The Value of Giving Back: 1st Source Bank

It’s Pro Bono Week 2014! Join us in celebrating the amazing volunteers who donate their professional skills to great causes. This week’s final featured company: 1st Source Bank.1st Source Bank Volunteers at Super Saturday

As many a cheesy song or cliché politician has reminded us, the children are our future. As it turns out, kids are pretty smart already. The nonprofit Junior Achievement knows this, which is why they teach entrepreneurial and financial skills to children.

Also, as it turns out, professional bankers know quite a bit about finance. This is why 1st Source Bank partnered with Junior Achievement to put their pro bono thoughts into actions. 31 bank employees recently spent a day at an elementary school introducing children to financial literacy. Bank employees called the experience valuable for them – not just the kids!

1st Source Bank also participates in other pro bono activities, such as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Super Saturday (pictured above), where they partner with the United Way to offer tax preparation and filing for free. Giving back to their community is one of 1st Source Bank’s core values, which is evident in the fact that over 45% of their employees are active volunteers. Last year, employees volunteered 27,000 hours, equal to about $600,000. Talk about giving back!

Thank you to 1st Source Bank and the other companies that engage in pro bono work. You truly are role models. Pro Bono Week 2014 may be coming to an end, but we don’t want the momentum to stop! VolunteerMatch makes it easy to set up your own employee volunteer program and encourage pro bono work. Find out how.

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The Important Thing We Can Learn From MUFG Union Bank

It’s Pro Bono Week 2014! Join us in celebrating the amazing volunteers who donate their professional skills to great causes. Today’s featured company: MUFG Union Bank.MUFG Union Bank Volunteers at JA Finance Park 2014

The employees at MUFG Union Bank, or MUB, recognize something important. A concept so important that it’s the driving force behind Pro Bono Week. They recognize that volunteering their specialized professional skills is one of the most impactful contributions they can make to society. That’s why they created their annual Financial Literacy Campaign. During this three-month campaign, employees go out into their communities to teach financial education. They make presentations and facilitate workshops that equip their neighbors with skills to manage their own finances. In 2014’s campaign, MUB employees volunteered over 4,200 hours to this awesome pro bono endeavor.

But it doesn’t stop there. These amazing folks do pro bono work year-round with nonprofit partners in their communities. While the focus is financial education, employees offer their skills in all kinds of areas. All in all, MUB employees have tracked 42,000 volunteer hours this year alone.

Looking for an easy way to track your company’s pro bono impact? Visit VolunteerMatch Solutions today to get started.

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Challenge Your Employees to Go Pro Bono: A Lesson from Morgan Stanley

It’s Pro Bono Week 2014! Join us in celebrating the amazing volunteers who donate their professional skills to great causes. Today’s featured company: Morgan Stanley.Volunteers from the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge

Morgan Stanley doesn’t just encourage its employees to volunteer. It challenges them. The Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge pairs some of the company’s best workers with 12 nonprofits for eight weeks. During this time, the groups work together to assess and improve the nonprofits’ business and financial strategies. The final result is a plan complete with tangible next steps and tools for future success. The results are invaluable, but if you had to put a price on it, it would be… $6.8 million. This five-year total is equivalent to 45,000 hours of pro bono work.

But it’s not just the nonprofits that benefit. Morgan Stanley employee David Kosh, who participated in the program in 2013, claims the experience was “eye-opening, educational and inspirational”. He learned about the nonprofit sector, gained professional connections, and improved his own skills. Pro bono work, along with other types of volunteering, is truly a win-win arrangement.

Want to be the next Morgan Stanley in terms of pro bono excellence? Visit VolunteerMatch Solutions to learn how to get your company’s employees volunteering.

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Raising the Pro Bono Bar: The U.S. Bank Law Division

It’s Pro Bono Week 2014! Join us in celebrating the amazing volunteers who donate their professional skills to great causes. Today’s featured company: The U.S. Bank Law Division.Volunteers from US Bank Law Division

Pro bono work was made famous by the law profession, and the crew at the U.S. Bank Law Division is living up to this precedent.

The U.S. Bank Law Division works all across the U.S. at places such as a Vet Law Clinic, Housing Court, Immigrant Law Center, and Children’s Law Center. In the Twin Cities region alone, they’ve donated their time and skills to eight clinics.

In 2013, 70% of their lawyers engaged in pro bono activities. Even their non-lawyers got involved at a rate of 52%. The U.S. Bank Law Division is rightfully proud of their staff. Talk about impressive! They cite pro bono work as a priority for both their employees and their company as a whole.

Pictured above are some of the U.S. Bank’s pro bono volunteers. From left to right: Melissa Vermeersch, Sarah Stroebel (Chair), Jeannie Mccarver, Shannon Mahoney (Coordinator), Kyle Bakken, and Nick Richtman.

Encourage your own employees to get involved with pro bono and other volunteering opportunities with VolunteerMatch Solutions.

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Meet Annalisa Amicangelo, a 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit Speaker

On September 18-19, 2014, VolunteerMatch will gather its corporate clients for a day and a half of learning, sharing and networking. The 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit will feature numerous sessions led by corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement thought leaders. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to each of the speakers and what they’ll discuss at the Summit.

AnnalisaName: Annalisa Amicangelo

Title: Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility

Organization: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About the Session: “Building Local Support for CSR Through Employee Champions”

We will explore the development and success of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s employee engagement program through the Community Investment Council initiative, a global grassroots initiative that empowers employees across all business units/seniority levels in all major Houghton Mifflin Harcourt offices to make a difference in their local communities.

What is one way you’ve transformed your personal or professional life recently for the better?

I became aware of the intrinsic relationship between my mental/physical well being and my performance at work (and in life). Now, I make a conscious effort to let each one inform, challenge and improve the other.

About Annalisa Amicangelo:

Annalisa Amicangelo is Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, one of the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions. Annalisa contributes to the strategic development and expansion of HMH’s CSR and shared value initiatives, including public-facing partnerships with the Boston Celtics and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, as well as employee engagement programs like Community Investment Councils and HMH Volunteer Week.

During Annalisa’s tenure, HMH’s CSR program has been awarded and recognized by the Boston Business Journal, PR News, the Corporate Volunteer Council, the Center for Green Schools and Junior Achievement of Northern New England and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

In addition to her work in the private sector, Annalisa serves as Vice President of Jumpstart for Young Children’s Northeast Region Young Professionals Board, where she drives fundraising, awareness and networking activities to support the national nonprofit’s key programs. Annalisa is also a member of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Council and a graduate of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Program.

Annalisa received her Bachelor of Arts in History cum laude from Boston University and completed programs of study at St. Anne’s College, Oxford; and l’Università degli Studi di Padova.

Connect with Annalisa on Twitter, and follow Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Twitter, Facebook, and explore their website.

Learn more about Annalisa Amicangelo and other speakers at the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit by clicking here!

This year’s event is generously supported by: General Motors, MGM Resorts International, Delta Air Lines, The United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Newell Rubbermaid.

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Ready to Give Your Best Work?

Guest post by Stephen Ristau

Ready to give your best work for skilled volunteering?Too often I hear from highly skilled and motivated people, “I just can’t seem to find a nonprofit organization that uses my professional talent well.” And despite the great strides that nonprofits have made in recent years to design volunteer or pro bono work experiences that require advanced expertise or training, I still see a disconnect between the available talent pool and the engagement opportunities nonprofits offer.

Do you find this to be true also? Have you had to go through many frustrating encounters with nonprofits before you were able to find a good “skills” match? What enables you to do your best work?

I am interested in hearing about your experiences, cool ideas and best practices regarding best work engagement.

Here are some of mine:

  1. Do your homework. While it might not seem that this should be “like work,” finding a good fit with a nonprofit will require all the research, scanning, assessment, and analytical skills you’ve honed in your line of business. Investigate several organizations with various missions and sizes to learn about them and to assess your fit. Large nonprofits often resemble larger corporations in function and structure, while smaller nonprofits may mirror small “mom and pop” businesses. You know best what kind of issues (mission) you feel passionately about, your preferred work environment, and how your skill set matches with the organization’s needs.
  2. Network relentlessly. Simultaneously explore new organizations and drill deeper with vetted prospects to develop relationships with those leaders who will help you with your search. Know in advance that this will take more time than you expect and make sure you are willing to commit to this process. If not, you need to seriously consider if this is the path for you.
  3. Convey your understanding about the uniqueness of nonprofit cultures. When selling your professional, managerial, or technical skills, make sure you help organizations to see how your skills fit into the culture of the organization in particular and the nonprofit sector in general. Nonprofits tend to have process-oriented, consensus decision-making practices and may not be as results-driven as you may be used to in other sectors. Explain how you can contribute these skills as a part of a decision-making team.
  4. Be aware that, in some cases, you will have more skill and experience than your manager. When it comes to professional, managerial, or technical areas, you may be “senior” to the person who engages you or to whom you will report. Be effective at “managing up,” respecting individual talents (and constraints), and appreciating the value of intergenerational mentoring.
  5. Prepare yourself (for the opportunity) to wear many hats. Because of limited resources, most nonprofits, especially smaller ones, cannot afford the specialization of skills and functions that other sectors can. This may be an opportunity for you to contribute your unique skills to an initial project engagement and even additional ones in the future.

“Best work” organizations, nonprofit and for-profit, are those with human resources that champion innovation and learning, are accountable for outcomes, and are able to work in a coordinated team environment. What are some of the “best work” volunteer experiences you have had?

Let’s give a shout-out to those nonprofits that are empowering volunteers to make a lasting difference. Let us know what you think.

Stephen Ristau has been a nonprofit executive and social entrepreneur.  An innovator in the national encore movement, he has led Transforming Life After 50 and the SVP Portland Encore Fellows program.Contact Stephen at and

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