Client Holiday Potluck from VolunteerMatch: A Virtual Grab Bag of Ideas & Inspiration

19. December 2010 Client News 0

Last month our Best Practice Network webinar series hosted a private webinar for VolunteerMatch clients. The Client Holiday Potluck was a change for our family of 140 corporate clients to share their holiday giving programs, year-end successes, and plans for 2011.

If there was a theme, it was “innovation!” Here are just a few of the stories we heard.

Launching New Campaigns

During the Potluck, Discovery Communications’ Erin Dieterich explained how their employee volunteer program took a pro bono concept from theory to practice with a unique fit for their employees as well as nonprofit community.

A few months ago in our blog, Volunteering Is CSR, we profiled Discovery Communications’ new pro bono marathon, “Discovery Impact: Creating Change.” With the program underway, Dieterich described it in-depth for the group.

Initially inspired by a talk that Lindsay Firestone of Taproot gave at last year’s VolunteerMatch Client Summit, Dieterich and team adapted the concept of a “marathon” to fit Discovery’s unique work style, eventually settling on a 12-hour stretch of time for design, marketing and communications projects. The event, which ended up supporting 40 deserving nonprofits selected in an open application process, took place on Dec 14th.

Dollars for Doers

Toro, HQed in Minneapolis, builds equipment for outdoor environmental care.  But that’s not all they do. With a workforce of just 4,500, the level of giving from Toro (time and money)  is truly inspiring. For example,  through its Dollars for Doers program, managed on the VolunteerMatch platform, the company gives $300 grants to nonprofit organizations whenever an employee completes 30 hours of volunteering and submits a grant application.

As the first VolunteerMatch client to launch with the Dollars for Doers functionality, Toro has upped its program’s social return with a 20% increase in overall hours tracked by employees.

Santa’s Workshop

Nationwide Insurance’s Jenny Conley reported how 268 employees participated in the company’s Furniture Banks program this holiday season – not only building furniture items for local families, but also contributing to a healthy and collaborative team culture at the company.

In the final tally, Nationwide team members built 100 dinner tables for families in need.

This season, VolunteerMatch clients demonstrated a generous and spirited nature for giving back. From skilled volunteering to matching-grants programs, we’re fortunate to work with such a creative and passionate group of organizations. Watch the presentation on Prezi to get more ideas and kick off your 2011 planning!


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