Nathalie Lemarchand skills-based sponsorship for Ashoka: “A small contribution to a vast initiative”




Using the professional and personal skills of employees to help a good cause during working hours. That is what skills-based sponsorship of associations is all about. Nathalie Lemarchand, Artistic Director within the Altavia Paris creative department, tells us about her work for the NGO Ashoka. And much more!

A recent survey conducted for the Fondation SNCF by Ifop – in partnership with Entreprise et Progrès and the ANDRH, the French National Association of HRD – revealed that 70% of French people are willing to volunteer during their working hours. 32% of executive directors are in favour of introducing a skills-based sponsorship programme, 23% say they are considering it, and 9% have already put one in place. Altavia is one of these companies that have already made this commitment a reality.



Altavia working for Ashoka

In summer 2018, a team of 6 people worked together to draft the annual report for the NGO Ashoka. Nathalie Lemarchand, Artistic Director at Altavia Paris, was one of those involved, having been a volunteer since 2017. “The idea was to promote this network through its numerous actions worldwide”, says Nathalie. “Particularly its support for social entrepreneurs who develop large-scale solutions to social and environmental issues. In order to highlight this incredible work, we came up with a selection of infographics and used the NGOS signature colours – navy blue, orange, red and purple – to publicise its identity. We also capitalised on the Organisation’s international dimension through a global image with connected modules.”


The creative phase of the project took place in July, ahead of the implementation in August, and the finalised annual report was sent to print in September.



Volunteering in the professional sphere…

Skills-based sponsorship represents a real commitment from an employee, who dedicates part of their working time to a project. A commitment, but also a fantastic opportunity, one that Nathalie was eager to take up. “I felt that using my skills to help a network of social entrepreneurs, instead of my usual retail clients, could be a stimulating challenge”, she recalls. “And I was right! Not only was I passionate about the project, but it also helped strengthen my relationships with my colleagues.”


Nathalie was particularly impressed by the almost tangible energy at the annual evening event organised by Ashoka to present all of the entrepreneurs selected. “It was amazing to discover this community, all these people who are trying to change the world”, she explains. “I am delighted to have been able to make my own small contribution to this vast initiative.”



… and private sphere

The idea of becoming involved in skills-based sponsorship at Altavia immediately appealed to Nathalie Lemarchand, who has been a volunteer for over twenty years. “In my family, everyone has always volunteered in different spheres”, she says. “I travelled to India when I was 18, and I was deeply influenced by my trip. I realised that, blessed with lives of comfort, we could take action for others, even to make the smallest changes to their lives, we can give without expecting anything in return. I helped renovate a school in India, taught French classes to children at a community centre, and canvassed homeless people at train stations. Getting away from my everyday life and my own personal bubble was a greatly enriching experience. I gave, but I also received a great deal.” 





Ashoka is an NGO, a network of change leaders that promote social innovation. Through its actions, it seeks to accelerate ideas and initiatives with a positive social impact in order to start preparing for the future now. Its goal is to:


  • IDENTIFY and SUPPORT the world’s leading social entrepreneurs whose system-changing innovations solve problems in all fields (health, environment, education, etc.);
  • CONNECT people from different backgrounds in civil society, whether from the public or private sectors, to ACCELERATE the emergence of the “Everyone a Changemaker” world.