2010 Client Summit Recap – The Glitz, Glamour and Volunteering

The 2010 VolunteerMatch Client Summit, sponsored by MGM MIRAGE, wrapped up just a few hours ago! For the 90 guests who came out to the Luxor Hotel & Casino to network, learn and share ideas about corporate volunteer engagement, this year’s event — “Bet On Volunteering!” — stirred with excitement about the future of corporate volunteering and its place in the larger Social Responsibility landscape.

The Summit didn’t waste any time. Guests arriving early mingled with VolunteerMatch team members on Wednesday night at the House of Blues, in Mandalay Bay. We also had fun on Summit day starting with a “Morning of Service,” a virtual volunteer opportunity that involved all of us making and decorating thank you and birthday cards for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada.

The Summit agenda kicked off with a keynote address from Professor Jane Nelson, Harvard University, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, and Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative. Her talk on “Volunteering in the Value Chain: Linking CSR with Core Business Strategy,” encouraged audience members to harness the power of volunteering combined with the corporate value chain to impact not only corporate culture, but social, political, and environmental change. (Check out a video interview of Professor Nelson with VolunteerMatch President Greg Baldwin here).

Next, Alison Rose from the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy led a panel of clients in a discussion of best practices for today’s corporate volunteer program administrators. Rose also compared VolunteerMatch survey responses on engagement to those of the CEO and Giving Officers polled for the CECP ‘Board of Boards’ Conference. The results revealed a strong understanding by VolunteerMatch clients of the importance of building a quality relationship with partner nonprofits.

Her session was followed by a talk on skilled and pro bono volunteering from Lindsay Firestone of the Taproot Foundation. Clients learned about Taproot’s 9 models of skilled and pro bono service, including marathon volunteering and skills outsourcing.

Once again, the Summit finale was the presentation of the 2010 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards, honoring excellence within our client community. For the third year in a row, Exelon Corporation took home honors as Corporate Volunteer Program of the Year. This award (which we may need to permanently rename “The Exelon Award”!) recognizes outstanding performance against our entire set of benchmarks for Employee Volunteer Programs. Congratulations, Exelon!

Sue Osten from UnitedHealth Group accepted the award for Champion of the Year, which goes to the person or people who run volunteer programs that demonstrate “Outstanding Teamwork, Leadership, Accomplishment, Dedication and Spirit.” From their outstanding employee program to their inspiring consumer engagement campaign to their recent report on the health benefits of volunteering, UnitedHealth Group is demonstrating what happens when a company gets fully integrated with the goals of volunteer engagement.

This year we also introduced a new award for businesses with fewer than 10,000 employees. This year’s award went to Hagerty Insurance. Even with just 370 domestic employees, the insurance service for car collectors is tracking exponentially more volunteer hours than its counterparts in the small-to-medium business size group.

We’ll be sharing the presentations and materials from our 2010 Client Summit as soon as we can. In the meantime, drop us a note at businessnews@volunteermatch.org so we know to keep you informed.

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