Golden Halo Award: Nonprofit
2023 Golden Halo Award (Nonprofit) – Big Brothers Big Sisters Of America
Founded in 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, America’s largest youth mentoring organization, has supercharged its collaboration with corporate partners in recent years as societal crises have deepened the need for its services. BBBSA focuses on partnering with businesses that embrace the organization’s JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) values and youth empowerment vision. These alliances empower consumers to support the cause, employees to volunteer, media and influencers to elevate the brand and fuel the outcomes that make BBBSA’s evidence-based model of mentorship possible.
BBBSA’s relationship-based model creates mentoring experiences between young people (“Littles”), starting at age 5 through young adulthood, and caring, positive adult mentors (“Bigs”). Its services are 100% free of charge to the families it serves working with 230+ local agencies in more than 5,000 communities across all 50 states.
The young people BBBSA serves face a variety of mental, emotional and behavioral risk factors that can be exacerbated by poor relationships, poverty, stress, trauma, violence and the loss of close relationships, which are all linked to maladaptive and risky behaviors, poor health outcomes, and even early death.
Though many of the youth it serves are from underserved and underrepresented communities, they are not defined by these circumstances, but instead are empowered to build resiliency, maximize opportunities, and achieve post-secondary success.
BBBSA’s approach helps thousands of youth each year, but research on mentoring programs consistently shows that targeted interventions—programs that focus on specific outcomes, not just the interaction—can yield even stronger results. This is why BBBSA programs are keenly focused on three core outcomes: Post-Secondary Success, Social-Emotional Health, and Inclusion and Belonging.
BBBSA’s corporate social responsibility work invests in, elevates and grows the critical outputs of its mission. The creative flexibility embedded within its approach to corporate partnerships allows space for all industries, sectors and platforms to engage with its mission and cause, aligning with the organization’s public-facing activations, campaigns and initiatives. Through a thoughtful employee engagement and stakeholder education process, BBBSA deepens relationships and creates opportunities for impactful mission engagement, including workforce development, employee resource group (ERG) activation and corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategic counsel.
Examples of recent high-impact BBBSA business partnerships include:
Macy’s – In October, BBBSA and Macy’s announced a multi-year partnership, including featuring BBBSA as a National Holiday Cause Partner. The retailer supports the full network of mentoring Agencies at BBBSA with a strong cause marketing campaign featuring Bigs and Littles in-store and online.
Starbucks Foundation – A National JEDI partnership lifts key initiatives and programs, including their Relationship Responders preparedness team set up to support the efforts of BBBS Agencies in communities facing crisis and incidences surrounding social justice and racial tension.
Harry’s – In collaboration with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and Futures Without Violence, Harry’s is helping support men and boys of color with mental health access, resources and support.
Comcast NBCUniversal – Through more than a decade-long partnership, the brand is helping to build and activate workplace mentoring programs around the nation, as well as support the mission with media moments.
Express – A year-round multimedia partnership features celebrity spokespeople and store associates collaborating to inspire confidence that leads to the development of Littles connected to the BBBS Big Futures college and career readiness program.
Looking ahead, BBBSA will continue to serve as a CSR and ERG-aligned partner to the corporate sector in a manner that will drive important outcomes for the youth it serves.