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?
NV Energy’s Employee Volunteer Program plays an essential role in bringing employees together to support causes in our community. The program is geared towards employees and their family members who participated in more than 1,400 volunteer opportunities last year, choosing to concentrate on causes that they are passionate about, including: health and human services, hunger, seniors, homelessness, animals, veterans, education and the environment. The NV Energy team creates programs and volunteerism opportunities that address emerging issues and promote healthy and vibrant communities. These engagement activities create opportunities to partner with local organizations, and empower employees to make a positive difference.
NV Energy has a strong commitment to engage employees as volunteers in community service, and employees are encouraged to support their communities through the company’s volunteer program. The key components of the Employee Volunteer Program are the Community Relations staff, Employee Volunteer Council, and Project leads. Through regular communication and feedback from surveys, employees help the staff determine the types of activities everyone participate in.
Some favorite activities are:
- The Senior Energy Assistance Expo, a community event where seniors age 62 years of age or older can come out to get help with their power bill.
- Goodie Two Shoes – outfit low-income children with a pair of new tennis shoes and socks.
- Three Square Backpack program – fill backpacks with kid-friendly food for students on free and reduced lunch programs.
- NV Project – assemble and ship packages to the men and women serving our country overseas.
- Other events include a lunch hour event, Day at Dorostkar Park clean-up, Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, United Way Golf Tournaments, and department/team volunteer projects that create camaraderie.
Additionally, the senior management team and other employees serve on the boards of more than 100 nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Nevada.
What are some key accomplishments from 2013 you’re especially proud of?
Despite challenging economic times, NV Energy employees are still committed to giving back, because they recognize that giving back to our communities is critical now more than ever. The company’s goal is to improve the quality of life for the people who live and work in its service territory. In 2013, over 2,500 employees gave more than 44,000 hours as volunteers at various organizations in this service territory. Employees surpassed their goal of 42,000 hours by logging in an impressive 44,834 hours. With the estimated value of a volunteer hour at $22.14, the company’s volunteering contributions are estimated at close to $1 million for 2013!
How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?
NV Energy launched the VolunteerMatch tool in 2008, with employees logging 393 hours, and concluded 2013 with employees logging over 44,000 hours. Their success can be attributed to communication and carefully selecting projects to match their resources.
Their recruitment strategy varies from episodic to large projects so that they are flexible enough to match skills and interests to fit each project. They also determine how to reach and engage the right volunteers for establishing a consistent volunteer team to help meet the needs of each project during various stages.
NV Energy supports employee volunteers by helping them find community service opportunities, recognizing and rewarding their work, and providing grants to the nonprofit organizations they volunteer with through a Dollars for Doers Program. In 2013, The Dollars for Doers Program awarded 38 – $250 grants, totaling $9500, to local nonprofit agencies on behalf of employees giving their time.
Last year, they held a volunteer challenge among departments. The Volunteer Challenge is a friendly competition that pits teams within the company against each other to earn the most number of volunteer hours. The hours are logged between January 1 and December 31, and are ranked by average of team member hours. The team with the most hours during that period earned a $2,000 grant for a nonprofit of their choice, recognition and bragging rights.
The Community Relations team at NV Energy maintains excellent communication with any nonprofit organization the company partners with so that everyone has a clear understanding of what is expected of them. They also explain the benefits of volunteer work to employees and use examples to show the many benefits to the larger community.
Kudos to NV Energy 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.