Worksforsocial, one of Area 31 Startups, is a platform that allows NGOs and smaller companies who do not have a specific area in their organization dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility, to be involved in some kind of social action. They promote a collaborative relationship between NGOs and smaller companies. Last April, Workforsocial celebrated the first edition of Pro Bono Marathon, with the collaboration of Impact Hub Madrid. A total of 20 volunteers participated in the projects. We interviewed Andrea Sánchez (CEO) and Laura Casado (Marketing Director) to gain further insights on the social responsibility startup.
“Workforsocial started more or less, a year ago and we have been taking small steps to get where we are now. As Andrea had built her career on social responsibility, we saw that the area was lacking of the introduction of significant innovations. This applied especially to the smaller companies who were not engaging themselves in many relevant projects. So the question that we wanted to resolve was: “How do we introduce further the concept of social responsibility to smaller companies?” There was no need to call this area of the company: Corporate Social Responsibility which may appear to complicate the company too much. We thought of providing these companies with a tool to get involved in some kind of social action. We wanted to develop a collaborative kind of relationship between the organizations that offered the projects and the companies that wanted to be involved in social action, rather than a consulting company. We had the idea by looking at an international level, however there was just platforms for NGOs to work between themselves that promoted Pro Bono work. This fit the concept that we were trying to implement for smaller companies, and we even thought about having people collaborating as freelancers in the platform.”
Workforsocial started testing these collaborations in an offline manner, offering our time and with
little investment in place. Before creating an online platform we had to see if our idea made sense. The startups has already carried out 5 collaborations with NGOs which are around all Spain. Their progress has been possible due to contacts and networking, which, without much planning, has allowed them to contact with various social enterprises.
For the time being, Worksforsocial has 15 NGOs and other 15 businesses which are willing to collaborate. They provide their services for a reduced fee or even as a free service in certain occasions. They aim that the work is not provided by any type of person that volunteers but rather by professionals. “On the side of the NGOs, we want to guarantee them that if they are not happy with the service provided by the company, Workforsocial will act as the “watchmen” that ensures that the project will come to a successful conclusion.”