This year brought unprecedented challenges to communities across the United States. Foundations, nonprofits and social service agencies have been hit particularly hard by the effects of COVID-19, as the need for their services has ballooned, and – for some – their ability to meet this need has declined.
Five years ago, Artemis Connection made a commitment to donate 4.5% of our time annually to support communities across the country, through a mix of pro bono work and employee volunteering. This year was no exception, as we mobilized our team to help organizations affected by the global health crisis and resulting economic downturn.
We also reinforced our belief in diversity and inclusion by working with clients focused on racial justice. Artemis Connection is committed to supporting the work of organizations that are accelerating the power and influence of people of color in the public and private sectors.
4.5% Promise: Giving Back By the Numbers
In the past year, at Artemis Connection we’ve focused our 4.5% efforts more on pro bono projects than employee volunteering, since shutdowns and stay-at-home orders have put a hold on many in-person volunteering opportunities. During this time, we’re proud to share what we’ve accomplished:
- 13 pro bono or low bono client projects
- 70% of Artemis team members contributing their time to these projects
- 1500+ team hours in total dedicated to pro bono or low bono clients
4.5% Client Roster
At Artemis Connection, we’re also proud to have worked with the following organizations in a pro or low bono capacity in the past year:
Boyer Children’s Clinic: Boyer is the largest provider of early intervention services in Seattle for children. We worked with their staff and Board of Directors to create 1, 5, and 10-year strategic plans for the organization. One of our recommendations was particularly timely: we advised that Boyer invest in telehealth, which paid off when COVID-19 hit.
Financial Education Public-Private Partnership: This partnership, created by the Washington state legislature, brings together public and private stakeholders to improve financial education in Washington schools and communities, specifically by providing teacher training and other quality resources. We helped FEPPP enhance their fundraising infrastructure.
FIRST Washington: This nonprofit organization inspires young people to engage in team-based STEM programs, alongside a knowledgeable volunteer community. After COVID-19 disrupted the program, we helped them refresh the strategy.
FUSE Corps: This national nonprofit partners with local government to help urban communities thrive, including partnering to support economic and workforce development, healthcare, public safety, climate change, and education. Artemis ran sessions for the fellows on leading a listening tour, and we collaborated with the leadership team on ways to foster peer-to-peer learning.
Horace Mann League: The league exists to strengthen the American public school system, in the spirit of its founder, Horace Mann. Following the retirement announcement by the long-term executive director, Artemis built a succession strategy so the organization could continue to thrive.
Junior Achievement of Washington: This is the local chapter of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving youth the knowledge and skills to enable their economic success, specifically by offering programs in work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Artemis supported the staff and Board in figuring out how to adjust to the world during (and after) the pandemic.
IDEA in the PNW: We convene a roundtable to empower women and underrepresented minorities to pursue local economic and social opportunities, with the support of local employers and community organizations. The group crowdsources solutions to common challenges, educates each other, and illuminates best practices.
The Mountaineers: This organization, located in the Pacific Northwest, is committed to helping people explore, conserve, and learn about the area’s lands and waters. COVID-19 required all in-person sessions, a key source of revenue, to move online. Artemis determined how to do this in a way that yielded a good learner and volunteer experience.
Piedmont Haven Dad’s Club: This group within the Haven Parents Club helps fund enrichment activities for children enrolled in Piedmont, California, schools. Artemis built a database of best practices.
Stanford WELL for Life: An initiative within Stanford’s Prevention Research Center, WELL for Life helps individuals proactively improve their own health, wellness, and well-being. We built a pitch for the organization so it could secure strategic partners and funders.
Tech Alliance: This is a statewide, nonprofit organization of leaders from Washington’s technology-based businesses and research institutions focused on growing high-impact industries, creating high-wage jobs, and fostering economic prosperity in Washington state. We worked with the Alliance to help K-12 schools in Washington access devices, connectivity, curriculum, and tech support, and support family communication.
Women in Entrepreneurial Leadership: We created a certificate program at the University of Washington to explore the fundamental principles of entrepreneurship, with a focus on expanding entrepreneurship beyond the typical entrepreneur profiles and entrepreneurial hotspots.
WWU Council for Economic Education: This council at the Western Washington University has a mission to teach every child in Washington state about personal finance and economics, specifically by equipping teachers with free workshops, activities, programs, and online tools. Artemis build a succession plan that included revitalizing the board.
WWU Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity: The Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Committee at WWU promotes equity, inclusion, and diversity at WWU’s College of Business and Economics. We worked with their team to support their efforts.
Impact of Our Work
We are proud to have partnered with these organizations, given their reach across many issue areas, geographies, and beneficiaries. We’re also proud to share a sampling of the impact of our work, specifically on clients and on team members:
Junior Achievement of Washington: “During the pandemic, Artemis Connection supported JAWA with some scenario planning and adjusting our strategy. They led the thinking, modeled out various situations and supported our team and board with navigating these unprecedented times. The Artemis team, led by Christy Johnson, is passionately committed to our mission of providing work and life readiness skills to the students of today. Artemis truly shares JA’s belief in the boundless potential of young people and we are thrilled to have them guide us in achieving our vision.”
Western Washington University: “WWU CBE has collaborated with Artemis Connections for the past 18 months. The College of Business and Economics (CBE) contracted with Artemis Connection, Inc. in early 2019 to look at EID within the college, conduct primary research with stakeholders, and make recommendations to improve EID efforts. As a result, we wove EID into our strategy, formed an official EID task force and dedicated career services.”
Horace Mann League: “Our association was in need of renewed clarity of purpose and direction. By the processes used by the Artemis Team, our Board of Directors became more focused in carrying out the mission and purpose of our Association. The Artemis Team, by researching our by-laws and publications, as well as interviews of the officers and directors, created the clarity needed of our current status and what we should be doing to provide better communication and service for our membership. The strategic planning process is the beginning of setting up meaningful objectives and accountability systems to refocus and re-energize the Association.”
Artemis team: “I am passionate about fostering and promoting a diverse ecosystem of entrepreneurs. Ultimately, more thriving companies means more jobs and a healthier economy, and company leadership that reflects the society around it is critical to ensuring that those companies serve everyone’s needs. That’s why I dedicate more than 4.5% of my time to initiatives designed to increase access to resources for diverse start-up founders.” – Sonia Steinway, Principal
Artemis team: “I love working for an organization that empowers it’s team to give back to their communities. Through this, I have had the opportunity to support causes and organizations that are important to me personally, as well as nonprofits with strong missions leveraging our team’s skills. I’ve been inspired by several nonprofit leaders, and the work we do truly makes a difference to them.” – Jessica Oman, Chief of Staff
About the Author
Christy Johnson is an intrapreneur, entrepreneur and educator. She founded Artemis Connection, a management consultancy, because she wanted to disrupt the typical consulting model and prove the remote, flexible teams could deliver top-notch strategic work to clients. Christy is a McKinsey & Company alum, adjunct professor of women in entrepreneurial leadership at the University of Washington, and mom of three living in Washington state.