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?
Standard Insurance Company (“The Standard”), a financial services company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is built on a promise to be there for its customers when they need it the most. Their CSR and employee volunteer program follows a “blueprint” for building stronger communities that helps the company and its employees find many ways to give back and get involved.
One element of the Blueprint is company-sponsored Days of Caring to support community partners such as schools, Meals-on-Wheels and literacy programs. In 2013, employees logged an impressive 15,000 volunteer hours.
The Standard also connects employees with nonprofits which seek their expertise, guidance and leadership support on their boards of directors. The company’s 65 officers are expected to serve on at least one civic or nonprofit board, and The Standard offers annual nonprofit board training for all employees. In 2013, the effort helped them connect with dozens of new charitable, civic and business organizations making a real difference in their communities.
Each September, The Standard hosts Oregon’s largest Volunteer Expo in Portland, and last year the Cincinnati office held its third annual expo. These expos connect employees and the public with the local volunteer opportunities that match their interests and expertise. In 2013, more than 150 nonprofit organizations participated, and the Expos were attended by thousands.
In 2013, The Standard and its employees used an actual blueprint and real tools on a special project. Beginning in April, hundreds of employees of The Standard in Portland, Ore., traded a day at the office for a day at the construction site, putting their building skills to the test and helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality for families facing economic barriers. A nine-month partnership with Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East combined the help of volunteers and financial support from The Standard to build three new homes, completed in December 2013. To support the project, employees received extra paid time off so they could volunteer for “build days.”
How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?
The Standard’s Dollars for Doers program encourages employees to request funding support from the company for the organizations where they volunteer. In 2013, ten nonprofit organizations each received contributions through this program.
The Leo Award program honors Leo Samuel, who founded the company that would become The Standard in 1906. The program recognizes employee volunteers who exemplify the community spirit of Leo Samuel and provides an annual Founder’s Award which allows the winner to direct funding to their charity of choice.
Kudos to The Standard 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.