Upcoming Special Webinar: Challenging the Status Quo – Rethinking the Value of Volunteers

This month VolunteerMatch presents a special joint edition of our Nonprofit Insights and Best Practice Network webinar series. We invite our nonprofit and corporate members to come together and learn from experts in building strong volunteer partnerships.

Join VolunteerMatch for a special joint webinar about rethinking the value of volunteers.

What if the way nonprofits and companies are currently engaging volunteers is all wrong? How can we make sure we’re strategically involving the core value of volunteers to provide maximum impact?

Research shows that organizations that strategically leverage volunteers outperform peer organizations on all measures of organizational capacity, AND have greater impact. However, less than 15% of nonprofits currently operate this way, and this obstacle stands in the way of success for the causes that so many nonprofits, companies and individuals care about.

Challenging the Status Quo: Rethinking the Value of Volunteers

Register for this free event.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
10am – 11am PT (1-2pm ET)

Follow the conversation on Twitter @VM_Solutions#VMbpn.

Join Bobbi Silten, Gap Inc.; Amy Smith, Points of Light; & Karen Baker, California Volunteers for a lively conversation about strategic volunteer engagement. Whether you’re a nonprofit professional, a company program coordinator or a dedicated volunteer yourself, you’ll learn more about the research, the implications and the opportunities of strategic volunteer engagement for maximizing impact.

About Our Speakers:

Bobbi Silten is the President, Gap Foundation and Senior Vice President, Global Responsibility for Gap Inc.Bobbi Silten is the President, Gap Foundation and Senior Vice President, Global Responsibility for Gap Inc., a leading global retailer. Since 2005, she has led Gap Foundation, overseeing its global community investments in women’s advancement and youth first jobs, and volunteer programs for 136,000 employees worldwide. Ms. Silten is a founding member of Reimagining Service, a national initiative focused on increasing the impact of volunteerism, and currently serves as the chair of the Reimagining Service Council. Ms. Silten also serves on the Leadership Council for Opportunity Nation and is a founding board member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. She is also a volunteer mentor to alumni of Summer Search, a national youth leadership program.

Karen Baker currently serves as California's Chief Service Officer for Governor Jerry Brown.

Karen Baker currently serves as California’s Chief Service Officer for Governor Jerry Brown. She leads CaliforniaVolunteers, the State Service Commission charged with administering the nation’s largest state AmeriCorps portfolio. In addition, CaliforniaVolunteers serves as the lead agency for disaster volunteering and donations management, and promotes volunteering and service across California. Initially appointed in February 2006, Karen has forged vibrant public-private partnerships resulting in the creation of successful innovations, including the California Disaster Corps, Business Partners Program and the CaliforniaVolunteers Service Enterprise Initiative.  She serves on a number of national service boards and coalitions including Voices for National Service, The Presidio Institute, and Reimagining Service.

Amy Smith is the Chief Strategy Officer and President of Action Networks for Points of Light.Amy Smith is the Chief Strategy Officer and President of Action Networks for Points of Light,the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. With a mission to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world, Points of Light connects and empowers people to make a meaningful difference by providing access to civic engagement tools, resources and volunteer opportunities. Amy leads the organization’s largest business enterprise and is responsible for the success of a network of more than 250 HandsOn Action Centers worldwide; 200 AmeriCorps Alums chapters, and a Corporate Institute that helps hundreds of Fortune 500 Companies engage their employees and customers in volunteer service. She is also responsible for scaling youth civic responsibility and social action efforts through generationOn, Points of Light’s youth service division, a  leader in a movement to ignite the power of all young people to make their mark on the world through service. Amy has recently added responsibilities for enterprise wide strategic direction including annual and strategic planning, program innovation and organizational capacity management.

Greg Baldwin is the President of VolunteerMatch, the largest volunteer engagement network on the Web.Greg Baldwin joined what is now VolunteerMatch in the spring of 1998 as its Chief Imagination Officer to finish hotwiring the Internet to help everybody find a great place to volunteer. Today, VolunteerMatch is a leader in the nonprofit world. Its popular web service is strengthening communities and organizations across the country by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. Greg appreciates the power of a big idea. He began his career at the Leo Burnett advertising agency where many big ideas were born and later tested his own as a co-founder of 2d Interactive, Inc. – a Boston-based technology start-up. Greg completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University in 1990 with a degree in Public Policy. He is a life-long volunteer and regularly speaks at nonprofit events and conferences on the subjects of volunteering, communication, and the Internet.

Register for this free webinar now.

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Meet Annalisa Amicangelo, a 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit Speaker

On September 18-19, 2014, VolunteerMatch will gather its corporate clients for a day and a half of learning, sharing and networking. The 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit will feature numerous sessions led by corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement thought leaders. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to each of the speakers and what they’ll discuss at the Summit.

AnnalisaName: Annalisa Amicangelo

Title: Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility

Organization: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About the Session: “Building Local Support for CSR Through Employee Champions”

We will explore the development and success of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s employee engagement program through the Community Investment Council initiative, a global grassroots initiative that empowers employees across all business units/seniority levels in all major Houghton Mifflin Harcourt offices to make a difference in their local communities.

What is one way you’ve transformed your personal or professional life recently for the better?

I became aware of the intrinsic relationship between my mental/physical well being and my performance at work (and in life). Now, I make a conscious effort to let each one inform, challenge and improve the other.

About Annalisa Amicangelo:

Annalisa Amicangelo is Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, one of the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions. Annalisa contributes to the strategic development and expansion of HMH’s CSR and shared value initiatives, including public-facing partnerships with the Boston Celtics and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, as well as employee engagement programs like Community Investment Councils and HMH Volunteer Week.

During Annalisa’s tenure, HMH’s CSR program has been awarded and recognized by the Boston Business Journal, PR News, the Corporate Volunteer Council, the Center for Green Schools and Junior Achievement of Northern New England and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

In addition to her work in the private sector, Annalisa serves as Vice President of Jumpstart for Young Children’s Northeast Region Young Professionals Board, where she drives fundraising, awareness and networking activities to support the national nonprofit’s key programs. Annalisa is also a member of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Council and a graduate of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Program.

Annalisa received her Bachelor of Arts in History cum laude from Boston University and completed programs of study at St. Anne’s College, Oxford; and l’Università degli Studi di Padova.

Connect with Annalisa on Twitter, and follow Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Twitter, Facebook, and explore their website.

Learn more about Annalisa Amicangelo and other speakers at the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit by clicking here!

This year’s event is generously supported by: General Motors, MGM Resorts International, Delta Air Lines, The United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Newell Rubbermaid.

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2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Marsh & McLennan Companies

On September 19, 2014, winners of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at our annual VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, Mich. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to people and ideas behind the ten most effective employee volunteer programs in our family of corporate clients, determined by performance against four benchmark measures in 2013.

What makes your employee volunteer program special?

A Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employee  based in Portland, Oregon who regularly volunteers at his local fire house and is involved in disaster preparedness education.

A Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employee based in Portland, Oregon who regularly volunteers at his local fire house and is involved in disaster preparedness education.

Marsh & McLennan Companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department focuses on helping people and communities at risk through education and disaster preparedness and recovery; by supporting select nonprofit partners, strategic fundraising campaigns, and employee volunteer initiatives.

The CSR team supports the Company’s global community, including offices in more than 130 countries and over 55,000 employees around the world. With the CSR team being relatively small, they have to be thoughtful, creative, and strategic when launching CSR programs. The department has streamlined its initiatives by creating programs, policies, and platforms that make it easier for employees to give back to their community.

Marsh & McLennan Companies' employees  in Hong Kong, China utilizing the Company's Paid Day off to Volunteer Policy.

Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employees in Hong Kong, China utilizing the Company’s Paid Day off to Volunteer Policy.

Regarding the Company’s employee volunteer initiatives, last year employees around the world entered over 4,000 volunteer hours utilizing the ‘Global Paid Day Off to Volunteer’ Policy. This policy is a great example of engaging employees and supporting them with one paid day off a year to volunteer with a local charity.

This often provides opportunities for employees to engage in team-building or skills-based volunteering. What better way to get to know your co-workers than sharing the experience of a day of giving back? The Company also has successful volunteer programs, like the Global Volunteer Recognition Program, Dollars for Doers-Volunteer Grants, and its Walks/Runs for a Charitable Cause Program.

The Company says VolunteerMatch has played an instrumental role in making it easier for employees to search and recruit for volunteer activities. The VolunteerMatch Solutions tools also enable the Company to track and report on volunteer engagement and community impact.

Marsh & McLennan Companies' employees  in Singapore renewing a local school.

Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employees in Singapore renewing a local school.

Tracking volunteer engagement has allowed the CSR team to establish volunteer metrics and internal benchmarking. Establishing volunteer goals and creating targeted communications to increase awareness can help spur the element of healthy competition to drive engagement. Another component of reporting that has been great for the Company’s programs is the ability to identify cause areas, types of volunteering, and programs that motivate the Company’s employees.

What are some key accomplishments from 2013 you’re especially proud of?

In 2013, Marsh & McLennan Companies increased engagement significantly, with a two-fold rise in volunteer hours and employee participation. This was a result of volunteer programs like Dollars for Doers-Volunteer Grants, and the Global Volunteer Recognition Program, that rewarded more than 2,000 employees in its first year of launching. Internationally, the Company created country-specific CSR committees and distributed seed funding to engage and support international volunteer efforts, as well as to grow local programs in scope and impact.

How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?

Marsh & McLennan Companies' employees  in  Cape Town, Africa repainting a pre-school in honor of Mandela Day.

Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employees in Cape Town, Africa repainting a pre-school in honor of Mandela Day.

It’s important to recognize employees who are taking the time to give back their community. The Company has created fun and creative ways to recognize and reward exceptional volunteers for tracking their community involvement on VolunteerMatch.

For example, this year the Company will provide the top Walk/Run for a Charitable Cause Leaders an opportunity to win a Fitness Fitbit-Activity tracker for recruiting the most employee volunteers. This is a fun way to encourage employees to organize walks/runs that support their local nonprofit organizations, and include their colleagues.

The CSR team has also found that posting volunteer stories and blogs on the Company intranet drives engagement. This is an easy way to recognize colleagues and empower them to share their volunteer stories and inspire others. Taking a holistic approach to reporting and storytelling has proven to be key to expanding the program’s impact and scope.

Kudos to Marsh & McLennan Companies for being a leader in employee engagement and inspiring social impact!

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on September, 2014 during the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

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CSR Food for Thought: A Day in the Life

The CSR Food for Thought series is a weekly roundup of relevant news from around the Web, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

A Day in the Life of a Corporate Idealist

Landing a coveted CSR job can be hard enough. But challenges don’t stop once you’re “in.” To get a clear picture of a day in the life of a corporate idealist, Net Impact chatted with three insiders during their most recent Issues in Depth call. Some major takeaways of the meaty session include how to prepare for an impact job, how to be effective in the new role, and how the pace of change is different from other areas of business.

Changing the Game: How Business Innovations Reduce the Impact of Disasters

Businesses have a vital role to play in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, “Changing the Game: How Business Innovations Reduce the Impact of Disasters,” explores how businesses have reduced the impact of disasters around the world. Check out the report to learn how the private sector is reducing the impact of disasters by leveraging their expertise, resources, and partners. The report features best practices from leading companies including UPS, Capital One, State Farm, IBM, Office Depot Foundation, and more.

Sharing Data is a Form of Corporate Philanthropy

Data has emerged as one of this century’s most vital assets. However, public sector and social good organizations often don’t have access to the same amount, quality, or frequency of data as companies. This imbalance has inspired a new category of corporate giving: “data philanthropy.” In this article on Harvard Business Review, Matt Stempeck delves into the potential this new form of corporate philanthropy has to impact our world.

People Make the Difference: Explore a Year of Impact

Everyone should have the chance to make a difference – wouldn’t you agree? That’s why VolunteerMatch makes it easier for people to connect with the causes they care about. To take a look at how far we have come, it is a pleasure to share with you VolunteerMatch’s Annual Impact Report – a graphic look at people and causes, like you and your employees, who are making a difference.

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Meet Danielle Holly, a 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit Speaker

On September 18-19, 2014, VolunteerMatch will gather its corporate clients for a day and a half of learning, sharing and networking. The 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit will feature numerous sessions led by corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement thought leaders. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to each of the speakers and what they’ll discuss at the Summit.

DanielleName: Danielle Holly

Title: CEO

Organization: Common Impact

About the Session: “Resiliency Doesn’t Have a Sector”

In a rapidly changing global environment, our local communities continue to struggle with deep poverty, lack of education and the impact of climate change. These challenges can’t be solved by any single effort, business, nonprofit or government initiative. We need a new, more connected economy that aligns business, individual and social purpose. People from all experiences, backgrounds and professions need to focus on the unique efforts they can make to address these critical and deepening issues.

This session will focus on how to break down the barriers that exist between sectors, sizes and industries to drive holistic, sustainable solutions to change. Aligning people, companies and nonprofits with their unique purpose and goals is tricky work, but when done correctly can transform visionary concepts into tangible, practical solutions for communities.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to understand the ways in which your skills, experiences and passions as an individual or business can be directed towards the larger-than-life challenges you hear about in your communities.
  • Tangible case studies of the ways the businesses, foundations, nonprofits and individual actors are taking on more complex, riskier approaches that drive real change.
  • The biggest challenges that arise in these new collective-impact style models, along with a framework to overcome those hurdles.
  • The experiences and stories of participants who are building successful multi-sector careers that are driven by personal and social purpose.

What is one way you’ve transformed your personal or professional life recently for the better?

I’ve started doing only one thing at a time, whatever it is I’m doing, I provide my complete focus to it and shut down everything else (email, social media, other work, etc.). It has transformed the way I’m able to focus and the amount of value I can get out of every hour, every interaction.

About Danielle Holly:

Danielle Holly serves as CEO of Common Impact, an organization building stronger communities by facilitating collaborations between global companies and locally focused nonprofits. She works closely with Common Impact’s corporate partners to develop strategic community partnerships, develop employees’ talents, and help them to achieve both their business and community impact goals.

Danielle is considered one of the country’s leading experts on skills-based volunteerism. She is passionate about sharing her vision for the strategic design of pro bono programs and the value they can bring to nonprofits, employees and global companies. She shares her experiences designing skills-based volunteering programs and strategic vision for the future of the sector at leading industry conferences and events.

She has also played a key role researching and developing prescriptive solutions for corporations and nonprofits interested in assessing this critical resource.  Recent work includes participation in an industry collaborative alongside Points of Light and Capital One to develop an online assessment tool for nonprofits to evaluate their readiness for pro bono projects.

Connect with Danielle and Common Impact on Twitter.

Learn more about Danielle Holly and other speakers at the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit by clicking here!

This year’s event is generously supported by: General Motors, MGM Resorts International, Delta Air Lines, The United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Newell Rubbermaid.

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2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Hagerty

On September 19, 2014, winners of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at our annual VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, Mich. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to people and ideas behind the ten most effective employee volunteer programs in our family of corporate clients, determined by performance against four benchmark measures in 2013.

What makes your employee volunteer program special?

Hagerty’s Claims department conducted mock interviews for teens at the Disability Network of Northern Michigan’s LIFE Job Summit.

Hagerty’s Claims department conducted mock interviews for teens at the Disability Network of Northern Michigan’s LIFE Job Summit.

Hagerty’s volunteer program is named Hagerty CARes. Hagerty CARes provides 16 hours of paid volunteer time each year to each full-time employee to volunteer for any nonprofit, school or church-affiliated community service program.

The program is an extension of what folks at Hagerty call the H-Factor. The H-Factor ideals are what make Hagerty unique as a company, in turn, making the Hagerty CARes program unique as a reflection of the company’s culture and each employee’s pursuit of excellence, innovation and authenticity.

 

 

Additionally, Hagerty provides company-supported volunteerism through two programs: wellness and an annual nonprofit partnership:

Hagerty employees led an American Cancer Society Relay for Life team.

Hagerty employees led an American Cancer Society Relay for Life team.

1.   To promote health and wellness, Hagerty provides company-sponsored opportunities for employees to volunteer for or participate in charitable races. Through this partnership with Hagerty’s employee gym, Ironworks, Hagerty CARes doubles the impact of the program: by improving employees’ health and serving their communities. Employees who participate in three or more charitable races per year will earn a reward from the Hagerty corporate recognition program.

2.   Hagerty’s 2014 annual nonprofit partnership with Father Fred began with a “Drive for Charity” in December 2013. Employees were challenged to log 2,500 Hagerty CARes hours through participation in ten charitable in-kind donation drives, personal volunteerism or by logging any 2013 volunteer hours in December. When the 2,500 hour goal was met, the designated organization received a matching gift of $25,000. In the new year, Hagerty CARes created a year-long strategic partnership plan with staff from the organization. This plan, divided into quarterly activities, encompasses all areas of the Hagerty CARes program: drives for in-kind donations, volunteerism and pro-bono service customized for the needs of the organization.

What are some key accomplishments from 2013 you’re especially proud of?

Here’s just a small taste of some of Hagerty’s impressive accomplishments in 2013:

  • Hagerty employees and their families participated in the 5th Annual Traverse City Zombie Run to raise funds for TART Trails.

    Hagerty employees and their families participated in the 5th Annual Traverse City Zombie Run to raise funds for TART Trails.

    In 2013, Hagerty reached its highest volunteer hour total in history: 5,929 hours!

  • To help meet the “Drive for Charity” goal, a food drive for Father Fred Foundation, the 2014 partner organization, was held at our holiday party. Hagerty’s CEO agreed to greet party-goers in costume while in a fabricated jail cell. Employees were asked to bring non-perishable food items to provide bail to “Free the Jailbird.” This was promoted with our CEO’s mugshot across campus on our corporate digital displays, intranet and daily email publication. In response to the CEO’s plea to “Free the Jailbird”, Hagerty employees donated enough non-perishables to feed 30 families for two and ½ days.
  • Hagerty CARes launched an enhanced partnership with our regional Chamber of Commerce to provide entrepreneurial pro-bono services worth $6,000 to the winner of the Hagerty Small Business Award. An additional 1:1 match up to $5,000 is given to the winner’s CSR efforts. If the winner doesn’t have a CSR program, Hagerty will help them to create one. The award is given by a selection committee to one of 10 finalists chosen from among hundreds of nominees.
  • Our inaugural charitable race event was the October 2013 Traverse City Zombie Run to benefit our regional trails organization. Nearly 70 employees participated in the event while competing internally for prizes. The winning team was provided with cider and doughnuts the week following the race.
  • A representative from each of our international offices in Canada and the UK are now part of our Hagerty CSR Committee. (They are currently working with UK and Canadian employees to utilize VolunteerMatch Global.)

How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?

McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, asks guests to “Free the Jailbird” with food donations to the Father Fred Foundation food pantry at the Hagerty Holiday Party.

McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, asks guests to “Free the Jailbird” with food donations to the Father Fred Foundation food pantry at the Hagerty Holiday Party.

The annual nonprofit partnership with Father Fred Foundation engages employees by offering different avenues to become involved. For example: An ongoing collection drive for Q2-Q4 2014 will supply clothing, small household items and non-perishable food for the organization; the Marketing department is scheduling a volunteer opportunity in lieu of a monthly meeting in Q3; and the Corporate Communications team designed new signage for the Father Fred store to serve English and Spanish speaking clients.

Hagerty utilizes all of its internal communication tools to spread the word about Hagerty CARes, including:

 

  • Daily email communication
  • Intranet blog and site
  • Monthly online magazine featuring regular updates on Hagerty CARes
  • Corporate digital displays promoting the latest volunteer opportunity, the annual nonprofit partnership and the joint health and wellness programming
  • Hagerty CARes & Ironworks workout gear, t-shirts and sweatshirts for purchase in the online employee store
  • Branded Hagerty CARes collection bins with the program logo, providing employees with an instantly recognizable means to provide an in-kind donation in the most trafficked areas like the lunchroom. The advertising benefit of the bins provides a reminder to employees to participate in a drive.
  • New employee training on Hagerty CARes

Kudos to Hagerty for being a leader in employee engagement and inspiring social impact!

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on September, 2014 during the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

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Congratulations, UnitedHealth Group! An Honor Well-Earned.

Since 2006, UnitedHealth Group and VolunteerMatch have been working together to motivate and engage employees to give back to their community. We’ve seen the company evolve and grow into one of the strongest, most innovative CSR programs out there.

Which is why we weren’t surprised when Points of Light acknowledged their hard work by presenting them with the 2014 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence. The award recognizes UnitedHealth Group for their amazing employee volunteer program, INVOLVE. With a core CSR mission to help build healthier communities, the program involves over 156,000 employees.

Points of Light commented that, “The annual Award recognizes companies that apply their resources, expertise and insights to activities that benefit society, and create a culture that inspires and equips employees to volunteer.”

UnitedHealth Group isn’t just encouraging its own workforce, the company also actively seeks new and innovative ways to change the space.

Last year, UnitedHealth Group released their “Doing Good is Good for You” study, a close look at the link between health and volunteering. They found that the effects of volunteering helped lower stress levels and increased happiness, proving that giving back is good for your mental, physical and emotional state!

We also see UnitedHealth Group investing in groundbreaking volunteering products, such as sponsoring VolunteerMatch’s MobileMatch, released in early 2014. With their support, VolunteerMatch was able to release a tool that allows volunteers to search & sign up for volunteer opportunities, and track volunteer hours, on the go!

As the Client Relations Manager for UnitedHealth Group, I can personally speak to the level of commitment and passion this team has. They are constantly striving to improve not only their own program, but the Corporate Social Responsibility sector as a whole.

I speak for the whole VolunteerMatch family when I say we are honored to partner with UnitedHealth Group, and look forward to even greater success in the future!

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