Forty Under Forty: Danielle Holly

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Danielle Holly

CEO

Common Impact

 

WORKING TO FULLY INTEGRATE SOCIAL IMPACT

Fast fact: Tweet her @dholly8


Danielle Holly is a connector, uniting corporate employees and their unique skills with nonprofits that could use their time and effort. In the partnership, both parties win and communities benefit. Holly speaks with passion about her job and has used her experience as a writer to become a thought leader on skills-based volunteerism. Under Holly, Common Impact continues to expand, bringing the organization's mission to more partners in new cities. 

 

 

NYN: HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN YOUR FIELD?

DH: I was working at the New York Stock Exchange after college and also supporting small nonprofit organizations at night. That experience of seeing the money move through the market every day and tiny budgets that nonprofits were working with got me interested in this question around nonprofit capacity and the way that the private sector can help.

 

NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.

DH: I think I’m most proud of establishing Common Impact’s presence in New York. We were a Boston-based organization for years and over the past five years have really become national and New York is now really one of the main pillars of that. It took a lot of work and I’m really proud of the work we did there.

 

NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?

DH: My organization serves other nonprofit organizations, so I’ll speak to that. I think what would shift the space the most in a positive direction is if more companies started thinking about social impact as part of their business model versus a side function, a CSR function, a nice-to-have function, but if it were really core to how they ran their operations. That would do a lot to support the nonprofit organizations that Common Impact supports but it would also do a lot to eliminate some of the social challenges that we’re all collectively trying to solve.

 

NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?

DH: One thing that I’m really intrigued by is shifting the corporate landscape to what I had just mentioned before – thinking about social impact not as a nice-to-have but really integrated. I would love to be able to look back and be able to say that I made that happen for a particular company and that because of my work a company now has real purpose and social impact as part of their everyday operation. I would also love to go to South Africa.

 

NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?

DH: I wish they knew how fun it was! A lot of our clients and particularly our team, they see the challenges, the fires that I’m putting out every day and me in problem-solving mode. When I take a step back in the evening, I just have a ton of fun with my work and I hope that everyone that I work with and will work with knows that.

 

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