My employer, NAB, gives us two volunteer days of leave a year – days in which we can volunteer in the community. One day is supposed to be used by teams together; to find something that is both team building and useful to the community. The other day can be used this way, but can also be used to do something individual.
Last year, my team went to a school for disabled children, and painted some of the walls, and did some gardening. And while this was a great cause, I really don’t think it was the best use of our skills.
So I’ve been trying to think of something that would be better for us to do together as a team. There are nearly thirty of us, and we would probably only manage to get twenty to any particular activity. Most, but not all, are actuaries, or actuarially trained. The others are data and coding specialists. As a team, we are great at analysing data, building and programming spreadsheets and databases, and pretty good at finding numerical information out in the world, building presentations about it, and writing reports about it.
We’re probably not in the top half of the population at gardening or painting.
What could we do? So far my brainstorming with my team has led to a few ideas:
- Create a great talk about using maths in real life so that our team can go and present it to high school students (or even primary school students)
- Find a group that needs some analysis of data in order to improve their services (this is a bit vague, and limited to organisations that wouldn’t be regarded as political lobbying)
- build databases for groups to help them manage their volunteers, contributors etc better
- analyse a fundraising campaign for a charity – what type of fundraising gave the best return on investment.
Many of these are easier done as single activities, but some of them could probably be converted into something like a hackathon for actuaries.
I thought I would ask the internet. How do my readers think my team can best help the community? Do you know of a charitable organisation that could use our help?