2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Morgan Stanley

On May 16, 2013, winners of the 2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at our annual VolunteerMatch Client Summit in New York City, NY. 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 compared against our annual benchmarks.

As a leader in the corporate community involvement world, volunteerism is a key part of Morgan Stanley’s 77-year-long commitment to giving back – and the company has been terrific at it.

In 2009 we recognized Morgan Stanley staff as our Champions of the Year. In 2012, the company was on-hand at the Client Summit to accept the award for Employee Volunteer Program Of The Year in the large business category. And in 2013, we are proud to once again announce Morgan Stanley as a Finalist for Program Of The Year.

According to Minori Rueda of the Morgan Stanley Foundation, underlying the company’s success are two complimentary approaches to how it designs its programs. First, the goal is not only to create immediate impact, but to prepare employees for a lifetime of service over the long term. Second, Morgan Stanley’s programs emphasize ease so employees can quickly engage without sacrificing lasting value for the community.

While the company has always demonstrated what an effective program looks like, several of the company’s volunteer initiatives stand out:

Year-Round Volunteer Program – The Year-Round Volunteer Program encourages employees to join their colleagues in building long-term partnerships with Morgan Stanley’s charitable partners in order to drive greater impact in our communities. Morgan Stanley offices across the US collaborate with their “charity of the year” on developing projects based on the charities’ needs and opportunities.

Global Volunteer Month – Held in June since 2006, Global Volunteer Month is an annual volunteer service campaign that mobilizes employees around the world to become involved with the Firm’s nonprofit partners and signature giving priorities, or alternatively with causes they are personally passionate about. Every employee of the Firm is asked to personally invest in making a difference by participating.

The company made sure to accommodate the schedules for every employee, providing a range of opportunities from large-scale projects in which an entire division of several hundred painted a school or cleaned a park, to smaller projects for employees who cannot leave during business hours, such as packing backpacks or providing career development advice for youth.

Strategy Challenge – Morgan Stanley’s annual, signature, skills-based volunteer competition launched in 2009. Strategy Challenge pairs teams of Morgan Stanley employees with 12-15 nonprofit organizations across the country to provide pro bono strategic advice on issues related to business model optimization, geographic or program expansion, and new business model.

Each team spends two months crafting recommendations to address pressing challenges for the organization, while developing their own leadership, teamwork and analytical skills. Over the past four years, the Strategy Challenge has cumulatively delivered over 22,500 hours to 49 nonprofit organizations.

Some 2013 highlights of Morgan Stanley’s community involvement include:

  • Employees gave 430,000 hours of their time and talent to philanthropic causes, and along with matching gifts from Morgan Stanley, funded nearly $82 million to charities globally.
  • During Global Volunteer Month, Morgan Stanley employees set a record of 176,000 hours of service.
  • 32,000 Morgan Stanley employees participated in the volunteering program, representing an increased participation rate of 13 percent over last year.
  • During the 2012 Strategy Challenge, Morgan Stanley teams donated more than 8,000 hours of high-impact analysis and advice – equivalent to a market value of approximately $1.2 million (based on pro bono standards developed by the Pro Bono Action Tank).

Kudos to Morgan Stanley for its excellent volunteer program and for showing what a lasting commitment to giving back looks like!

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on May 16, 2013 during the 2013 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

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