CSR Food for Thought: Announcing the Best Volunteer Programs of the Year

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.

Cone Releases the 2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study

What are the trends social media use in CSR? Do consumers feel businesses are making a significant impact in the world? What are consumer expectations of companies when it comes to community involvement? These questions and more are answered in the newly released 2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study, conducted by Cone Communications and Echo Research.

Volunteering Lesson Learned: Be Open

In her guest post on Eli Lilly and Company’s blog “LillyPad,” Amy Sousa describes her experience volunteering in South Africa as part of the company’s Connecting Hearts Abroad program. It’s critical, Amy explains in the post, to be open – to new experiences, to doing what needs to be done, to being a part of a team. But there are some things, she says, for which even an open mind and heart cannot prepare you.

Announcing the Winners of the 2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards

At the VolunteerMatch Client Summit last week in New York City we were thrilled to present 2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards to five of our outstanding clients. This year’s diverse group of honorees includes repeat performers, powerful newcomers and the team behind an innovative program for residential apartment communities.

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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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2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Nationwide

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.

Nationwide

Nationwide’s successful volunteer program has greatly contributed to the health and well-being of local communities where its employees live and work. Nationwide’s On Your Side Volunteer Network, created in 2005, is all about “providing employees with an easy way to find opportunities to get involved in their community whether it’s through a Nationwide project or on their own,” according to Julie VanDeLinder, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Nationwide.

In 2012, On Your Side Volunteer Network recorded more than 115,000 volunteer hours and more than 9,000 volunteer activity sign ups. Its national partners are United Way, Feeding America, and American Red Cross, as well as over 1,600 local organizations around the U.S. Among its volunteer projects in Columbus, OH, where Nationwide is headquartered, Nationwide’s employees accounted for 25% of the volunteers for Mid-Ohio Foodbank. In addition, 29,835 volunteers served over 200,000 people in 2012 through various projects coordinated within Nationwide.

To tap into and unlock the passion of its team, Nationwide also provides these excellent incentives for employees:

  • Employees who volunteer more than 25 hours are eligible for paid time off and their managers are notified for their service to the community.
  • Seven hundred and fifty grants of $100 were awarded to organizations where Nationwide employees volunteered for more than 25 hours.
  • 298 associates, served on 380 boards of nonprofit organizations. These organizations received $500 grants from Nationwide.
  • Nationwide also awards one employee Volunteer of the Year, who receives a $5,000 grant and two vacation days. The other nine finalists are given $500 grants and one vacation day.

Huge congratulations to Nationwide for its service in its community and for facilitating an excellent volunteer program!

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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2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Union Bank

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.

Union Bank

Union Bank’s philanthropic mission is to proactively invest in the communities in which the bank and its businesses operate, targeting resources to benefit low-to-moderate income populations. The company aims to eliminate the root causes of societal problems in the areas of affordable housing, community economic development, education, and the environment.

In 2012, Union Bank’s employee volunteer tracking and engagement program, Union Bank Giving Back (UBGB) – My Volunteering, contributed to the company’s record-breaking year in employee service. More than 70,000 employee volunteer hours were tracked through the program in 2012, a 40% increase when compared to volunteerism the previous year.

The dynamic program connects employee volunteers with a wide range of community service activities, from financial literacy education and feeding the homeless, to beach clean-ups and health-related causes.

In addition, UBGB – My Giving Matching Gift Program matches employee contributions to educational organizations dollar for dollar (up to $1,000) and 66 cents per dollar for any nonprofit (up to $2,500). In 2012, employees donated a total of $1,058,258 which the Bank matched at $660,774 bringing the grand total to $$1,719,032.

Among Union Bank’s key accomplishments in 2012:

  • Union Bank employees donated a grand total of 75,262 volunteer service hours which was a 40% increase from the 53,616 hours volunteered in 2011

  • Of the 75,262 volunteer hours, 13% or 10,153 hours were focused on financial literacy.

  • A total of 267 Union Bank employees served on the board of directors at 413 nonprofit organizations in California and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

  • Of the $1.5 million donated in 2012, employees gave $78,533 in response to Hurricane Sandy, which the Bank will match at $52,617.

We are proud to spotlight Union Bank, a company that truly cares about employee volunteer engagement and community involvement!

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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2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist UnitedHealth Group

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.

UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and wellness company that serves more than 70 million customers nationwide and has more than 100,000 employees. UnitedHealth Group leverages their size and the extraordinary abilities of their people, ideas, and resources to help the communities where they live and work.

Harnessing the passion and commitment of their workforce to make a difference has lead to more than one million hours being logged by UnitedHealth Group employees on their VolunteerMatch platform, demonstrating that the company is also a great example of how to leverage unique corporate resources to make a difference.

Involve, the company’s volunteer program, is primarily about engaging UnitedHealth Group’s employees in hands-on, face-to-face activities in their local communities. The volunteer program in 2012 targeted activities that tie into chronic disease prevention and care, health, and community involvement – a point of strong alignment with the company’s core capabilities in healthcare. This focus is also well-aligned with UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well” volunteer initiative, which encourages customers to get involved in local efforts to prevent hunger and obesity.

UnitedHealth Group volunteer activities are year-round, and are often lead by company-supported Volunteer Councils. Employees can participate in company-sponsored projects, events coordinated by their local volunteer councils or they can volunteer on their own.

A willingness to innovate is also a signature characteristic of employee volunteering at UnitedHealth Group, where program components include pro bono services by the company’s legal department, board matching for its executives, and skilled micro-volunteering across all levels of the company.

 Among UnitedHealth Group’s key accomplishments in 2012:

  • Employees donated their time and skills at record levels in 2012 – recording over 463,000 volunteer hours in 2012, a 21 percent increase over the previous year!
  • According to an annual survey of employees, more than 81% of employees participated in the program.
  • The 2012 volunteer hours reported had an in-kind value of $10.1 million.
  • UnitedHealth Group’s one-millionth volunteer hour was logged in 2012, bringing the total in-kind value of volunteering to $26.7 million since 2007.

We are proud to spotlight UnitedHealth Group, a company that truly cares about employee volunteer engagement and community involvement!

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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2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist City National Bank

City National Bank

City National Bank

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.

City National Bank is a part of Los Angeles-based City National Corporation, offering banking, trust, and investment services throughout 78 offices across the country. Impressively, employees volunteered over 17,000 hours to local community projects in 2012, much of it in support of the company’s signature program focus areas of reading and financial literacy.

City National Bank established Reading is the Way Up® in 2002. Through this multifaceted literacy program, the company gives grants to K-12 public and private schools and books for school libraries while providing employees with ways to participate as volunteers. In the company’s Dollars + Sense Financial Literacy Program, employees teach students what it means to be smart with money.

The company is powering and inspiring employee involvement by providing up to three hours per month paid time to participate as a volunteer, and a grant of up to $500 annually for nonprofits where employees volunteer more than 20 hours during the year.

City National Bank highlights of 2012:

  • Colleagues volunteered over 17,000 hours to local community projects.
  • More than 80 colleagues taught over 2,000 hours of financial literacy lessons.
  • Colleagues donated over 41,000 items for the 2nd annual Back to School Supplies Drive.
  • Over 450 colleagues, friends and family participated in City National’s 2012 PRIDE Day.

It’s an honor to highlight City National Bank’s proactive and future-driven volunteer program!

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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2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist 1st Source Bank

1st Source Bank

1st Source Bank

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.

VolunteerMatch congratulates 1st Source Bank for its nomination for Employee Volunteer Program of the Year (Small to Medium Businesses).

1st Source Bank, based in South Bend, Ind., is the largest locally controlled financial institution headquartered in the northern Indiana-southwestern Michigan area. The company has more than $4.5 billion in assets.

1st Source Bank’s representation as a finalist for a Corporate Volunteer Award is remarkable given that many of the components of its program were brand new in 2012 – but community involvement has a long history at the bank. As 1st Source Bank puts it, “Service to our community is one of our principal values and has defined who we are and how we do business.”

According to Mark Gould, 1st Source Bank’s Assistant Vice President and CRA Community Relations Officer, the bank’s volunteer program is so new they have yet to give it a creative name! However, the results of the program — which focuses on the areas of education, culture and the arts, the community and social & human services — are unmistakable.

1st Source Bank highlights in 2012:

  • Employee volunteers reported an amazing average of 55 hours per participating employee in 2012.
  • Employees were involved in volunteer programs at more than 350 nonprofit organizations.
  • Overall, 1st Source employees volunteered more than 25,000 hours to community organizations.
  • Key nonprofit partners in market areas include Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together and United Way.

We commend 1st Source Bank for its outstanding volunteer program!

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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