Big Ideas: “Skills-based volunteerism; create the connection between people and the places they can make a difference.” with Common Impact CEO, Danielle Holly

Christina D. Warner
Authority Magazine
Published in
7 min readFeb 21, 2019


As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle Holly. Danielle Holly is dedicated to creating previously unseen pathways for individuals to meaningfully contribute to making their communities thrive. She envisions a world where every person is able to bring their values and personal mission to their day jobs, integrate healthy and sustainable personal lives and, as a result, have the drive and energy to make our communities more equitable and vibrant.

She is currently the CEO of Common Impact, an organization that designs programs that directs our society’s most strategic, philanthropic asset — our people — to the seemingly intractable social challenges they’re best positioned to address. Danielle has supported hundreds of nonprofit organizations on capacity building and growth strategies to in order to effectively scale their models of social impact. In addition, Danielle has helped numerous corporations navigate the new era in corporate social responsibility and skills-based volunteering, including global powerhouses JPMorgan Chase, Charles Schwab, Marriott International, and Fidelity Investments.

She is a contributing writer for Nonprofit Quarterly, a member of the NationSwell Council, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and Net Impact NYC.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

When I worked on Wall Street early in my career, I was exposed to the massive amount of money that was moving through the system on a daily basis — and how decisions were being made, sometimes poorly, around where that money was being directed. My day ended when the bell rang at 4pm and, with the disposable time that my early 20s allowed, I started supporting nonprofits in the area with their finances — modeling, basic bookkeeping, anything that was needed — what I would now call skills-based volunteerism. It was remarkable to me how much these small cash-strapped nonprofits were able to accomplish…