Thinc30 Explores Environmental, Social and Economic Sustainability

THINC30 was a full-day conference hosted by Covestro LLC focusing the community’s attention on The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).  These are global bold goals like “no poverty,” “zero hunger,” and “quality education.”  They focus on the three intertwined areas of sustainability– environmental, social and economic. Each goal has its own set of actionable steps that can help to achieve that goal if enough partners come on board.

Rebecca Lucore, Chief Sustainability Officer of Covestro LLC wanted to host the conference here to encourage local companies to learn about what is going on locally, nationally, and globally to achieve these goals.  Presenters included national leader Aaron Hurst to discuss The Purpose Economy – in which he posits that greater success results when companies help their employees and customers find purpose through growing personally, meaningful relationships, and making a difference.

Ginny Volponi, an Executive Service Corps member served on a panel with Peggy Outon to discuss the work of the Covestro Institute for Engagement connecting nonprofits and companies for mutual benefit.

THINC 30 highlighted what is already going on in Pittsburgh: collaborative ventures by public, private, and social entrepreneurs.  It was satisfying to see how our nonprofit sector has made a huge difference locally and how some companies are already making strides to keep corporate social responsibility a priority.

SkillShare teams create a more connected community

Photo: The SkillShare team (CIE Director Yvonne Van Haitsma, ​Covestro’s Community Affairs partner Ange Loiseau, CIE Program Specialist Jennifer Pease) celebrates another successful program launch

On Friday, September 29, approximately 20 Covestro employees came together to become five teams of SkillShare participants, learning everything from the nuances of the nonprofit sector to the role of a consultant to the intricacies of municipalities. They are now actively collaborating with local nonprofits and municipalities to create a more connected community. Here’s a glimpse at how their work in the next four months will use their specific talents to solve organizational challenges.

  • The Neighborhood Learning Alliance will improve STEM programs by implementing a Tech Warrior initiative.
  • 412 Food Rescue needs help analyzing their ever-growing data set and gathering recommendations on improving business logistics.
  • Global Links will update their human resources job descriptions for better organizational direction.
  • The Wilkinsburg Borough will team up with Covestro to implement a sustainability assessment for its municipal buildings.
  • The Borough of Baldwin is excited to develop a comprehensive safety and wellness program for its employees.
To learn more about SkillShare, visit the CIE website or contact Yvonne Van Haitsma, director, at (412) 397-6002 or

Thank you to all of our volunteers!

Next week is Volunteer Appreciation Week, and in the spirit of the cross-sector collaboration celebrated by CIE, we are feeling extremely grateful for all of our volunteers, from all three sectors. From our ESC Volunteers, to our class instructors and panelists to our Nonprofit Leadership Association students, we thank each and every one of you for giving your time and talent to us here at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University. We’re a lucky bunch!

Become Members of the Growing CIE Community

Start the new year fully engaged and ready with resources by becoming a nonprofit member of the Covestro Institute for Engagement (CIE) and participating in the following program(s):
  • BoardsWork! increases your board’s knowledge, skills, networks, and number
  • Skills-Based Volunteering expands your organization’s capacity to tackle a technical or operational challenge
CIE is a collaboration between the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management and Covestro LLC, connecting the purpose and mission of nonprofit organizations with the skills and talents of business professionals. Its programs like BoardsWork! and Skills-Based Volunteering provide nonprofits with opportunities to effectively focus on challenges and implement sound solutions, while businesses exercise active social responsibility through employee engagement and development.
Watch our video (developed by Martha Rial Photo), contact us, and become a CIE member for a great value of either $250 or $500, depending on your organization’s annual budget.

New scholarships available to enroll in BoardsWork!

BoardsWork! is more active than ever! In the past few months, cohorts of PNC, Bayer and several other local business have been trained in effective nonprofit governance and are ready to be  matched with local nonprofits. An additional cohort of veterans will be trained this summer through a partnership with Leadership Pittsburgh’s Community Leadership Course for Veterans, aimed at leveraging the skills and experience of post 9/11 veterans for the betterment of the broader Pittsburgh region.

All of these newly trained board members (over 100!) will soon be matched with local nonprofits who are BoardsWork! Award Agencies, which means NOW is the time for you to become one! And if that were not incentive enough, there are currently two new scholarships available for nonprofits to become new Award Agencies.

The first is a unique opportunity exclusively for nonprofits serving children and youth that has been made possible through the generosity of the Grable Foundation. In order to be considered for this award, please complete the Grable Foundation Scholarship Application Form online and submit for review.  A limited number of scholarships are available.

The second is for nonprofits who focus on mental and behavioral health thanks to The Staunton Farm Foundation. Nonprofits who fit in this category should apply by filling out Staunton Farm Foundation Scholarship Application Form online and submit for review.

For questions about BW! or this opportunity, please contact BoardsWork! Program Director Lulu Orr at 412-397-6012 or