Congratulations, UnitedHealth Group! An Honor Well-Earned.

Since 2006, UnitedHealth Group and VolunteerMatch have been working together to motivate and engage employees to give back to their community. We’ve seen the company evolve and grow into one of the strongest, most innovative CSR programs out there.

Which is why we weren’t surprised when Points of Light acknowledged their hard work by presenting them with the 2014 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence. The award recognizes UnitedHealth Group for their amazing employee volunteer program, INVOLVE. With a core CSR mission to help build healthier communities, the program involves over 156,000 employees.

Points of Light commented that, “The annual Award recognizes companies that apply their resources, expertise and insights to activities that benefit society, and create a culture that inspires and equips employees to volunteer.”

UnitedHealth Group isn’t just encouraging its own workforce, the company also actively seeks new and innovative ways to change the space.

Last year, UnitedHealth Group released their “Doing Good is Good for You” study, a close look at the link between health and volunteering. They found that the effects of volunteering helped lower stress levels and increased happiness, proving that giving back is good for your mental, physical and emotional state!

We also see UnitedHealth Group investing in groundbreaking volunteering products, such as sponsoring VolunteerMatch’s MobileMatch, released in early 2014. With their support, VolunteerMatch was able to release a tool that allows volunteers to search & sign up for volunteer opportunities, and track volunteer hours, on the go!

As the Client Relations Manager for UnitedHealth Group, I can personally speak to the level of commitment and passion this team has. They are constantly striving to improve not only their own program, but the Corporate Social Responsibility sector as a whole.

I speak for the whole VolunteerMatch family when I say we are honored to partner with UnitedHealth Group, and look forward to even greater success in the future!

What Will Be the Top Volunteer Programs of the Year?

Winners of the 2012 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards

For the last few weeks we’ve enjoyed taking time here at to share details of the ten companies that are finalists for this year’s Corporate Volunteer Awards. Today we’re thrilled to announce the complete list with links to full profiles of every program in our Large and Small-Medium Sized categories.

This marks the eighth year that VolunteerMatch has canvassed its community of 170 business clients to find the top performing programs across sectors. From banking and finance to airlines to real estate to energy, the finalists represent a cross-section of committed action in corporate community involvement.

As we’ve gotten to know each program better, our only regret is that we have to choose which companies saw the most success last year! Fortunately, much of the final call is determined by each company’s performance against these four benchmark measures.

Winners will be saluted at a ceremony during the 2013 VolunteerMatch Client Summit, scheduled to take place May 16, 2013, at New York University in New York City.

Here is a complete list of the 2013 finalists, with links to full program profiles:

Employee Volunteer Program of the Year (Large Size Business) – Awarded to a large business client with outstanding performance in corporate volunteer engagement.  The 2013 nominees for this award are:

Employee Volunteer Program of the Year (Small-Medium Size Business) – Awarded to a small-to-medium sized business client with outstanding performance in corporate volunteer engagement. The 2013 nominees for this award are:

We salute all ten of our finalists! Thank you all for being outstanding examples of corporations that believe in making a difference and committed members of the VolunteerMatch community!

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.

Congratulations, BCLC Nominees!

Our clients make us proud.On behalf of the VolunteerMatch team, I want to offer congratulations to our seven clients that are finalists in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) 13th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards.

The “Citizens” Awards honor businesses for their societal innovations and for creating a sustained positive impact on people, communities and the environment.

Finalist for the Best Corporate Steward Award: UnitedHealth Group

Finalists for the Best Business Neighbor: Dow, General Motors and NFL

Finalist for the Best International Ambassador: FedEx

Finalist for the Best Partnership Award: Merck, General Mills & CARE (Cast your vote by 11/2!)

VolunteerMatch is proud to be supporting the employee and cause volunteering programs for such innovative and socially responsible companies. You inspire us!

CSR Food for Thought: How Retailers Engage Employees

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



Five Ways AT&T Engages Employees to Do One Thing
AT&T encapsulates employee engagement in one simple phrase: Do One Thing, or DOT. The phrase is an invitation to employees to think about their daily actions and pick one change they can make that will have a positive impact on themselves, their community and/or the company.

How Retailers Engage Employees in CSR
In the first article in a new industry-specific series about how different businesses approach CSR, Realized Worth profiles four large retailers and looks at how they engage employees. Target, Walmart, Sears and Kmart all have different approaches, and there is enough inspiration for retailers of any size to take away.

Majority of Companies Increased Giving; Adopted a More Targeted Engagement Approach
Each year we wait in anticipation of the CECP Giving in Numbers report. This week’s launch of the 2012 edition didn’t disappoint – with findings such as 46% of companies have days of service, 57% offer paid volunteer time and 85% of companies reported having a formal domestic  employee volunteer program. Want more? Check out the full report here.

U.S. Chamber Recognizes 20 Companies for Positive Impact on People, Communities, and Environment
BCLC recognizes 20 finalists across four categories for its annual Citizen Awards. We’re proud to see several of our corporate partners on the list, including UnitedHealth Group, Dow Chemical, General Motors, the National Football League (NFL), FedEx, Qualcomm and General Mills. Congrats to all the nominees!

Volunteering: More than Compensation for Fewer Cash Gifts

Corporate volunteering on the riseThe Chronicle of Philanthropy recently issued a special report summarizing last year’s trends in corporate charitable giving. In 2011, total cash donations showed little growth. Instead, companies began to ramp up their product giving and volunteering programs, creating stronger support for communities than a dollar donation might allow on its own.

As a basis for the study, financial information was gathered from 166 companies ranked in Fortune magazine’s list of top revenue-earners in the US. Analysis revealed that cash donations grew only 4 percent in 2011; a disappointing stat in comparison to the 13 percent rise in corporate gifting that took place between 2009 and 2010. Projections for 2012 figures are equally grim.

VolunteerMatch at the CMF12 Conference: Employees as a Cause Testing Ground

VolunteerMatch presented at the 10th annual CMF Conference in Chicago on May 30, 2012

At the 2012 Cause Marketing Forum conference, I was invited to share my one big idea for employee engagement in a session entitled “6 Big Ideas in 60 Minutes.”  Here’s what I settled on to share: Use employee engagement as a testing ground for cause programs.

I was joined by 5 other experts sharing their big ideas including Holly Thomas of Macy’s on creating an internal “Army of Ambassadors,” Sarah Harris of Incite on how media can help inspire, Randy Paytner of Care2 on rewards programs to drive loyalty, Anne Erhard of MSLGROUP on incentivizing consumer action, and Sarah Gofus of .ORG on why cause campaigns need a .org website.

For my 9 minutes with the audience, I set one stipulation that we all needed to agree on: employees care deeply about cause initiatives. Better yet, there are huge benefits to engaging employees in causes – and I shared a few of my favorite stats to illustrate this: