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Purpose Hero Lori Harder - Alteryx

Lori Harder

Manager, Social Impact Global Programs
Alteryx
Alteryx
United States

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  • corporate social responsibility
  • skills-based volunteering

Purpose hero

Lori Harder wanted to give back to the community and work in a fast-paced, innovative environment. She was searching for an HR job in the technology sector when she found corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Alteryx. Today, she leads global volunteering and philanthropy, humanitarian aid, Alteryx’s Tech for Good program, plus social impact programming in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ).

Alteryx for Good - 2022 Earth Day - 61

Purpose program

Alteryx is on a mission to democratize analytics and channel the power of their workforce to address global challenges and accelerate progress. The company’s purpose program, Alteryx for Good, reaches the community in a variety of ways through five core pillars: Health, Education, Workforce Development, Basic Needs and Sustainability. They believe in supporting the communities where they live and work, which is why their Alteryx for Good program includes giving each employee 20 paid hours per year to volunteer with any verified nonprofit organization that is meaningful to them. Alteryx employees are engaged in making a difference and tackling some of society’s biggest challenges. Whether sorting food or clothes at donation centers, supporting the elderly with meal delivery service, making blankets for terminally ill patients or pulling weeds at an organic farm, their employees donated more than 3,000 hours of their time in 2021. To further support this initiative, Alteryx launched Benevity and has been able to support over 470 nonprofits through volunteerism or monetary donations.

“Our employees are engaged in making a difference in tackling some of society’s biggest challenges, whether it’s sorting food or clothes at a donation center, helping the elderly with meal delivery service or pulling weeds at an organic farm.”

Lori Harder, Manager, Social Impact Global Programs at Alteryx

Start with clear purpose and intent

Lori believes that less is more when launching a purpose program. She recommends choosing quality over quantity and being intentional and purposeful in your programming.

“When starting, I was really hyper-focused on launching as much programming as I could — volunteering events, speaker series, fundraising events, listening circles, all of it. And it was just too much. Our employees were overwhelmed and they didn’t know how to engage.”

Lori Harder, Manager, Social Impact Global Programs at Alteryx

Be flexible

Lori also recommends making flexibility a priority when planning your program. While you can plan your year for certain components of CSR, give yourself grace to divert from the roadmap if necessary. After all, a lot of the work you do is reactive, such as providing humanitarian aid or supporting social justice efforts.

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Involve your people

In Lori’s case, she underestimated the importance of employee engagement and how crucial it is to mobilizing your people.

“We are lean and scrappy teams. As much as we’re capable, we cannot do it alone. It’s nearly impossible to drive our efforts without the support of our employees. I would activate and engage our employee resource group leaders and launch regional advisory boards sooner than I did.”

Lori Harder, Manager, Social Impact Global Programs at Alteryx

Focus on your strengths

Direct your energy to capitalizing on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Don’t try to do it all, be all.

“Look at your company and realize what you're really good at. We’re a data company — through leveraging our product and data, we can give back and connect our employees to causes they care about.”

Lori Harder, Senior Global Social Impact Manager at Alteryx

Use your time to hone your natural talents and leverage those. That’s where you’ll be most energized.

“Relationship-building skills and empathy are two of my biggest strengths. Someone once told me I would never make it to management level because I was too nice. But I can channel my kindness and use it as my superpower instead of spending time trying to be someone I’m not. There is power in being uniquely you and using that power to your advantage.”

Lori Harder, Senior Global Social Impact Manager at Alteryx

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The impact

Joining Alteryx not long before the global pandemic began, Lori found employee engagement to be tricky. One thing that’s been very successful is leveraging the product expertise of her coworkers. Skills-based volunteering allows employees to use their unique product knowledge to support nonprofits, students and educators. Some of Alteryx’s customers have even leveraged their skills to give back, too.

Alteryx OnBoard-2022-07-15-15-49-29 5

“Employees can volunteer from the convenience of their own home and they get to connect with a nonprofit they’re passionate about. It’s great for people early in their careers, because they can get their feet wet in a way that’s really meaningful. And it shows how we use our product to do good in the world.”

Lori Harder, Manager, Social Impact Global Programs at Alteryx

Alteryx’s Tech for Good program has also been extremely successful. Tech for Good is their free licensing program that puts the most powerful, easy-to-use analytics tools in the hands of the nonprofits who need them most, helping them make smarter decisions faster. Alteryx believes data science and analytics has the power to change the world for the better and is committed to donating 1% of their product to nonprofits working to bring positive breakthroughs and change to their communities and the planet. Along with donating licenses, the program is unique in bringing together their entire ecosystem of employees, customers, and partners who volunteer their time to collaborate with nonprofit organizations to enable their data to thrive. In 2021, they donated over $5 million dollars in free product to nonprofits around the world.

 

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