2015 Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Independent Bank

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?

Employees from Independent Bank’s Bay City, MI region at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Saginaw Walk, 2014

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?

Independent Bank_FeedingAmerica

Independent Bank’s President & CEO, William B. Kessel (front left), with employees from various departments while volunteering for Feeding America, 2014

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?

Independent Bank volunteers at soup kitchen fundraiser

Employees from Independent Bank’s East Beltline branch in Grand Rapids, Michigan volunteering for a soup kitchen fundraiser, 2014.

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.

The Best Employee Volunteer Programs of 2014

At VolunteerMatch, we’re privileged to work with some of the best employee volunteer programs out there. And we’re also privileged to be able to publicly recognize these companies for their amazing work.

2014 Employee Volunteer Program of the Year award being presented to Old National Bank.

Today, we announced the top 10 finalists for Employee Volunteer Program of the year. VolunteerMatch selects finalists for this award from its community of over 150 corporate clients. The award is performance-based, determined by four benchmark measures in 2014, which together indicate an outstanding employee volunteer program. The 2014 award recipients were Morgan Stanley and Old National Bank.

The 2015 winners will be recognized at a ceremony during the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit, to be held December 1-2, 2015 in Oakland, CA.

In the coming weeks on this blog, we’ll bring you a Q&A with each finalist, giving you in inside look at how they’re able to uniquely engage their employees in volunteering, and the successes they’ve seen. In the meantime, here is the list of 2015 finalists:

Employee Volunteer Program of the Year (Large Size Business):
AT&T
Humana
JetBlue
Morgan Stanley
Union Bank

Employee Volunteer Program of the Year (Small-Medium Size Business):
1st Source Bank
City National Bank
Hagerty
Independent Bank
Old National Bank

We also announced today the finalists for the brand new ‘Innovation Award’, recognizing a nonprofit organization driving change through a cutting-edge corporate partnership. Learn more about the Innovation Award, and cast your vote for the winner.

Congratulations to this year’s finalists!

How Jacquelyn Londo and Sue Osten Inspire by Example at UnitedHealth Group

We're thrilled to honor two employees from UnitedHealth Group as 2014 Champions of the Year in the VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards!Before this year’s exciting VolunteerMatch Client Summit, you got the chance to meet some of the finalists for the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards. And then, you found out the winners.

Two award categories, however, are unique, in that they don’t have finalists – they are chosen by VolunteerMatch Client Relations Managers based on their experiences working directly with their corporate clients. These special categories are Breakout Performance and Champions of the Year.

When it comes to embodying the values of teamwork, leadership, accomplishment, dedication and spirit celebrated by the Champions of the Year Award, there are two individuals who definitely lead by example: Jacquelyn Londo is Social Responsibility Manager, and Sue Osten is Director of the Office of Social Responsibility at UnitedHealth Group. But really, they are employee engagement champions who have fought tirelessly for innovation and evolution in the corporate social responsibility space.

UnitedHealth Group has been a partner of VolunteerMatch since 2006, and these two women have pushed both their program AND ours to dream big and do the best work we can. For example, this past year UnitedHealth Group was the official sponsor of the unique, innovative product MobileMatch. Plus, since 2012 UnitedHealth Group employees have tracked over 1,000,000 volunteer hours!

Everyone on the VolunteerMatch staff who has been lucky enough to work with Jacquelyn and Sue has seen firsthand their dedicated and passionate work ethics, and the way they inspire everyone around them to do more.

“UnitedHealth Group has a strong commitment to volunteering among our employees and as an organization, and so it’s a tremendous honor to receive this award,” said Kate Rubin, vice president of social responsibility for UnitedHealth Group. “Having our team members collaborate with VolunteerMatch on the development of new VolunteerMatch mobile solutions that are making it easier for employees, other corporate volunteers and the general public to participate in volunteer activities that transform local communities, has been a rewarding and impactful experience for them and one of which we were extremely proud to support.”

Congratulations to Jacquelyn, Sue, and UnitedHealth Group. We are proud and honored to be your partner!

To learn more about the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards, click here.

Profile of a Champion: How Carla Lehn Inspires Engagement at California State Library

California State Library is a Preferred Partner of VolunteerMatch.Before this year’s exciting VolunteerMatch Client Summit, you got the chance to meet some of the finalists for the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards. And then, you found out the winners.

Two award categories, however, are unique, in that they don’t have finalists – they are chosen by VolunteerMatch Client Relations Managers based on their experiences working directly with their corporate clients. These special categories are Breakout Performance and Champions of the Year.

We’re especially excited about one of our Champions this year, because it marks the first time any non-corporate client has won a Corporate Volunteer Award. Carla Lehn from California State Library wowed us all this year with her outstanding teamwork, leadership, accomplishment, dedication and spirit.

Carla Lehn accepts her Champion of the Year Award, with VolunteerMatch President Greg Baldwin.

Carla Lehn accepts her Champion of the Year Award, with VolunteerMatch President Greg Baldwin.

California State Library is part of the VolunteerMatch Preferred Partner Program. This program works with a select group of nonprofits and civic organizations that have partnered with VolunteerMatch to place a special focus on volunteer recruitment, retention and engagement. (Want to know more? Give us a shout.)

A VolunteerMatch member since 2009, the California State Library organization connects over 600 volunteers to their local libraries each month. Since 2008, the number of volunteers recruited by the Library has increased by 48%!

Carla’s tireless enthusiasm, energy, and drive amazes the entire VolunteerMatch Staff on a regular basis. The strides made due to her efforts have helped thousands of individuals become more involved in their local community and have truly created positive change across the state of California.

“It was so nice to be recognized, but I felt like all my library and VolunteerMatch colleagues should have been standing there with me,” said Carla. “We’ve had some awesome successes together!”

Kudos to Carla Lehn for being a VolunteerMatch Champion of the Year. We salute you and your hard work!

To learn more about the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards, click here.

What Makes ADT a Breakout Performer?

Congratulations to ADT for winning the Breakout Performance Corporate Volunteer Award!Before this year’s exciting VolunteerMatch Client Summit, you got the chance to meet some of the finalists for the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards. And then, you found out the winners.

Two award categories, however, are unique, in that they don’t have finalists – they are chosen by VolunteerMatch Client Relations Managers based on their experiences working directly with their corporate clients. These special categories are Breakout Performance and Champions of the Year.

This year, ADT was a favorite winner of the Breakout Performance Award. This award is given to a new VolunteerMatch client that has shown significant success for a newly launched program – and boy, does ADT fit the bill.

Alex Price, Community Relations Manager of ADT Corporation, accepts the Breakout Performance Award from VolunteerMatch Greg Baldwin at the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

Alex Price, Community Relations Manager of ADT Corporation, accepts the Breakout Performance Award from VolunteerMatch Greg Baldwin at the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

Launched in July 2013 with a pilot program focused in seven key regions, ADT developed a branded program with focus and flexibility, and produced trainings and materials that were easily scalable. During this pilot phase, over 30% of ADT’s eligible employees volunteered!

Then, to celebrate the company’s 140th anniversary in August, 2014, they expanded the program to over 200 locations. And in its first year, this program welcomed more than 14,000 unique visitors to their new VolunteerMatch site, and connected employee volunteers to more than 350 nonprofit organizations.

Core focus areas include Disaster Response and Public Safety, along with many walks and Habitat builds, but ADT employees are also encouraged to contribute as much as possible in any area, and to submit group project ideas via the Opportunity Builder feature on their VolunteerMatch site.

ADT as a company has thrown itself headfirst into the EVP world, participating in webinars and quickly learning best practices for communications, executive and middle manager support, events, and incentives, leading to one of the most impressive programs of the past year.

“ADT was so honored to be recognized with the 2014 ‘Breakout Performance of the Year’ award,” said Alex Price, Community Relations Manager of ADT Corporation. “What a wonderful way to cap off our companywide rollout of the ADT Always Cares program, and so motivating for me to expand it as we enter our second year.”

Big congratulations to Alex Price, ADT Corporation, and all your employees for winning Breakout Performance of the Year – and keep up the great work!

To learn more about the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards, click here.

6 Transformational Companies Honored in a Transformational City

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit - setting for the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.Last week’s VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit was like no other conference any of us have ever attended…but more on that later. Today, we want to focus on one particular event during this year’s Client Summit: the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards.

In a city whose corporate sector is showing every day the impact that can be made by true community involvement, six socially responsible companies were honored for their commitments to their own communities – and to the engagement of their employees.

You’ve gotten to know some of the finalists over the past few months, and now we are thrilled to announce the winners.

For the third year in a row, Morgan Stanley and Old National Bank took top honors as Employee Volunteer Programs of the Year in the Large and Small-Medium Sized Business categories. Lilly and ADT were recognized for their outstanding first year of success in the VolunteerMatch network. And staff members from UnitedHealth Group and California State Library were acknowledged for being dedicated champions of employee and consumer volunteer engagement.

The winners of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards are:

EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM OF THE YEAR – LARGE BUSINESS:
Morgan Stanley

EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM OF THE YEAR – SMALL-MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESS:
Old National Bank

BREAKOUT PERFORMANCES OF YEAR: 
Lilly
ADT

CHAMPIONS OF THE YEAR:
Jacquelyn Londo & Sue Osten – UnitedHealth Group
Carla Lehn – California State Library

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards! May you continue to be an inspiration to your employees, your communities, and the rest of us.