This article originally appeared on Nielsen.com.
For the past nine years, Nielsen has celebrated Nielsen Global Impact Day (NGID), our annual day of service when our associates come together to volunteer in their communities. NGID is part of our year-round Nielsen Cares volunteering program. This year, NGID was postponed due to COVID-19, but we haven’t let this stop us. There’s an even greater need now to help our communities, as we are in it together fighting this global pandemic.
Through our ‘In It Together’ campaign, we are encouraging associates to volunteer virtually in three specific areas:
Helping our neighbors: We’re connecting with neighbors in need—those who live nearby and those we may never have met. Associates can call elderly neighbors or those facing isolation to offer companionship, buy online gift cards to their local businesses, as well as help #WashTheHate with anti-xenophobia and anti-hate speech efforts.
Fighting hunger: Associates are donating money to local food banks and buying groceries for those who can’t get to stores. Nielsen continues to contribute more than $2 million worth of data annually to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap to understand food insecurity in the U.S. supporting their network of food banks with research and information to help feed vulnerable people during this pandemic.
Using our skills and expertise: Associates are joining hackathons focused on COVID-19, starting pro bono projects to support nonprofits and agencies with data analytics, and using resources from the Nielsen Foundation’s Discover Data program to teach students virtually about data science.
“By volunteering virtually, we can build our Nielsen community even at a distance, while making a difference for our communities during a time of crisis,” said Andrea Bertels, VP, Global Responsibility and Sustainability. “With our data and insights, we are doing something that is unique to Nielsen. I’m inspired by how much our associates are doing to give back.”
Each year, Nielsen associates can dedicate up to 24 hours to volunteering. With stay-at-home orders around the world, through ‘In It Together’, associates can still use those 24 hours virtually. Many associates have stepped up to help with needs that have emerged since the COVID-19 crisis began—everything from making masks for local frontline workers to analyzing food pantry data to help food banks meet growing demand.
Several Nielsen Data Science associates are working with Can’t Stop Columbus to analyze Ohio food pantry data to better understand food needs and if food is getting to the right places during the pandemic. “I’ve volunteered in food pantries before—packing and distributing food. But applying my analytical skills to this project makes me feel like I’m having a bigger impact and helping more people beyond the pantry,” said Sara Liang, Data Science Associate, Nielsen. “And I love that I can continue volunteering safely from home.”
Through Nielsen Cares, we dedicate at least $10 million in pro bono work, skills-based volunteering, and in-kind giving of our data and services each year, in service of social and environmental causes where we can make a unique impact. In 2019, we donated more than $24 million in pro bono value to nonprofits and causes to help accelerate inclusion and shape a smarter market.