Connecting business with afterschool

Learn to bring businesses and afterschool together

Partnerships with businesses can be key to the long-term sustainability of afterschool programs, and businesses have a lot to gain from involvement with afterschool. But businesses get a lot of requests for their time and resources, and afterschool may not be at the top of their list. Plus, businesses that wish to support afterschool may not know how to get involved.

Corporate Voices for Working Families has created a suite of tools to help facilitate the connection between business and afterschool, whether an afterschool program is looking to partner with a business, a business is looking to support an afterschool program, or a business wants to expand their work with afterschool to include advocacy and public awareness. Below are descriptions of the tools that are available.

COMMUNITY-TO-BUSINESS TOOLKIT: Empowering afterschool advocates to initiate partnerships with businesses.

This toolkit is geared toward afterschool advocates and providers interested in establishing connections and forming partnerships with business. The first section provides an overview of Corporate Voices for Working Families™ second policy statement "After School for All: A Call to Action from the Business Community." The policy statement outlines elements of high-quality afterschool programs and offers policy recommendations from a business perspective. The statement is followed by some basic facts about afterschool in America and some facts about why businesses should care about afterschool, which can help you make the case for the need for and benefits of businesses partnering with afterschool programs.

Key components of this toolkit include some tips from Donna Klein, president and CEO of Corporate Voices for Working Families, on how to approach and engage business leaders and on sustaining those partnerships. Also included are case studies of companies that have supported afterschool programs and afterschool advocates that have successfully partnered with business. Finally, this toolkit provides a list of resources with information on afterschool and working families that can help you make the case for why business should support afterschool.

BUSINESS-TO-COMMUNITY TOOLKIT: Increasing awareness of and public support for afterschool.

This toolkit highlights policies and community outreach strategies that businesses can institute to increase public support for afterschool. It gives examples of how businesses can become involved in afterschool programs in their community through partnering with programs, providing volunteers, and making in-kind contributions and donations. In addition, the toolkit gives examples of how businesses can engage in advocacy for afterschool through outreach to media and policymakers, by joining a larger afterschool movement, and through participating in events to raise public awareness.

The toolkit provides ideas in where business leaders can find opportunities to get involved with afterschool programs, including tips for finding programs that need help and how to get involved with afterschool locally, through community institutions and national affiliates, and at the state level through state education agencies. Additionally, the toolkit provides suggestions for getting employees involved in afterschool programs as volunteers. Case studies focus on how business groups such as Agilent Technologies, Glaxosmithkline and Corporate Voices for Working Families, in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have shown leadership in their involvement with and advocacy for afterschool.

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS TOOLKIT: Fostering business engagement in afterschool programs and policies.

This toolkit focuses on showing business leaders some ways in which they can get involved with afterschool and how they can share ideas with other business leaders. The first section contains the Call to Action and "statement of principles," followed by a fact sheet about afterschool in America that makes the case for why afterschool programs should be available to all who want or need them. Data and statistics covered in the fact sheet include the supply and demand for programs, voter and policymaker support and outcomes and benefits of quality afterschool programs.

A key component of the Business to Business toolkit is the section that explains why business should care about afterschool, specifically, how afterschool is a good investment that affects businesses' bottom lines by supporting families and preparing the workforce of the future. This section includes a survey tool created by the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs that helps businesses assess the afterschool-related needs of their employees. A section titled "Getting Started" provides business leaders with specific ideas of how they can support afterschool -- both through internal business policies and practices, such as helping employees locate afterschool programs for their children, and through outreach and giving to afterschool programs.

Most important, the toolkit provides guidance in sharing the afterschool story with a broader audience. Three case studies highlight businesses that have successfully supported afterschool, and there is a guide for business leaders to share their story of involvement with afterschool, with the public and with fellow business leaders. The toolkit also includes a PowerPoint presentation that business leaders can use to educate their colleagues about quality afterschool programs.