United Way
of Greater Philadelphia
and Southern New Jersey

Live United - United Way

Happy New Year! We are excited to re-launch the Greater Philadelphia Corporate Volunteer Council (GPCVC) quarterly newsletter and share some tips and tools that you can use to implement and build your volunteer activities.

2014 was an exciting year for the GPCVC. We held over a dozen programs reaching more than 400 people on topics ranging from partnerships with the School District of Philadelphia to placing corporate employees on nonprofit boards to national trends in corporate volunteering. We were also thrilled to welcome Evan Hochberg, chief strategy officer at United Way Worldwide for our first Annual Meeting in October.

Additionally, the GPCVC launched our membership benefits on July 1, 2014. We look forward to holding special events and incentives for our members throughout the rest of the year. If you'd like more information on membership, please contact Kate Laepple Hertzog at khertzog@uwgpsnj.org.

In 2015, we're excited for our upcoming programming including communications, skills-based volunteering and school-based partnerships. Thank you for your commitment to improving our community every day and sharing your thoughts and best practices with us, so we can drive Impact in our region together.

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

Tips to Building a Successful Employee Engagement Program

In December, the GPCVC hosted a discussion on jumpstarting corporate engagement programs. With so many impactful organizations looking for volunteers, building a program has its challenges. Here are eight tips we learned to engage employees in a meaningful way:

  1. Begin by identifying what are you trying to accomplish and why.
  2. Gauge employee interest by conducting a survey among employees.
  3. Determine where you want to see your employees fall on the spectrum of volunteerism.
  4. Get buy-in from senior leadership and all levels of management.
  5. Develop program policies that are approved by HR.
  6. Accurately measure and track the number of employees, hours and donations for the program.
  7. Capture impactful stories from employees, nonprofit organizations and their clients.
  8. Recognize and reward your employees.
And, there's more! Visit our blog for more information and continue the dialogue on social media using #GPCVC.

Powerful Partnerships

GPCVC member, ACE Group, showcases their unique partnerships to improve local communities.

For nearly ten years, ACE Group and the ACE Charitable Foundation have provided support to The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), through financial support, participation in board service, and volunteerism efforts throughout the U.S. The annual Week of Giving Program is the IICF's most visible program that allows an insurance company to take a leadership role in the community through volunteerism and collective giving. Since 1998, the Week of Giving Program has been the largest volunteer initiative in the insurance industry. Through partnerships with ACE Group and other insurance companies, the IICF has contributed $18 million to community nonprofits in the U.S. and more than 166,000 hours of volunteer service for a variety of community enterprises. Through the collaborative efforts of insurance companies, reinsurance companies, agents and brokers, as well as strategic partners in the industry, the IICF supports programs that focus on education, health and safety, with a special focus on organizations serving children. The 2014 IICF Week of Giving Program engaged 5,312 volunteers from 184 companies, volunteering at 349 projects in 85 cities in more than 21 states. In 2014, more than 300 ACE Group employees nationwide representing 10 regions in the U.S. volunteered for 17 key community projects and contributed nearly 1,000 volunteer hours.

In Philadelphia, the Insurance Society of Philadelphia (ISOP) teamed up with IICF to host the IICF Week of Giving on October 15, 2014. Nearly 900 employees from local member companies in the Philadelphia region volunteered for more than 20 organizations that serve children and families in the region. Close to 100 local ACE employees volunteered for several projects such as building a home in Point Breeze through Habitat for Humanity; sorting books at the Chester A. Arthur Elementary School through ACE's long-time partner Achieve Now; assisting with gardening at the McVeigh Recreation Center; cleaning up the children's playground at the Columbia North YMCA; and sorting canned goods and non-perishables at SHARE Food Bank. Employees unable to volunteer at an off-site project supported these efforts by writing thank you cards to those serving in the military through the A Million Thanks Organization.

Insights from Evan Hochberg

In October, Evan Hochberg, chief strategy officer at United Way Worldwide, was the featured keynote speaker at GPCVCs first Annual Meeting, where he shared a wealth of knowledge about corporate engagement key takeaways including:

  • Look at corporate volunteerism as a business strategy not an employee benefit.
  • Embrace the business case for corporate volunteerism, such as increased retention, employee morale, leadership and skill development, and brand awareness and equity.
  • Put your core assets at the center of your volunteer activities.
  • Each volunteer hour can be equated anywhere from $20 - $200 depending on the activity. Determining what the community needs and lending skilled volunteers creates effective social impact.

Program Preview: SAVE THE DATE!

Please join the GPCVC for our upcoming events. Official invitations with additional information will follow shortly.

Telling Your Story
February 25, 2015 from 9:00-10:30 a.m.
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

March: GPCVC Roundtable Discussion
April: Moving to Skills-Based Volunteering: How to Make it Happen
May: GPCVC Roundtable Discussion
June: School-Based Partnerships
July: National Trends in Corporate Volunteering
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.


United Way graciously thanks our
2014-15 sponsors:

GPCVC Member Spotlight: Lisa Farnin, Manager of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM Corporation

Lisa serves as Chair of the Program Committee for the GPCVC. At IBM, Lisa manages local corporate citizenship efforts in Pennsylvania and Delaware and is also the global solution lead for several IBM Impact Grants. The GPCVC is proud to recognize Lisa as the member spotlight.

How do you/IBM decide which community initiatives/programs/partners to get involved in?

IBM looks for partners who have a deep understanding of the community and the complexity of the challenges, and who are established leaders in addressing those challenges and measuring impact. Locally, we focus our resources on critical societal issues associated with education, workforce readiness, and creating a smarter planet.

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

Service and volunteering have always been essential elements of what it means to be an IBMer. Our goal is to provide resources to enhance and extend the impact of their efforts, as well as to share their stories in order to inform and inspire others to join. Our global strategic initiative, On Demand Community, provides IBM employees and retirees with volunteer training, pre-packaged Activity Kits, the ability to post and attract others to team up for volunteer efforts, and allows IBMers to track their volunteer hours. We took a global approach from the beginning. Since 2003, well over 260,000 employees and retirees from more than 120 countries have utilized the On Demand Community site and logged more than 17 million volunteer hours.

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

Many of our employees and retirees are actively engaged in their communities worldwide. We provide many resources, with a deliberate emphasis on skills-based volunteerism, to support their efforts. IBM Activity Kits provide pre-packaged assets, such as how-to guides/primers for leading interview skills workshops or STEM activities for students that help make planning and leading a volunteer effort easier. Our IBM Community Grants Program helps extend the impact of employees and retirees who regularly volunteer by providing cash grants directly linked to their efforts at schools and nonprofit organizations. Last year, IBM employees and retirees helped to award $4M in IBM Community Grants.

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

The GPCVC provides a great opportunity to connect with companies of all sizes who are in various stages of considering or implementing their volunteer efforts. What I value most is the opportunity to learn from the great diversity of approaches and share exploration of the trends in skills-based volunteering and measuring impact.

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United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway | Philadelphia | PA | 19103-1294

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