Shares

When a jobseeker is comparing potential employers, it’s not always salary or benefits that makes the difference – CSR can be the deciding factor. Here, Dropbox’s Lucy Reddan gives us an overview of the work the tech giant is doing in the community.

Dropbox for Good (DfG) is the social impact group within Dropbox that organises various volunteering opportunities and social impact initiatives across its chapters in 13 global offices.

As a collective global group, we have found that different corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives resonate differently with different offices. Some offices prefer to run on-the-ground initiatives such as soup kitchen runs, while others have had great success with in-office fundraising events.

With more than 180 Dropboxers from all over the world working here, our Dublin location is the company’s HQ for Europe, Mid-East and Africa, and home to our international sales, service, marketing, finance, HR and engineering functions.

When starting at Dropbox, new employees may not know Ireland and its culture very well. DfG Dublin gives Dublin employees a great opportunity to get to know the city and its people, to integrate with a variety of Dublin communities and to meet fellow staff members who have similar philanthropic interests.

Over the last few years, Dropbox Dublin has worked with a number of national and international organisations with a strong emphasis on equality of opportunity.

Solas Project and CASA are two organisations that we worked closely with in 2016 and are continuing to support in 2017.

Solas Project

Solas Project is a Dublin-based community development charity that works to address the imbalances that contribute to children growing up at a socio-economic or educational disadvantage.

The charity’s mission is to equip and empower children to live full lives and become positive participants in society. It places high value on self-worth, motivation and character, achieved through programmes of learning, mentoring, and personal and social development.

Dropbox employees join Solas Project as mentors for the Solas Business programme. Each mentor helps young children from a Dublin school to develop a business idea. The students then bring their ideas to Dropbox’s office to present them in front of a panel of judges.

Clodagh O’Reilly, finance and operations manager at Solas Project, finds the Dropbox involvement invaluable: “Solas Project has a vision that sees an Ireland where every young person truly knows their self-worth and can take full advantage of their potential. Dropbox allows us to create ways in which we see that vision being realised in the lives of young people. Together we can increase motivation and help the young people to grow in confidence.”

Solas Project participants at Dropbox

Solas Project participants presenting their business ideas to the judging panel. Image: Hu O’Reilly

CASA

CASA works with and supports people with all disabilities – physical, sensory and intellectual – of all ages and from all backgrounds.

We joined up with CASA to organise regular visits to our office, where their groups meet up with Dropbox employees, have some dinner together, play music and enjoy all the fun aspects of our office. This gives the teens an insight into a working office environment, as well as an opportunity to practice their karaoke skill set.

“The feedback from their parents has been fantastic,” says Rebecca Sheridan, manager at CASA.

The impact at Dropbox

Dropbox’s work with these community initiatives can have a very real impact on the lives of those they touch, but it also has an important knock-on effect at the company itself.

“Running these initiatives is extremely important to Dropbox and to society as a whole. In the tech industry – and at Dropbox, in particular – employees are very well looked after. Not only do we have great benefits, like health insurance and three meals a day provided to us, but we have strong company values, which lend themselves to a great culture,” says Katie Latchford, sales ops at Dropbox, who is heavily involved in the running of DfG in Dublin.

DfG plays a key role in building and strengthening our company values. It is so important for us to step out of that environment, gain perspective, and lend those values and good fortune to other communities.

For a lot of people here at Dropbox, a genuine and impactful CSR programme was a key factor in deciding where to work. People want to be empowered to use their skills and opportunity to give back to the community around them. They volunteer for and drive these initiatives on their own time and outside their day jobs.

“These are not one-way relationships,” says Latchford.

“Dropbox take so much pleasure from meeting and getting to know these pockets of communities from around Dublin. It is great to see everybody smiling and chatting about their time working on Solas or CASA.”

By Lucy Reddan

Lucy Reddan is in marketing operations at Dropbox. Having joined the company almost two years ago, Reddan works on a global marketing ops team with team members spread between Dublin and San Francisco. She likes working to help people who are not from Ireland to discover the best of Dublin and all that it has to offer, including introducing them to some of the city’s communities.

Interested in paying it forward? For just €5000, your company can sponsor a group of young people or a disadvantaged group to attend Inspirefest 2017, Silicon Republic’s international sci-tech event. Find out how to sponsor here.

Updated, 10.41am, 16 March 2017: This article has been amended following an update from Dropbox clarifying the scope of the DfG programme.

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