Get to Know Hagerty, Finalist for 2016 Employee Volunteer Program of the Year

In this series of blog posts, get to know the finalists for VolunteerMatch’s 2016 Employee Volunteer Program of the Year Award. Winners will be revealed on October 25, 2016 at VM Summit 16. Get your VM Summit 16 ticket today. Today’s featured volunteer program: Hagerty.

Hagerty Volunteers

What makes your volunteer program so successful?

Hagerty CARes, our employee volunteer program, provides 16 hours of paid volunteer time off (VTO) each calendar year to all full-time employees (8 hours to part time employees) to volunteer for any nonprofit, school, or church-affiliated community service program.

The program is an extension of what employees refer to as the “Hagerty Way”. We live our values through the Hagerty Way, a series of maxims designed to shape our culture. They are what make Hagerty unique as a company, in turn, making the Hagerty CARes program an exceptional reflection of the company’s culture and each employee’s pursuit of excellence, innovation, and authenticity. Most specifically in this instance, being good and visible citizens in our communities.

Additionally, to promote health and wellness, Hagerty provides company-sponsored opportunities for employees to volunteer for, or participate in, charitable races. Through this partnership with Hagerty’s employee gym, Ironworks, Hagerty CARes doubles the impact of the program by improving employees’ health and serving their communities. Employees who participate in three or more charitable races per year will earn a reward from the Hagerty corporate recognition program.

What is the most unique aspect of your volunteer program?

Hagerty employees in Canada volunteered at a local library.
Hagerty employees in Canada volunteered at a local library.

The Hagerty CARes program has two components that are quite unique: our Annual Nonprofit Partner and Good and Visible Citizen Award.

Annual Nonprofit Partner – 2017 will be the 4th year that Hagerty has considered area organizations to be our Annual Nonprofit Partner. In addition to a significant financial investment, Hagerty works with the selected nonprofit to plan a mutually determined year-long service program. Previous Annual Nonprofit Partners include Michael’s Place, TART Trails and The Father Fred Foundation.

Michael’s Place, our 2016 partner, received services from Hagerty such as app development, website upgrades, creation of tracking and evaluation tools, and leadership development coaching. TART and Hagerty collaborated on numerous marketing, communication, education, and administrative projects ranging from interpretive signage to data entry and human resources consulting. The Father Fred Foundation used Hagerty’s pro bono service and skills to review and revise marketing plans, increase their presence in the Traverse City area through participation at two marquee events, and provide essential items for individuals and families in need.

Good and Visible Citizen Award – 2016 was the inaugural year for this recognition of employee volunteerism. Each year’s winner is awarded a personal volunteerism leadership opportunity as well as a gift to the nonprofit organization of the employee’s choice that aligns with Hagerty’s giving mission. We believe in building the economic vitality of the communities in which our employees live and in proactively promoting the preservation of the collector car community.

The award recipient for 2016 selected Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan to receive the monetary gift, which will aid in changing the lives of children through mentor relationships and encouraging them to achieve educational and professional success.

What recent accomplishments make you proud?

At the beginning of 2014, Hagerty’s Claims department created REVV-UP, a volunteer-specific initiative for their team. Over the past two years, the REVV-UP team has expanded and now includes all departments that fall within our Insurance Services. They hold monthly group volunteer projects as well as individual and small group challenges. Their reach in the community extends from holding mock interviews for 300 disabled high school students all the way to stuffing Valentines Day gift bags for senior citizens.

The REVV-UP team currently has a volunteer participation rate of 95% (102 employees total) and has donated 1,621 hours so far this year. This contribution accounts for 23% of the total tracked hours for the program.

What advice do you have for others managing an employee volunteer program?

Keep it fresh! Hagerty strives to come up with new and fun ways for employees to volunteer and takes into account what people like to do, timing for business needs, and specific location. Instituting annual signature events get employees excited to volunteer and aids in gaining momentum for optimum participation. A few that Hagerty has success with are:

  • Fueling Our Communities Week – A ten day celebration of volunteerism in the communities in which Hagerty’s employees live and work.
  • Fall Soup Kitchen – This is an internal event where employees volunteer to make soup, bread, crackers, dessert, or simply to serve lunch to colleagues. This is a fun way to raise funds for our Annual Nonprofit Partner, while giving a lunchtime alternative that is fun and different.
  • Race to the Finish – Toward the end of each year, Hagerty makes a push to aid our community with opportunities such as: providing Christmas gifts for less fortunate local children, Thanksgiving meal collections/service, and a different donation drive for up to ten days in December.
Employees from Hagerty's Colorado office volunteering at a local school.
Employees from Hagerty’s Colorado office volunteering at a local school.

Institute a corporate social responsibility (CSR) committee. Hagerty’s CSR committee is comprised of representatives from different areas of the business that are active in the community and act as advocates of the Hagerty CARes program within their teams and across the enterprise.

Spread the word. Hagerty utilizes all of its internal communication channels to provide employees with pertinent information about Hagerty CARes, including:

  • Intranet blog and site
  • Corporate digital displays promoting the latest volunteer opportunity, the annual nonprofit partnership, and the joint health and wellness programming
  • Hagerty CARes & Ironworks workout gear, t-shirts and sweatshirts for purchase in the online employee store
  • Branded Hagerty CARes collection bins with the program logo, providing employees with an instantly recognizable means to provide an in-kind donation in the most trafficked areas like the lunchroom in each of our office locations. The advertising benefit of the bins provides a reminder to employees to participate in a drive.
  • New employee training on Hagerty CARes, including an on-line course (coming soon) that gives employees a more in depth tutorial of the system to ensure individuals can maximize their volunteer experiences.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Laura Jolly volunteering in Honduras
Laura Jolly volunteering in Honduras

This is a piece written by the recipient of our 2016 Good and Visible Citizen Award:

My name is Laura Jolly and I work on the creative team in the Marketing department. I have been with Hagerty for 11 years and it has been extremely rewarding to be part of the company’s growth.

I feel a large part of Hagerty’s growth is a result of the positive work environment. As employees, we are engaged on a daily basis with work and volunteer opportunities. Just this morning, via our intranet, I learned about a drive to help Louisiana flood victims, a financial wellness program and new classes available through Hagerty University, our internal education program.

This year, I was the recipient of Hagerty’s “Good and Visible Citizen Award” for volunteering within, and outside of, our company. It is a tremendous honor, but honestly, Hagerty makes it easy and fun to volunteer. From the drive I previously mentioned, to group outings at local charities, it becomes part of our days. It is a bonus that we get paid for 16 hours of volunteer time, which I have used over the last few years to go on a Rotary mission trip to Honduras and to attend Big Brothers Big Sisters events. Additionally, Hagerty applauds my involvement with my local Rotary Club by allowing me time to attend related events and asking for my ideas and input based on my Rotary service.

I am fortunate to work for a company that encourages and rewards volunteer efforts to the extent that Hagerty does.

Will Hagerty win VolunteerMatch’s Employee Volunteer Program of the Year Award? Find out at VM Summit 16 – get your ticket today.

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