2015 Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist 1st Source 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?

Being volunteer leaders in the community has been one of 1st Source’s principal values since its founding in 1863. The bank’s colleagues are very committed to giving back to the community and they volunteered more than 25,000 hours in 2014. Additionally, 1st Source Bank and the 1st Source Foundation contributed more than $1.4 million to community projects in 2014.

1st Source colleagues participate in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services Family Walk in South Bend.

1st Source colleagues participate in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services Family Walk in South Bend.

What impact has your program had on your office or company as a whole?

1st Source colleagues have made a big impact on the community by mentoring children, building homes for families in need, serving on nonprofit boards, and many other volunteer efforts. This past year in particular, employees helped low-income individuals file their income taxes through the VITA program with the United Way, they collected food for those in need, and they participated in fundraising walks and events across the 17 counties the bank serves.

What is a volunteer-related accomplishment that you’re especially proud of?

Judy Caudill, Manager of the 1st Source Knox Banking Center, assists students with a project at the Starke County Youth Club.

Judy Caudill, Manager of the 1st Source Knox Banking Center, assists students with a project at the Starke County Youth Club.

1st Source again participated in Junior Achievements’ JA in a Day, in which nearly 30 bankers volunteered their time to teach financial education to 300 kindergarten – 4th grade students at Warren Primary Center in South Bend. It was a great experience for bank employees and the students alike.

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on December 1, 2015 during the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit.

2015 Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Old National 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?

Old National Bank’s program is called ONe Community (capital ON stands for Old National). The volunteer program is structured to balance the needs of the company’s communities and the engagement and development of its associates, with its core competency of financial literacy.

Old National Bank Associates Volunteering on Earth Day

Old National Bank associates spruce up South Bend, IN on Earth Day

Old National Bank has a strong commitment to financial literacy, not only because it’s a natural fit for the industry, but because we know the positive impact it can make. It allows the company to leverage skills-based and pro-bono volunteering while helping individuals make small (and sometimes large) changes that have helped them create a better future.

Just as each of the communities in which Old National Bank serves has specific needs, so do each of the participants in its financial literacy programs. For that reason, we partnered with the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) to create our own Real Life Finance program, which is a set of curricula that can be tailored to the needs of each individual or group. We also have a Financial Empowerment Officer who is there to help volunteers choose the best curriculum. This tailored approach allows Old National Bank to create both large and small partnerships and engage associates in the causes that interest them. It also allows them to work closely with the organizations that receive grants or sponsorship funding from the company.

What impact has your program had on your office or company as a whole?

Habitat Ag Build

Old National team at Habitat for Humanity Ag Build in Indianapolis.

Old National Bank is, first and foremost, a community bank. To us, a major part of being a true community bank is investing in our communities and empowering our associates to do the same. The idea of serving our communities is woven into the fabric and culture of our organization. Our ONe Community Volunteer Program provides the tools and support to promote networking and team-building for our associates and allows us to recognize them for their service.

What are some specific volunteer-related accomplishments that you’re especially proud of?

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of our ONe Community Volunteer Program. In celebration of this milestone, we held a 10 Weeks for 10 Years campaign. The campaign is kicked off during National Volunteer Week in April and ran the 10 weeks after. During this time, our regional Associate and Community Engagement (ACE) teams planned volunteer activities to promote networking and volunteer engagement and did so with great success. During the 10-week period, over 1,200 associates served over almost 19,000 volunteer hours!

Do you have an inspiring or fun volunteer-related story you’d like to share?

To kick off our 10 Weeks for 10 Years campaign, 14 members of Old National’s Executive Leadership Group donned hairnets to cook and serve dinner for more than 60 children followed by reading, games and other interactive activities at the Dream Center. The Dream Center serves at-risk youth by providing nutritional, educational and recreational activities.

Old National Bank Executive Leadership Team at the Dream Center

Old National Bank’s Executive Leadership Team members serve the dinner they prepared to youth at the Dream Center.

“Spending some time at the Dream Center with all the children was a wonderfully touching experience, said John Kamin, Chief Information Officer. “The Dream Center staff is tremendous. The energy, the passion and, quite frankly, the love the staff provides to the kids reminds you what is truly important in this world.”

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on December 1, 2015 during the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit.

9 Employee Engagement Ideas You Need to Know About

Guest post by Daniel Pawlak

A version of this post originally appeared on the Snacknation website.

45% of employees are not engaged at work.

Source: Dale Carnegie

Employee engagement and retention are at the top of the priority list for modern day HR managers. Of course, every company wants to attract and KEEP the best talent.

The problem?

We see so many employees in the job market today becoming uninspired and bored of their work, just to quit their job and begin the job hunt after less than two years.

We decided to speak with some of the best HR professionals all across the country to discover their very own employee engagement strategies.

Below are 9 of the best employee engagement ideas you should be applying in your office.

1. Get your health and wellness program in order.

Kevin Sheridan, New York Times best-selling author of Building a Magnetic Culture, has helped the world’s largest corporations improve and cultivate productive work environments.

We asked Kevin what he thought companies should be doing to improve workplace engagement:

kevin_sheridan“The bottom line is that anyone who knows about employee engagement is also a firm believer in instituting health and wellness programs. There have been multiple scientific studies proving that health and wellness efforts not only yield higher productivity and engagement in the workplace but will also help reduce turnover, as job stress is the #1 reason people quit (along with a lack of work-life balance which is related to wellness as well).”

2. Align your company with a purpose

Snacknation CEO Sean Kelly recently gave a presentation at HR Star Conference to over 850 human resource professionals. In his presentation, titled “Millennials in the Workplace,” he discussed the importance of aligning your company with a purpose. He emphasized that it’s not about focusing on “what” you do, so much as “why” you do it.

3. Emphasize work-life balance.

We hear the term “work-life balance” all the time, and in theory it seems pretty straightforward. However, finding an optimal work-life balance can seem like an impossible struggle for some. It can be challenging to find the right balance between work life, and personal life, without neglecting one or the other.

Blake McCammon from Blogging4Jobs, a popular HR blog, shared his thoughts about the role of work-life balance in employee engagement.

Blake“Work-life balance is one of the most important things employers can do to help employees not only stay healthy and fit, but keep them engaged day by day. Provide a work from home scenario and flexible hours where employees with children or adults with hobbies are allowed the freedom to enjoy life to the fullest, but still get their work done.”


4. Stand for something your team can be proud of.

We asked Irene Becker, voted as one of the top 100 Employee Engagement Experts Online, to answer the question of how companies implement and sustain employee engagement activities when engagement is at an all time low.

Irene-Becker-profile“By showing our employees that we care, that we stand for something they can be proud of, and that we offer them meaningful, purposeful work and an opportunity to grow, learn, contribute and succeed because we know that success is a me to WE equation that starts with:

  1. Personal, professional development and a structure for growth and recognition are alive in the organization.
  2. Managers, mentors and trainers that are equipped to coach, inspire and bring out the best in their people.
  3. Communities of purpose; groups that are centered around a purpose driven business, CSR or community activity are alive, aligning shared values and mission with collaboration.
  4. Transparency of communication and the integrity of the organizations commitment to growth, recognition and the optimization of individual and collective potential is mirrored in new ways of developing team spirit and vertical/horizontal collaboration.
  5. Human interaction, social activities that engage our people as human beings in the human side of being part of a vibrant, growing, thriving culture.”

5. Promote perks that boost mental and physical well being.

Perks are a great way to make your office a more fun place to work and keep employees happy. JellyVision Interactive Marketing, for example, offers some unique perks for their employees:

  • Unlimited vacation days (with the assumption this privilege won’t be abused)
  • The ability to work from home whenever necessary or work out an unconventional schedule
  • On-site yoga and a free healthy catered lunches every week
  • Company refrigerators and cupboards stocked with fruit and healthy snacks
  • A yearly Wellness Day featuring free 15-minute back massages for every employee and a taste test of unusual, healthy juices
  • Mustache Day (a sort of mustache-themed Halloween that culminates in a fancy lunch out)
  • Frequent company-wide involvement in charity fun runsMustache Day

6. Provide ongoing coaching and training.

A study done by Deloitte in 2012 found that employee retention is 25% higher for employees who had participated in company-sponsored mentorship.

Coaching and mentorship should be an ongoing process that doesn’t end after the employee’s initial on-boarding. Although some people in your organization will proactively seek mentorship, others may not be as forward about it. Offering an optional weekly coaching session to discuss strategies and ideas to help different members of your organization improve can make a huge difference.

7. Open consistent lines of communication.

Asking for feedback from workers can help you learn about issues and resolve problems before they escalate. Some of your employees may have helpful ideas about improving workplace efficiency, but you’ll never hear them unless you establish open communication with your staff.

Ask managers of your organization to setup weekly meetings to see where their direct reports need resources, and any new ideas they may have. You’ll quickly discover that both managers and direct reports look forward to these meetings, and strategically use them to improve their departments on a weekly basis.

8. Offer healthier options at your workplace.

We spoke with Jason Lauritsen, Director of Best Places to Work at Quantum Workplace, about how to increase employee engagement by making healthier foods available on site.

jason-lauritsenThree-fourths of employees want access to a healthy cafeteria or vending options at their workplace, but less than half of employers actually offer it as a benefit. This creates a great opportunity. Not only will providing this benefit help organizations play a role in boosting productivity, increasing performance, and lowering healthcare costs, but we’ve also found that employees who work at organizations that provide healthy cafeteria or vending options are 10 percent more likely to be engaged.”

9. Encourage volunteering

Corporate Volunteers

Most people want to feel that they are contributing to a greater cause in their lives.

Committing to one’s work and becoming involved in a cause gives employees a greater sense of purpose. 71% of employees who participated in an LGB Associates survey about employee volunteer programs indicated that they felt more positive about their company as a result of these programs. Purpose driven work through a cause is linked to improved productivity and morale, which can make a huge impact of your company’s bottom line.


Focusing your attention on engaging employees results in higher productivity, better retention rates and improvements in organizational success. Now it’s your turn to take these ideas and apply them in your office.

If you liked these tips, please share your thoughts! For more easy and actionable tips to increase engagement at your workplace, check out Snacknation.com.

About this author: Daniel Pawlak is the Marketing Coordinator at Snacknation. His goal is to help companies become incredible places to work by improving employee health, productivity and engagement. 

How to Turn 9/11 into a Day of Service at Your Company

Turn 9/11 Day into a Day of Service at Your CompanyMore than any other day of the year, 9/11 is a day for giving back.

In fact, 9/11 is the largest day of charitable engagement in the United States. In 2014, over 40 million people volunteered as part of 9/11 Day.

9/11 Day is an official Day of Service recognized under federal law. (The only other recognized Day of Service is MLK Day). According to its founders, “The goal of 9/11 Day is to keep alive the spirit of unity and compassion that arose in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, providing a positive, helpful way for people to annually remember and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, and honor those that rose in service in response to the attacks.”

It’s also a great time to bring your employees together for a cause.

Start Planning Now                                                                             

If you haven’t started planning your company’s 9/11 Day activities, start now. First, decide how you want your employees to get involved. You can organize a company-wide volunteer event, challenge your employees to independently do one good deed, or something in between.

Remember: Just because it’s called 9/11 Day doesn’t mean your involvement has to happen on that exact day. You can celebrate a week of service, in which you create friendly competition around which department can log the most volunteer hours. You can also consider a volunteer opportunity on the weekend, to which employees can bring their families and instill a value of service in their children.

Find Your Opportunity

Volunteer on 9-11 DayWhether you’re planning a company-wide event or encouraging individual volunteerism, you need to find your way to get involved. Start by reaching out to your established nonprofit partners to see what needs they have.

You can also check out Taproot, who is facilitating a skills service day. Search skills-based volunteer projects. Or, find opportunities directly on 9/11 Day’s website. Date-specific opportunities from VolutneerMatch.org will populate to this site.

Create a Fulfilling Experience

9/11 is a sober day of remembrance, and it may feel uncomfortable encouraging your employees to have fun. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create an enjoyable, fulfilling experience for your employees. Some ways to do this: Instill a sense of unity and company pride by providing t-shirts. Offer free snacks or even a meal. Organize transportation to and from a volunteer event. Incentivize individual volunteering with prizes or other perks.

Share Your Story

Participating in a Day of Service is going to be a different experience for everyone. Ask your employees to share their individual experiences for the company newsletter or blog. Recognize employees who went above and beyond to give back. Follow up after the event to show employees the impact they had. These types of communications will inspire employees to participate in your next volunteer activity.

How will your company participate in 9/11 Day? Let us know by commenting below, or tweet to us @VM_Solutions.

Corporate Social Responsibility Food For Thought

CSR Food for ThoughtThe “Food for Thought” series is a roundup of recent CSR-related news, presented to you in one bite-sized post.

CSR Programs Increase Revenue up to 20%, Says Verizon, Campbell Soup Study
From Environmental Leader: Get the stats on how a great CSR program can benefit your company in all kinds of ways – not just in increased sales.

Beyond the PDF: 5 Tips to Leverage CSR Reports for Greatest ROI
From Triple Pundit: CSR reports aren’t just for investors anymore. Find out how to make your reports resonate with a wider audience with these 5 tips.

For more on CSR and ROI, check out our recent blog post, Answering the Eternal Question of Return on Investment.

5 Affordable Benefits Employees Appreciate But Few Companies Offer
From Entrepreneur: Read about how a few extra benefits can differentiate your company in a huge way, helping you bring on and keep top employees. Oh, and pay special attention to number 5.

U.S. Employee Engagement Unmoved in June at 31.9%
From Gallup: While higher percentages than previous years, 31.9% is still pretty low for the number of employees engaged at work. Read how Gallup calculates these numbers.

And don’t forget: Corporate volunteer programs are a great way to increase employee engagement.

Why Having a Heart is Good for Business
From Huffington Post: Learn how companies can show their employees they care about their communities – and what this means for business.

Enjoy! And follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

Changing Corporate Perspectives on Workplace Volunteer Programs: Q & A, Part 2

Angela Parker and Chris Jarvis, contributors to Volunteer Engagement 2.0, VolunteerMatch's new book

Angela Parker & Chris Jarvis

In last month’s Best Practice Webinar, we heard from Angela Parker and Chris Jarvis, co-founders of Realized Worth about Workplace Volunteer Programs.

A few questions from our audience were left unanswered as our allotted time came to a close. Angela and Chris were kind enough to answer these questions offline. In part two of this two-part series, I’m pleased to share these additional insights from Angela and Chris.

Q: How aligned does volunteerism need to be with a company’s funding focus areas? We have employees who want to volunteer for causes the company does not fund. Does this matter?

A: Most people in your company are not involved in the community. In fact, only 25% of Americans formally volunteer. If you limit volunteer opportunities strictly to your company’s desires, you make the tent smaller than it already is.

Generally, providing three tiers of volunteer opportunities can help satisfy the company, your employees, and the community. Here’s one way to structure that:

  • Tier 1: Signature Programs – Big events that match a specific cause with the company’s strategic focus. For example, a bank’s signature program could be financial literacy.
  • Tier 2: Community Programs – Smaller, community-focused events that match a specific cause with a social or environmental issue in a community. Many large companies have offices all over the world. Community programs need not be related to the company’s giving focus, but should have direct local proximity to the cause.
  • Tier 3: Employee Choice – Causes that matter to employees.

When you allow employees to follow their passion/pet causes, they will more likely want to get involved in events featuring the company’s focus. Generating this “quid pro quo” could end up boosting support for your signature programs.

Q: Do measurements such as Social Return on Investment (SROI) look at the impact of volunteering?

A: There are a number of measurement experts in the field. Two that come to mind are VeraWorks and True Impact. Strong SROI measurement tools do include the impact volunteering has on the beneficiaries and the community. We encourage you to explore some of these models and adapt them to what you need.

One recent advancement in the measurement space is determining the benefit volunteering has on the company. A group of companies in Canada recently launched a project to tie volunteering to retention rates and employee satisfaction scores; the hope being that knowing the financial impact of volunteering can help boost internal budgets and support for more community activity.

Q: How can you maximize the passion of really engaged employees?

A: A key attribute of transformative volunteer programs is the role of the “third-stage volunteer” (aka “Champion”, “Ambassador”, “Guide”). In any given company, approximately 6% of employees fit this model – and you can tell them a mile away! They are always passionate about volunteering, always supporting local causes, and always asking you to sponsor the next run, walk or bikeathon.

The best way to maximize the passion of these individuals is to elevate them to a leadership position. Their highest level of contribution may, in fact, be bringing others along for the ride. And they want nothing more than to share the transformative experiences they have had already. They’ll love you for it – and they’ll return the favor by digging deeper into their “passion” reserves!

Thanks, Angela and Chris!

Missed the webinar? You can still watch a recording of the webinar, and browse the slide deck.

Angela and Chris also contributed a chapter on this topic to VolunteerMatch’s new book. Learn more.

You Have a Great Employee Volunteer Program? Prove It.

VolunteerMatch reportingVolunteerMatch has been in the employee volunteer program (EVP) space for quite a while. Over 15 years, actually.

From our time here, we’ve seen a lot. We’ve talked to a lot of people out in the field, we’ve held a lot of Q&A sessions (both online and off), and we’ve read a lot of articles and research. Through all this, one thing has been painfully clear:

Getting internal buy-in for your EVP is one of the most challenging – and most important – parts of a running an EVP.

VolunteerMatch allows us to track the participation metrics for our programs in one system – hours, employees, projects – all of this data paints a picture of our impact.
-Erin Dieterich,

We’ve discussed in the past how reporting features are the most powerful, and often under-utilized, tool your EVP has. YourMatch™, VolunteerMatch’s EVP software, makes it easy to prove your program’s impact with quick, customizable reporting features and personalized dashboard. Why? Because we’ve seen firsthand how important it is.

YourMatch™ comes with a handful of “classic reports”, which include a super-easy way to pull the data that most EVP managers care about. With a few clicks and just a few seconds, you’ll know:

  • The total volunteer hours your company donated in a given time period
  • Who your most active volunteers are
  • Which departments or locations are having the biggest impact
  • Which cause areas are most popular with your employees
  • Much, more more.

You can also create your own custom reports, and determine what data you’re even recording, all customizable based on your company’s individual priorities.

Remember: Reporting is not only the best way to showcase what your program is already accomplishing, it can shine light on the path ahead. Getting to know the ways in which your employees choose to volunteer is great intel for shaping your future EVP strategy.

Want to learn more? Watch a demo of our tools. And never wonder again how you’re going to answer the question, “What’s the impact of our employee volunteer program?”