On December 1, 2015, winners of the 2015 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit in Oakland, CA. In this series of posts, I’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 2014.
What makes your employee volunteer program special?
At Independent Bank, we pride ourselves in being 24-hour bankers. Our employees embrace this and give their time to better their communities.
Some causes and events we’ve volunteered for include: Financial Literacy, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Relay for Life, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events, Humane Society fundraisers, and so much more.
We knew our employees were generous with their time and talent, but we didn’t realize how much they were doing until we started using VolunteerMatch Solutions.
What impact has your program had on your office or company as a whole?
Prior to using VolunteerMatch Solutions, we knew that our employees were dedicated to and involved in their communities, but we had no idea to what extent. Our program, Community Connection, has helped us to not only understand all of the time and energy we spend giving back, but has also allowed us to properly showcase those efforts by providing us with accurate metrics and reporting.
What are some specific volunteer-related accomplishments that you’re especially proud of?
To celebrate our 150th year in business in 2014 we launched a campaign called “150 Ways in 150 Days.” This campaign, while designed to encourage volunteer participation, went above and beyond our expectations and truly brought our branches and departments together.
Each Independent Bank branch and/or department was charged with accounting for two days throughout the year in which they would give back to their community. Therefore, over the course of 150 days, we were able to contribute to our communities in 150 different ways. In addition, we hosted optional “Jean Days” every Friday. Employees were able to wear jeans with logo apparel for a nominal fee. The bank matched employee contributions, and we were able to contribute a total of $55,000 to various Michigan-based charitable organizations.
Do you have an inspiring or fun volunteer-related story you’d like to share?
As part of our “150 Ways in 150 Days” campaign, one of our offices volunteered for a soup kitchen fundraiser, an event which historically raises nearly $100K. The Independent Bank team worked a 4- hour shift, helping with registration and serving soup.
One of the staff members, who had never volunteered before, left the event asking the leader if they could participate again next year, citing how rewarding of an experience it was. The leader had this to say in closing:
“All in all, our day was extremely rewarding. I hope the rest of the corporation enjoys their giving back as much as we did!”
Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on December 1, 2015 during the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit.