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ShareTheGood - an Avastian co-design participatory grant initiative

Julia Szymanska - Avast Foundation's Employment Engagement Manager - explains the vision, hopes and aspirations behind #ShareTheGood

Avastians are committed to helping charities deliver change in their communities. The #ShareTheGood grant giving initiative is a new participatory grant programme that puts Avastians at the heart of the decision making process.

Julia Szymanska - Avast Foundation's Employment Engagement Manager - explains the vision, hopes and aspirations behind #ShareTheGood

What’s the campaign about?

#ShareTheGood campaign reflects the Avast Foundation’s core principles: inclusive co-design, trust based philanthropy and engaging Avast staff in the decision making process. It’s a grant giving campaign allowing Avastians to support 20 organisations of their choice which are working with communities and making local and global impact in diverse range of causes

How will it work?

Avast employees nominated charities they would like to support through volunteering and fundraising when we launch our employee programs in 2022. As we received very enthusiastic feedback and inputs, we decided to act immediately and distribute grants this holiday season among a selected group of organisations. 

Of the nearly hundred organizations nominated, an Avast staff committee selected 20 charities to become #ShareTheGood beneficiaries. Seven of these organisations work in areas advancing digital freedom and citizenship and will receive grants from the Foundation proportional to their annual budgets. The rest will receive grants based on employees' votes and according to their size. 

We believe that this approach will be a great beginning of our engagement journey with the Avast staff and may even inspire other organisations to put the staff at the center of some grantmaking decisions.   

What do you hope it will deliver?

There are two goals we are trying to achieve. First, we simply want to support the valuable work of a diverse range of non-profit organisations whose work is valued by our staff. 

We also want to create a strong foundation for our future work with the Avast staff. By demonstrating inclusive co-design in practice and engaging Avastians in decision making, we would like to create an environment where our colleagues feel confident, listened to and encouraged to initiate and participate in pro-social activities. We believe that together we can make a huge impact and we hope that nearly 2000 colleagues of ours will find it meaningful, inspiring and worthwhile to engage. 

What types of charities have been nominated by staff?

The range was diverse and represented the voices of Avast staff coming from different cultural and geographical backgrounds. We are still accepting nominations for organizations to work with in the future, and  Avast staff have nominated organisations in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Germany, UK, USA, but also Japan, and several across Africa! Diversity comes also in the mission and causes: starting from mentoring, education, humanitarian help, supporting underprivileged groups, medical care, or environment related. Our staff really do care! 

Is this grant programme typical of the way Avastians get involved in charity work?

This is the first initiative of this type organised by the current Avast Foundation to involve Avast staff to this extentd. However, the company and its prior Foundation have a great give back tradition and have historically enabled Avast staff to support causes that they care about, with the backing of the executive management and the company’s co-founders.

What’s next?

We have great plans with Avast staff. From Q1 2022 we will be offering a complete program with a diverse range of volunteering and fundraising opportunities, to support our staff on their prosocial journey. All those initiatives will be co-designed in the partnership with the charities nominated by Avastians. I don’t want to pre-empt our big announcement, but there are great opportunities coming for our organisation and many charities that can benefit from volunteering work and philanthropic spirit of the Avast community.  

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