Interview

CSR Innovators and Change Makers: Michelle Baltrusitis Social Impact Manager at Fiverr

Michelle Baltrusitis is the Social Impact Manager at Fiverr. With a background in grant writing, teaching, and consulting, her most recent pivot brought her to the world of social impact in tech as she sought to bring the principles and frameworks she'd learned as a management consultant to purpose-driven programming and strategy creation.
By
Vanessa Poulson
|
1.19.2023
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Interview

CSR Innovators and Change Makers: Michelle Baltrusitis Social Impact Manager at Fiverr

Michelle Baltrusitis is the Social Impact Manager at Fiverr. With a background in grant writing, teaching, and consulting, her most recent pivot brought her to the world of social impact in tech as she sought to bring the principles and frameworks she'd learned as a management consultant to purpose-driven programming and strategy creation.
By
Vanessa Poulson
|
16.11.2022
Lorem ipsum sit dolor et sua vous.

As demands for social accountability rise, so do demands on those leading the way to a more socially and environmentally conscious future. We’re profiling CSR and social impact leaders to engage their insights into how CSR is transforming and what inspired them to enter the field.

Michelle Baltrusitis is the Social Impact Manager at Fiverr. With a background in grant writing, teaching, and consulting, her most recent pivot brought her to the world of social impact in tech as she sought to bring the principles and frameworks she'd learned as a management consultant to purpose-driven programming and strategy creation.

Could you tell me about your career in social impact?

My most recent experience was as a management consultant where I led the creation of People, Sustainability, and DEI strategies for a Fortune 100 technology company. There, I also worked on a number of internal CSR initiatives including mentoring two international nonprofits and collaborating with firm leadership to design an org-wide social impact initiative.

Before that, I spent time teaching English to university students as a Fulbright scholar in Bogota, Colombia, and writing grants for an international nonprofit that worked to bring quality education to children in rural areas of Central America. 

I am currently in the role of Social Impact Manager at Fiverr. Fiverr's mission is to revolutionize how the world works together by connecting businesses and individuals to the world's best freelance talent in the simplest way possible. In this role, I support shaping our broader social impact strategy and drive Fiverr's signature purpose-driven programs. These programs include digital workforce development initiatives, entrepreneurial fellowships, small-business kickstarters, and microgrants.

What inspired you to begin working in social impact?

At Emory University, I studied at Goizueta Business School where I double majored in Strategy & Management Consulting and Spanish. During my junior year, I signed up for a class called Social Enterprise in Nicaragua and that's when it all clicked for me. The class shed light on the development challenges in the region and focused discussion on how business acumen and market-based approaches can be applied to achieve economic and societal impact. From that moment on, I had a clear vision of first pursuing consulting and then eventually applying  relevant structures and frameworks to some sort of social impact space.

Why does increasing the number of people working in social impact matter?

There are a couple of reasons why this increasing number matters. From a business perspective, we know that consumers care about social impact.

Research shows that nearly 90% of American consumers are more likely to buy a product from a company that advocates for an issue they care about. At Fiverr, we know that an authentic social impact strategy is imperative for achieving impact, but we also know it can be a meaningful driver for achieving company-wide goals of increasing awareness and driving platform growth.

From an impact perspective, businesses are uniquely positioned to drive meaningful change, and the more people working toward this goal the better. Yes, social impact happens through signature programs like microgrants, fellowships, etc. but it also happens by integrating that perspective into everyday business decisions. This could look like bringing up environmental impact when making a supply chain decision or advocating internally for the well-being of your community. At Fiverr, this refers to our community of freelancers.

What is your favorite project that you have or are currently working on?

My favorite project that I am currently working on is our fellowship for Black entrepreneurs, the Future Collective. The goal of the program is to put Fiverr’s brand purpose - create opportunities for anyone to grow their business, brand, or dreams - into action by creating pathways for Black-owned businesses to grow and achieve their goals. The program provides capital (Fiverr credit and cash funds), education, and mentorship to 10 entrepreneurs. We just selected our 2023 cohort, and I'm excited to follow them along on their journeys.

What would you tell others interested in pursuing a career in CSR or social impact?

There is not one singular way to pursue a career in CSR or social impact. Start with your skill set and interests and go from there. Maybe you're a data scientist or a product manager working at a mission-driven startup. Maybe you work as an accountant at a nonprofit. The key for me was understanding my skill set (strategy, operations, and program management) and finding an organization where I could apply that skill set toward doing good.

Discover a New Way to Create Social Impact

If you’re inspired, learn more about how creating real-work experiences for Fortune 1000 leaders of tomorrow can accelerate your DEI and CSR goals while bolstering employee engagement. 

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on the latest in CSR, social responsibility, and corporate leadership news and events.

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Interview

CSR Innovators and Change Makers: Michelle Baltrusitis Social Impact Manager at Fiverr

Michelle Baltrusitis is the Social Impact Manager at Fiverr. With a background in grant writing, teaching, and consulting, her most recent pivot brought her to the world of social impact in tech as she sought to bring the principles and frameworks she'd learned as a management consultant to purpose-driven programming and strategy creation.

Vanessa Poulson
January 19, 2023

As demands for social accountability rise, so do demands on those leading the way to a more socially and environmentally conscious future. We’re profiling CSR and social impact leaders to engage their insights into how CSR is transforming and what inspired them to enter the field.

Michelle Baltrusitis is the Social Impact Manager at Fiverr. With a background in grant writing, teaching, and consulting, her most recent pivot brought her to the world of social impact in tech as she sought to bring the principles and frameworks she'd learned as a management consultant to purpose-driven programming and strategy creation.

Could you tell me about your career in social impact?

My most recent experience was as a management consultant where I led the creation of People, Sustainability, and DEI strategies for a Fortune 100 technology company. There, I also worked on a number of internal CSR initiatives including mentoring two international nonprofits and collaborating with firm leadership to design an org-wide social impact initiative.

Before that, I spent time teaching English to university students as a Fulbright scholar in Bogota, Colombia, and writing grants for an international nonprofit that worked to bring quality education to children in rural areas of Central America. 

I am currently in the role of Social Impact Manager at Fiverr. Fiverr's mission is to revolutionize how the world works together by connecting businesses and individuals to the world's best freelance talent in the simplest way possible. In this role, I support shaping our broader social impact strategy and drive Fiverr's signature purpose-driven programs. These programs include digital workforce development initiatives, entrepreneurial fellowships, small-business kickstarters, and microgrants.

What inspired you to begin working in social impact?

At Emory University, I studied at Goizueta Business School where I double majored in Strategy & Management Consulting and Spanish. During my junior year, I signed up for a class called Social Enterprise in Nicaragua and that's when it all clicked for me. The class shed light on the development challenges in the region and focused discussion on how business acumen and market-based approaches can be applied to achieve economic and societal impact. From that moment on, I had a clear vision of first pursuing consulting and then eventually applying  relevant structures and frameworks to some sort of social impact space.

Why does increasing the number of people working in social impact matter?

There are a couple of reasons why this increasing number matters. From a business perspective, we know that consumers care about social impact.

Research shows that nearly 90% of American consumers are more likely to buy a product from a company that advocates for an issue they care about. At Fiverr, we know that an authentic social impact strategy is imperative for achieving impact, but we also know it can be a meaningful driver for achieving company-wide goals of increasing awareness and driving platform growth.

From an impact perspective, businesses are uniquely positioned to drive meaningful change, and the more people working toward this goal the better. Yes, social impact happens through signature programs like microgrants, fellowships, etc. but it also happens by integrating that perspective into everyday business decisions. This could look like bringing up environmental impact when making a supply chain decision or advocating internally for the well-being of your community. At Fiverr, this refers to our community of freelancers.

What is your favorite project that you have or are currently working on?

My favorite project that I am currently working on is our fellowship for Black entrepreneurs, the Future Collective. The goal of the program is to put Fiverr’s brand purpose - create opportunities for anyone to grow their business, brand, or dreams - into action by creating pathways for Black-owned businesses to grow and achieve their goals. The program provides capital (Fiverr credit and cash funds), education, and mentorship to 10 entrepreneurs. We just selected our 2023 cohort, and I'm excited to follow them along on their journeys.

What would you tell others interested in pursuing a career in CSR or social impact?

There is not one singular way to pursue a career in CSR or social impact. Start with your skill set and interests and go from there. Maybe you're a data scientist or a product manager working at a mission-driven startup. Maybe you work as an accountant at a nonprofit. The key for me was understanding my skill set (strategy, operations, and program management) and finding an organization where I could apply that skill set toward doing good.

Discover a New Way to Create Social Impact

If you’re inspired, learn more about how creating real-work experiences for Fortune 1000 leaders of tomorrow can accelerate your DEI and CSR goals while bolstering employee engagement. 

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on the latest in CSR, social responsibility, and corporate leadership news and events.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vanessa Poulson

As lead of The Impact Report, Poulson focuses on developing Paragon One’s industry insight into the expanding world of CSR, ESG, and social impact.

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