United Way
of Greater Philadelphia
and Southern New Jersey

Live United - United Way
GPCVC

Although many of our GPCVC member companies are active throughout the year, the holidays present a special opportunity for individuals to give back. We are thrilled to see what all of you are doing throughout our region to improve our communities, and we hope the CVC has contributed to building the capacity of your companies to do this work.

We're proud to have spent the last two years as co-chairs of the CVC to bring professional development, resources and networking around topics and issues that are important to you. We congratulate Justin Land from Dow and Lisa Farnin from IBM as they take over the reigns as co-chairs. As many of you know, our GPCVC was named the 2015 Corporate Volunteer Council of the Year from Points of Light. We want to thank the Steering Committee for all their hard work to achieve this honor, and we are excited to see what is next for the GPCVC. We would like to express special congratulations to Mayor-elect Kenney's City Representative, Sheila Hess, director of foundation and community affairs for Independence Blue Cross, a CVC founding member. Sheila has been a strong supporter of the CVC and we wish her luck.

We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season! We look forward to new possibilities for the corporate volunteer community in 2016.

Eden Kratchman Debbie O'Brien
Co-Chair, GPCVC Steering Committee Co-Chair, GPCVC Steering Committee
ACE Group Bank of America

GPCVC Awarded 2015 Corporate Volunteer Council of the Year!

Congratulations to the GPCVC for being honored with the 2015 Corporate Volunteer Council of the Year from Points of Light for serving as a primary local resource for encouraging, educating and connecting businesses that support employee volunteerism. The Corporate Volunteer Council of the Year Award recognizes councils that have a clear purpose, activities that relate to that purpose and measurements for success. Thank you to everyone who continues to make the GPCVC a knowledgeable and exciting network!

Tips from the GPCVC 2nd Annual Meeting

Ken Freitas, principal at Freitas & Associates, senior fellow in Social Innovation at Babson College and instructor with the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, shared his unique combination of marketing and corporate responsibility expertise to business and nonprofit organizations as he focused on The Power of Service: How Volunteerism Can Help Transform A Company during the 2nd Annual Meeting in October. Justin Land, incoming co-chair of the GPCVC, shares his thoughts on this year's meeting:

  • Find, focus, commit - Nearly 25 years ago, an emerging Boston-based nonprofit organization sent a request to Timberland for 50 pairs of boots to outfit young volunteers. City Year's request was not only granted but their commitment to service made a lasting impact on the company, inspiring Timberland to establish their Path of Service program in 1992. Today, full-time Timberland employees get 40 paid hours for community service.
  • Empowered employees are an organization's greatest ambassadors - Fifteen months following Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of Timberland employees gathered in New Orleans for a sales conference which included a service component to support people devastated by the storm. Passing a tent full of donated goods and following a conversation on immediate needs with a community organizer, one Timberland employee, moved by the struggles, took off his boots and before long, others followed, filling the tent with hundreds of pairs of Timberland boots. This story not only inspired a company, but also a community.
  • Learn from each other - Whether in Greater Philadelphia or throughout the world, the intersection of minds and will of the corporate and nonprofit sectors, as well as the community, can generate some of the greatest ideas and collaborations to bring change.

Powerful Partnerships

By collaborating with other companies, GPCVC members are able to meet the volunteer needs of their nonprofit partners when they otherwise may not have the available resources or staff on their own. The GPCVC is uniquely positioned to help facilitate these opportunities, as members discover their counterparts at other companies in the region. Deloitte and Bank of America have taken this connection to new heights and are working together with Achieve Now. This December, volunteers from Deloitte and Bank of America will work with fourth grade students from General George G. Meade School to improve their reading skills each week. Bringing students into a corporate setting has a proven positive impact on instilling academic and career values among young people. Additionally, these young people will benefit from the informal mentoring relationship with the volunteers. Achieve Now works with the School District of Philadelphia to move children in chronically under-performing communities to grade-level reading and math, providing them with the building blocks of a successful life. ACE Group, another CVC member, will also work with third grade students at Meade to further create even bigger impact and collaboration. Bank of America, Deloitte and ACE Group are proud to be doing their part working with Achieve Now to make a difference in the lives of Philadelphia students, together.

Get Involved in the GPCVC

If you are interested in becoming a member of the GPCVC or attending an informative roundtable, please visit our website or contact Kate Laepple Hertzog at khertzog@uwgpsnj.org. Share valuable insights on your employee engagement program by following @phillysjunited on Twitter using #GPCVC.

 

The GPCVC graciously thanks our
2015-16 sponsor:

 
GPCVC Member Spotlight: Eden Kratchman, ACE Group
How do you/ACE Group decide which community initiatives/programs/partners to get involved in?

ACE Group supports local communities where our employees live and work. We determine how our employees can volunteer and engage with nonprofit organizations with which ACE has an existing relationship. This provides more visibility to the nonprofits among ACE employees and allows them to feel aligned with the company's community partners.

What best practices can you share about how ACE Group drives volunteerism and community efforts?

There are many groups within the company that are looking for volunteers such as Toastmasters, ACE Women's Forum, ACE Green and Recycling, annual United Way and City of Hope fundraising campaign committees, and annual volunteer days such as ACE's Global Day of Service that happens in October. Our strategy is to connect employees to volunteer opportunities within company-sponsored campaigns and clubs to support the mission of these nonprofits and provide professional development and leadership opportunities that lead to career advancement.

How does ACE Group encourage its employees to get involved? Do you have an example of how you motivate your employees to give back?

We encourage employees to get involved in a number of ways. One example is through ACE's U.S. United Way campaign where employees who make a pledge of any amount in the first two days of the campaign, receive 4 hours of paid time to volunteer at the nonprofit organization of their choice. Another example is ACE's Gift of Time program which encourages employees to volunteer 40 hours in a calendar year with nonprofits in their local communities. The ACE Charitable Foundation provides a $250 grant to the nonprofits on behalf of the employees' volunteer commitment.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned from being part of the GPCVC?

Collaboration - the GPCVC has exposed me to great examples of collaboration that have leveraged greater impact in our region. The collaboration with my GPCVC co-chair, Debbie O'Brien; SVP and Market Manager for CSR at Bank of America; has definitely helped me learn new skills and be more effective as a leader of the Council as well as in my role at ACE Group. In addition, the members of the GPCVC have illuminated many partnerships in the region, either through programs the CVC provides or through the company spotlights which are offered to the member company hosting a CVC program. Many of these partnerships have opportunities for engagement and have been valuable for me to learn about and determine possible alignment with ACE Group's engagement strategy.

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