We Are Citizen Philanthropists - Ireland Giving Network
At VMware, we believe everyone has something unique to contribute to our society. Our culture of service influences the way we interact with others – inside and outside of work. As such, we are all Citizen Philanthropists, empowered to support what is most meaningful to us, through VMware Foundation programs.
To bring VMware Foundation programs to life, employee-led groups called Giving Networks to inspire VMware colleagues (in their teams, sites, locations, regions, countries, etc.) to take action in their communities. As a Giving Network member, people embody VMware’s Leadership Code, demonstrating how we can all learn and personally and professionally grow through service.
This month we checked in with the Jamie Knoblauch, Senior Analyst in Deal Management, and the Ireland Giving Network Lead.
Jamie Knoblauch: By far, my favorite thing about working at VMware is our culture of service. When I started here it amazed me the amount of flexibility VMware people are given in order to contribute to our communities. I am so proud to play an active role in empowering others to make positive impacts in their community. The Ireland Giving Network includes our Cork and Dublin offices, and remote VMware people in between, connecting colleagues across the country. As the lead of this Giving Network, I have been able to develop both personally and professionally, building a personal brand that is well-known throughout the company both in Ireland and globally.
My journey started 6 years ago when I began working at VMware. Like many others, once I had settled into my core role withing the Deal Management Team, I was encouraged to start looking for stretch assignments for my career journey. I instantly gravitated towards the Giving Network, as I love to support the community and am passionate about nonprofits caring for animals. Over the course of a year, I learned about VMware’s unique way of giving, Citizen Philanthropy, and when I became the Lead, I took on the challenge to empower as many people as possible to give to the community in a way that is personally meaningful to them.
As a group, the Giving Network surveyed our colleagues to find out how people wanted to give to the community and what was holding them back. We then hosted recurring Service Learning activities that supported a range of nonprofits in order to provide diverse opportunities to match as many people with their social cause of choice. This schedule also meant people could anticipate the activity and create space in their work schedule. Over the course of two years, we scaled this up and by January 2020 we had Service Learning opportunities five days a week.
Since the onset of COVID-19, like many around the world, we have had to adapt to a new approach, shifting in-person Service Learning to activities that can be done from home – be it virtually or socially distant.
Leading the Ireland Giving Network is my proudest accomplishment to-date. My team and the VMware Ireland Leadership team have fully supported me to succeed in this role. I am inspired to see new people join in our collective impact. Empowering people to contribute to the community in such diverse and meaningful ways, makes every minute I spend leading the Ireland Giving Network fully and wholeheartedly rewarding.