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 finalist for VolunteerMatch’s Employee Volunteer Program of the Year in the Large Business category, United Airlines has proven that new programs can be enormously impactful right from the start.
This was just the second year in action for the Chicago-based airline’s “United Co-Worker Volunteerism” initiative. Started in 2011, the program makes it possible for United’s more than 85,000 employees to support local communities through service and volunteering in a variety of ways – including initiatives that partner employees and customers, pro bono projects, and signature events including a month-long fight against hunger and grants to fund team eco-leadership.
United Airlines’ “Adventure Bear Program” was a particularly successful and inspiring project in 2012. In partnership with the American Cancer Society, customers provided cash contributions and MileagePlus® Charity miles donations to enable United co-workers to deliver more than 10,000 custom Adventure Bears (in 2012 alone) to kids battling life threatening illnesses around the globe. It’s a great example of internet/external program that also leverages a company’s core capabilities – in this case, air travel!
In addition to American Cancer Society, United Airlines has strategic partnerships with national partner organizations including March of Dimes, Feeding America, and Make a Wish Foundation, United Airlines also encourages employees to tap into VolunteerMatch’s network of nonprofits across the United States.
United’s top accomplishments in 2012 include:
- The United Adventure Bear Program went global, involving 302 co-workers in 45 deliveries around the globe; a 231% increase from the year before.
- During Hunger Action Month, 230 co-workers participated in 13 events across all United hub markets; a 66% increase from 2011.
- The company’s Legal department achieved a goal of 100% participation, including a day of service with three Chicago-based non-profit partners.
- United introduced its EcoSkies Community Grants, a new program to enable environmental volunteerism by funding 10 grants to employees who were interested in engaging co-workers to positively impact the environment in local communities.
United will compete with Humana, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide, and UnitedHealth Group for the top award among large corporations.
We are thrilled to recognize everyone at United Airlines for an outstanding volunteer program. Congratulations!
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.