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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Meet John C. Havens, 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.

JohnName: John C. Havens

Title: Founder

Organization: The H(app)athon Project

About the Session

Wearable and emerging technologies are transforming the workplace, allowing employees to gauge everything from their heart rates, stress levels, and even emotions while on the job. Utilizing these tools can provide leadership with brand new ways of encouraging emotional intelligence, empathy, and purpose-based roles for employees.

Learn how to take a measure of employee well-being, to increase their happiness and your company’s mission.

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

In the past two years or so, my work has been largely focused on measuring happiness or well-being based on actions that bring you purpose. This work has transformed my life, since I’m forced to consider how my daily actions can increase my sense of purpose/wellbeing, which is also directly tied to other people via values like altruism. It’s been a challenge, because while I don’t feel I have to always be in a good mood, I certainly can’t be a jerk to people. That wouldn’t be good branding for “that happiness guy.”

About John C. Havens:

John C. Havens is Founder and Executive Director for The H(app)athon Project, a nonprofit foundation, “Connecting Happiness to Action” via the use of Values-Tracking surveys, interactive workshops, and quantified self technology. He is also the author of Hacking H(app)iness: Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking it Can Change the World (Tarcher/Penguin) which has been featured on NPR and C-SPAN.

John has delivered workshops and keynotes around the world in support of leveraging technology to increase wellbeing. His work on happiness and technology has been featured in USA Today, Forbes, Mashable, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Slate, NPR, and BBC News. A former EVP for a top ten global PR firm, his former clients include Gillette, HP, Merck, and Monster and he has also provided advising and consulting services for numerous technology companies like BlogTalkRadio, Vision Critical, Datacoup, Rypple (now Work.com, acquired by Salesforce), and Geo-Papyrus, an Augmented Reality company.

Connect with John C. Havens on Twitter.

Learn more about John C. Havens 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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Ready to Give Your Best Work?

Guest post by Stephen Ristau

Ready to give your best work for skilled volunteering?Too often I hear from highly skilled and motivated people, “I just can’t seem to find a nonprofit organization that uses my professional talent well.” And despite the great strides that nonprofits have made in recent years to design volunteer or pro bono work experiences that require advanced expertise or training, I still see a disconnect between the available talent pool and the engagement opportunities nonprofits offer.

Do you find this to be true also? Have you had to go through many frustrating encounters with nonprofits before you were able to find a good “skills” match? What enables you to do your best work?

I am interested in hearing about your experiences, cool ideas and best practices regarding best work engagement.

Here are some of mine:

  1. Do your homework. While it might not seem that this should be “like work,” finding a good fit with a nonprofit will require all the research, scanning, assessment, and analytical skills you’ve honed in your line of business. Investigate several organizations with various missions and sizes to learn about them and to assess your fit. Large nonprofits often resemble larger corporations in function and structure, while smaller nonprofits may mirror small “mom and pop” businesses. You know best what kind of issues (mission) you feel passionately about, your preferred work environment, and how your skill set matches with the organization’s needs.
  2. Network relentlessly. Simultaneously explore new organizations and drill deeper with vetted prospects to develop relationships with those leaders who will help you with your search. Know in advance that this will take more time than you expect and make sure you are willing to commit to this process. If not, you need to seriously consider if this is the path for you.
  3. Convey your understanding about the uniqueness of nonprofit cultures. When selling your professional, managerial, or technical skills, make sure you help organizations to see how your skills fit into the culture of the organization in particular and the nonprofit sector in general. Nonprofits tend to have process-oriented, consensus decision-making practices and may not be as results-driven as you may be used to in other sectors. Explain how you can contribute these skills as a part of a decision-making team.
  4. Be aware that, in some cases, you will have more skill and experience than your manager. When it comes to professional, managerial, or technical areas, you may be “senior” to the person who engages you or to whom you will report. Be effective at “managing up,” respecting individual talents (and constraints), and appreciating the value of intergenerational mentoring.
  5. Prepare yourself (for the opportunity) to wear many hats. Because of limited resources, most nonprofits, especially smaller ones, cannot afford the specialization of skills and functions that other sectors can. This may be an opportunity for you to contribute your unique skills to an initial project engagement and even additional ones in the future.

“Best work” organizations, nonprofit and for-profit, are those with human resources that champion innovation and learning, are accountable for outcomes, and are able to work in a coordinated team environment. What are some of the “best work” volunteer experiences you have had?

Let’s give a shout-out to those nonprofits that are empowering volunteers to make a lasting difference. Let us know what you think.

Stephen Ristau has been a nonprofit executive and social entrepreneur.  An innovator in the national encore movement, he has led Transforming Life After 50 and the SVP Portland Encore Fellows program.Contact Stephen at stephenristau@gmail.com and www.linkedin.com/pub/stephen-ristau/4/75/b28.

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2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Humana

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?

Humana volunteers and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer take a quick break from playground landscaping at the Keystone Learning Academy.

Humana volunteers and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer take a quick break from playground landscaping at the Keystone Learning Academy.

Humana encourages employee volunteerism connected to promoting health and well-being in communities where Humana has a presence, however, all cause areas of interest to associates are recognized. Associates at Humana enjoy volunteering on their own, as well as with each other – in work teams, departments or company-wide initiatives.

Humana places a large emphasis on Days of Service, including Make a Difference Day and National Volunteer Week. Humana also regularly recognizes associate volunteerism through several grants, including Dollars 4 Doers, Volunteer of the Year, and awards the “Spirit of Philanthropy,” a distinction given to a group or department of associates who display exceptional commitment to the community through volunteerism.

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

In 2013 Humana implemented the Humana’s Volunteer Fellowship, a unique program that sent a team of five Humana associates to work at a nonprofit full-time for four weeks on a special project designed to create transformational change for the organization and the community.

The Humana Fellows assisted the Volunteer Center of Brown County in Green Bay, by formalizing their Neighbors Helping Neighbors program to a year-round initiative. Neighbors Helping Neighbors sends volunteers to help seniors and people with disabilities with routine home upkeep. The Humana team created a guidelines and procedures handbook, developed a marketing and outreach plan, established a database to track volunteers, and set up an evaluation plan to measure success.

The number of hours volunteered by Humana associates increased from 131,137 hours in 2012 to 164,434 hours in 2013; the number of volunteers increased from 4,521 in 2012 to 4,917 in 2013.

How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?

Humana volunteers unite for their 'before' picture this spring before helping Louisville's Keystone Learning Academy beautify its facility.

Humana volunteers unite for their ‘before’ picture this spring before helping Louisville’s Keystone Learning Academy beautify its facility.

One benefit offered to Humana associates is the WOW! Working on Well-being® Account, which recognizes associates’ efforts in enhancing their overall health and well-being. The WOW! Account rewards participation in activities and engagement with resources that support associates’ sense of purpose, belonging and security.

By taking part in certain activities associates can earn up to $150 to spend on items and services that broadly support associates and their family’s well-being. One of the activities for which associates earn WOW! dollars is logging volunteer hours on the Humana Volunteer Network website. Associates can earn $5/month for logging an individual volunteer event and up to twice each year, associates may earn $10/month for engaging in a group volunteer event.

Kudos to Humana 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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