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Pro Bono Week (October 21−27, 2018) is a global celebration recognizing the people and organizations that volunteer their skill sets pro bono to make positive changes in their local communities. At Fors Marsh Group (FMG), pro bono work aligns with our core values and is an important part of how we make an impact on our community and society.

As a Certified B Corp, Fors Marsh Group is committed to ensuring that all of our business practices benefit our employees, community, and environment. FMG’s dedication to serving our community includes providing employees with paid time off to volunteer. This empowers our employees to make an impact in the communities where they live and work. FMG has always been a proponent of giving back to others through service activities and charitable giving. We have supported initiatives such as Toys for Tots, Operation Gratitude, and a variety of Northern Virginia Family Services programs.

To deepen our engagement with the needs of the local community, FMG launched Social Engagement through Research-centered Volunteerism (SERV) in 2017. SERV is FMG’s community service program. It activates our talent to deliver market research and application services to local, mission-aligned organizations. SERV provides local non-profit organizations with qualitative and quantitative research and consulting services that they might not otherwise be able to access. Through SERV and FMG’s research efforts, traditionally underserved groups in the community receive better resources and improved services.

Since the SERV initiative began last year, FMG has conducted two projects: the first, with the Arlington Free Clinic, and the second, with Britepaths. For the Arlington Free Clinic project, our researchers examined the barriers patients living with diabetes encounter when receiving preventative dental exams. We developed a messaging campaign that drives knowledge and awareness of the importance of oral health for diabetic individuals. After three months of the campaign, the percentage of diabetic clinic patients reporting they received information about oral health and diabetes increased by about 8.6% and the number of patients living with diabetes who received dental services increased by about 11%. Also, since the project concluded, the clinic has leveraged this research to support grants used to expand their dental program.

Currently, FMG is working with Britepaths and their partners to develop strategic communications and updated messaging based on our formative research findings. The ultimate goal is to increase awareness of the financial services they offer.

FMG is committed to ensuring that our work not only benefits our clients, but also our employees and our community. Through our pro bono work, local organizations that operate on a limited budget have the opportunity to receive market research and consulting services. This allows them to better serve the community members that depend on their services. Pro bono work also benefits our employees by allowing them to practice new skill sets, take on stretch assignments, and experience the fulfilling outcomes of helping our local community through their work.

Interested in hearing more about FMG’s pro bono work? Look for additional blogs in the coming months that talk about each of our SERV projects, the groups we’ve helped, and the impact FMG makes. Visit our website to learn more about Fors Marsh Group and our B Corp Certification.  

About the author

Leah Alley

Leah Alley began her work with Fors Marsh Group as an intern in 2015. After she finished her master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, she continued her work with FMG as a Researcher. She works on a variety of projects with different elections and voting organizations, including the Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Election Assistance Commission, using research to inform training, marketing, and communication strategies. She is trained in a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and has experience with data analysis, content coding, cognitive interviewing, survey development and administration, and training development and evaluation.

Leah received an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. While at the University of Virginia, she worked for the Social Cognition and Behavior Lab, assisting with research on the effects of diversity within university settings and within a larger social context of day-to-day interactions.

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