Category: [affinity group] corporate

How companies motivate their employees to volunteer

By Hudson Kaplan-Allen
WRAG’s 2016 Summer Intern

On June 23 WRAG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group heard from Chris Jarvis of Realized Worth on why employees are incentivized, or in some cases, dis-incentivized, to volunteer. Realized Worth is a consulting firm that focuses on engaging employees in corporate volunteering. As the co-founder and senior partner, Jarvis shared strategies for getting employees involved in their communities and committed to social issues.

“People who show up to company volunteering programs already like to volunteer,” Jarvis said, adding, “These aren’t the employees that need to be convinced.” It’s much harder to motivate those who are less inclined to come out and devote a day or even a few hours to volunteering in their community, he said. So how do organizations increase the number of employees who participate in these engagement opportunities?

Jarvis explained that people volunteer for a variety of reasons, noting that some people respond to extrinsic motivation while others respond better to intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation occurs when people engage in an activity to earn a reward. Maybe they are offered a bonus by their employer or are looking to meet new people. Intrinsic motivation is when people engage in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; in other words, performing an activity for its own sake rather than for an external/extrinsic reward. While our initial reasons are often extrinsic, if we fall in love with volunteering, it then becomes intrinsic.

Jarvis cited an episode of the PBS TV series The Brain entitled “Why Do I Need You?” When we find extrinsic happiness, he said, our reward system kicks in, and we often feel something like a runner’s high, a sensation that tricks us into going farther than we think we can go, pushing ourselves that last mile. These same chemicals are released when we volunteer, Jarvis said, especially when we visualize the beneficiary and can understand our own significance to that person. That’s when we fall in love with volunteering – when we can understand exactly how and what the significance of the volunteer work is. That’s when we will push to do that extra hour or even extra day of volunteering. We are intrinsically motivated. It’s about creating a transformative experience as opposed to a transactional interaction, Jarvis added. If we have the occasion to directly get to know the person we are helping, to have that “storyline,” we form an emotional connection with the cause and take away meaning from the experience.

Jarvis used an example from one of Realized Worth’s successful Corporate Citizenship programs. Recently, his company worked with one of their corporate clients to get its employees more engaged. They created a program in which the employees, customers, and business partners would come in on a Sunday morning, once a month, to learn about mental health awareness and hear from local professionals. Just months after the program launched, the corporation was benefiting tremendously. The employee engagement rate went up by 12% and the absenteeism rate dropped by 22%. Talking about mental health, Jarvis pointed out, created a safe space for employees where they felt comfortable and engaged with the company and the community. In concluding, Jarvis said that programs like this one benefit both the business and the community. And that’s good for everyone.

WRAG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group is comprised of corporate social responsibility leaders from more than 35 of the Greater Washington region’s top companies. This network provides members with professional development and best practice sharing; information on community needs and facilitated discussions with community, corporate, and nonprofit leaders; purposeful networking and partnership building; and a collective voice for corporate philanthropy. The next Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group session, on measuring and evaluating CSR, is August 16. Click here to learn more.

Corporate philanthropists focus on workforce development

By Katy Moore, Director of Member Services

WRAG’s corporate members recently got a behind-the-scenes tour of one of our region’s most highly-acclaimed workforce development programs: Northern Virginia Family Services’ Training Futures. Since its founding in 1996, Training Futures has prepared over 1,000 low-income people for administrative and medical office jobs with an 84% job placement rate.

In recent months, Training Futures has been heralded by the New York Times as one of a few “shining examples of small, well-devised retraining programs in the United States.” And, the program’s partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) was recently evaluated by The Aspen Institute as one of the top-performing nonprofit-college partnerships in the nation.

Following the site visit, attendees heard from a panel of their peers who addressed how and why their companies are supporting workforce development in the Greater Washington region. Some highlights:

Doug Koelemay, VP for Community Relations at SAIC, discussed how the company’s deep partnership with Training Futures has supported both the nonprofit and SAIC’s business goals.

Sarah Oldmixon, Director of Workforce Initiatives at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, provided an overview of workforce needs, challenges, and opportunities in the region.

Mark Popovich, Senior Program Officer at the Hitachi Foundation, discussed the foundation’s early leadership and ongoing participation in the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.

Richard Tharp, Director of Kaiser Permanente’s Workforce Development and Educational Theatre Programs, discussed how Kaiser is partnering with area community colleges to train hundreds of front-line health care professionals (click here for more info).

Michelle Gilliard, Senior Director of The Walmart Foundation, discussed the company’s interest in workforce development in the DC region.

Read: Speaker bios
Related: The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region’s recent newsletter on workforce development.

Corporate giving isn’t limited to dollars [News, 8.9.10]

Newcomers to the region bring their charitable dollars with them
(WaPo, 8/9) – “And not just dollars. Terri Lee Freeman, president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, said approaches to giving can vary. For example, she said consulting firm Deloitte offers thousands of hours of pro bono expertise, providing analysis and business management expertise to local nonprofits, while Capital One, the financial giant based in McLean, has long operated a locally focused grant program through its foundation.” Also quoted in the article are Steve Gunderson (Council on Foundations) and Tamara Lucas Copeland (Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers).

Companies donate employees’ time, service instead of cash (USAToday, 8/8) – Wal-Mart was the top corporate giver last year.

GIVING | Warren Buffet discusses goals for the Giving Pledge (Tactical Philanthropy, 8/9) – “We will gather the Pledgers to talk about big problems in philanthropy and learn as a group about being smarter about philanthropy…”

Inexperienced companies chase U.S. school funds
(NYTimes, 8/9)
Gates’s millions: can big bucks turn students into graduates? (Chronicle of Higher Ed – subscription, 8/8)

REAL TALK | McKnight Foundation shares results of ‘Grantee Perception Survey’ (PND, 8/9)

JOBS/HEALTH | Work-based learning model helps community health centers ‘grow their own workforce’ (wire, 8/9)

Just how bad are homeless services in the District?
(CityPaper, 8/6)
– Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless joins the blogosphere.

Corporate philanthropy in a down economy

Hey, corporate philanthropists–are you struggling to keep and build momentum for your employee engagement programs in this continuously-challenged economic climate? This article from Changing Our World offers some timely tips. And be sure to join your corporate giving colleagues  for the next Corporate Philanthropy Luncheon!

-Katy Moore

Meet Joe Suarez of Booz Allen Hamilton

We’ve made a week out of “International Corporate Philanthropy Day” by starting off our new series of grantmaker profiles with four corporate members. Today’s grantmaker is Joseph Suarez, director of community partnerships and philanthropy for Booz Allen Hamilton.

Click here to meet Joe.

> March 9: Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group: The Future of CSR: Understanding My Role in a Changing Profession (the next event of WG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group)
For nonprofits: March 16, 2010: “A Whole New World: Special Events and Fundraising in a Contracted Economy”–  Booz Allen Hamilton’s Fundraising Development Conference Speaker Series.
> Learn more about ICPD

Meet Emily Rothberg of Deloitte LLP

This week we are celebrating International Corporate Philanthropy Day by starting off our new series of grantmaker profiles with five corporate members. Today’s grantmaker is Emily Rothberg, SE community involvement leader for Deloitte LLP.

Click here to meet Emily.

> Feb. 25: Volunteer Fairfax, in partnership with Deloitte, invites you to the 2nd annual Northern Virginia Corporate Summit. Corporate funders only.

> March 9: Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group: The Future of CSR: Understanding My Role in a Changing Profession (the next event of WG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group)

> Learn more about ICPD

Meet Capital One’s Carolyn Berkowitz

This week we are celebrating International Corporate Philanthropy Day by starting off our new series of grantmaker profiles with five corporate members. Today we feature  Carolyn Berkowitz, president of the Capital One Foundation and vice president of community affairs for Capital One.

Click here to meet Carolyn.

> March 9: Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group: The Future of CSR: Understanding My Role in a Changing Profession (the next event of WG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group)
> Learn more about ICPD

Grantmaker. Kayaker. Meet Kevin Webb

Today is International Corporate Philanthropy Day (ICPD), “a day designated to highlight milestones and achievements in corporate philanthropy and encourage further corporate community investment.”

To mark the occasion, we’re kicking off our new series of grantmaker profiles with our corporate members, beginning with Kevin Webb, director of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.

Click here to meet Kevin.

> Learn more about ICPD
> March 9: Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group: The Future of CSR: Understanding My Role in a Changing Profession (the next event of WG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group)

Corporate Affinity Group Meets with Corporation for National and Community Service

By Katy Moore, Director of Member Services, Washington Grantmakers

Yesterday’s news about Patrick Corvington’s nomination reminded me that we hadn’t posted about this yet. Last month, Washington Grantmakers’ Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group had lunch with representatives from the Corporation for National and Community Service to learn more about the Obama Administration’s views on corporate community investing.

Guest speakers, Gretchen Van de Veer and Daphne Doyle Benbow, provided an overview of recent legislation affecting corporate philanthropy and outlined three new initiatives: the Social Innovation Fund, the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program, and the new Billion+ Change Initiative which challenges corporations to collectively donate $1 billion in skilled volunteering and pro bono services over the next 3 years.

Gretchen Van de Veer:

Capital One and World Bank nominated for WBJ’s 2009 Philanthropy Awards [News, 5.1.09]

AWARDS | Finalists for the Washington Business Journal’s 2009 Philanthropy Awards in Community Impact include two Washington Grantmakers members: Capital One and the World Bank.

EDUCATION | Four private foundations will partner with the American Federation of Teachers through its new Innovation Fund (EdWeek, 4/28) – Broad, Ford, Gates, Mott.

Maryland designates $2.5M to prevent foreclosures (WBJ, 4/30) – “will be used primarily to support nonprofit housing counseling groups”
Ford Foundation Backs Foreclosures Project (WSJ, 5/1) – “$50 million into a new nonprofit venture that will help municipalities buy foreclosed homes from financial institutions, in an effort to stem property-value declines plaguing U.S. neighborhoods” … “National Community Stabilization Trust”

JUVENILE JUSTICE/YOUTH DEVELOPMENT | Poet Advises Oak Hill Center Youths (WaPo, 5/1) – “Schiraldi…has made it a point during his four-year tenure to expose many of the city’s most delinquent youths to what many don’t get at home: arts, culture and activities such as hiking and canoeing.”

ENVIRONMENT | Coca-Cola donates money for recycling program on National Mall (WBJ, 4/29)