Charitable giving is thriving at first glance—charities raised $410 billion in 2017. However, Chronicle’s reporting indicates that this may be philanthropy’s peak due to limiting trends:

  1. The share of Americans who give to charity is declining.
  2. Giving has declined in all age groups—not only millennials.
  3. Nonprofits are increasingly relying on the wealthy.

Read the full Chronicle article.

Community Health Charities is working hard to support our nonprofit partners and make it easy for companies and their employees to build stronger, healthier communities. Check out our resources: workplace giving campaigns, on-site volunteering events, and engagement activities.

It’s no longer enough for organizations to exist and create a profit—employees are expecting organizations to make a positive impact.

Specifically, employees are expecting that their employers provide opportunities to give back to their communities:

  • Employee turnover drops by 57% when employees are deeply connected to their companies giving and volunteering efforts, according to a Benevity Engagement Study.
  • 75% of US workers expect their employer to support groups and individuals and need in their respective communities, either through donations and/or volunteer efforts, reported a Glassdoor Study—this means that employees are expecting in-office volunteer opportunities.

Is your organization meeting industry standards?

Whether it’s your first time running a workplace giving campaign or you’re looking to increase participation, Community Health Charities has the resources  to help you meet your goals and increase employee engagement:

  • The Campaign Coordinator Guide lists the five steps to running a successful campaign and includes all the resources you will need from planning to thanking.
  • The Goal Setting Guide helps you consider previous year’s data and calculate an attainable goal to motivate your team.
  • The Health and Wellness Guide promotes mental and physical health through fun and healthy incentives an can be tied to your campaign.
  • The Tools For Engagement Guide features fun incentives and activities to engage employees.
  • The Volunteer On The Spot Guide provides meaningful workplace experiences in the office with the organizations your employees support.
  • The Year-Round Employee Engagement Calendar helps you celebrate your employees’ efforts and raise awareness for health and wellness all year.

Health care costs increased for 79% of organizations between 2016 and 2017.

According to one study, organizations save $7 in healthcare costs for every dollar they invest in health programming.

Can your company afford to not prioritize health and wellness?.

Health and Wellness Programs improve and promote mental and physical health and allow employers to offer fun and healthy incentives for employees who participate. These programs improve and maintain the general health of employees.

According to Forbes, 77% of employees believe health and wellness programs positively impact the culture at work. The goal of a health and wellness program is to create a culture where employees choose to live a healthier lifestyle. Healthy behaviors lead to lower health risks, and lower health risks lead to fewer long-term health conditions. Changing behaviors can be hard. We have created the Health and Wellness Guide to help companies create and sustain healthy habits in and out of the workplace.

In the Health and Wellness Guide, you will find:

  1. Benefits of running a health and wellness campaign
  2. Tips for a successful campaign
  3. Pay and free (or very low-cost) program recommendations your company can implement that can have significant and positive health impacts on employees
  4. Incentives to keep your team motivated and excited about the healthy changes implemented
  5. Examples of companies who implemented health and wellness campaigns—and their results

Check out our Campaign Resources for more guides on creating a healthy workplace. Contact us at info@healthcharities.org for customized resources for your workplace.

CSR PROFESSIONALS, DON’T MISS OUT: JUNE 28 IN NYC

It’s your last chance to register for the 17th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit, chaired by Community Health Charities.

Join leaders from American Express, Campbell Soup Company, the Coca-Cola Company, Johnson & Johnson and more to drive greater employee engagement and social impact. Don’t miss this opportunity to network with corporate leaders from across the country—the June 27 Preconference Peer-Learning Workshop is already SOLD OUT. Register now for the June 28 Employee Engagement Summit.

 

CORPORATE PARTNERS, WE’RE LAUNCHING A CORPORATE PORTAL NEXT MONTH

Community Health Charities values the time our corporate partners dedicate to building healthier communities and recognizes the importance of convenience in achieving our engagement goals. We are centralizing support services for our corporate partners by developing a campaign portal launching in mid-July. Within this new platform, campaign coordinators will have access to readily available resources specific to their company. Many features like the ability to update contact and profile information, access campaign tools and guides, request charity partner attendance at events, and view reporting will enhance our communications during every phase of the campaign process. Additional information coming soon to campaign coordinator email inboxes.

 

COMMUNITY HEALTH CHARITIES ELECTS OFFICERS TO LEAD NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Community Health Charities recently elected an impressive slate of incoming officers to lead the National Board and achieve the organization’s new mission to empower people to take action to improve health and wellbeing.

“I could not be more proud to serve alongside these visionary leaders,” said Cynthia Rolfe, national board chair, Community Health Charities. “Each officer brings career experience and personal commitment to health and well-being. All the board members are honored to help Community Health Charities ensure our partners can build healthier communities far into the future.”

National Board leadership includes: Cynthia Rolfe, Board Chair; Stephen Keith, MD, MSPH, Vice Chair; Kevin Clayton, Vice Chair; Linda G. Blount, Secretary; and Eric T. Jones, Treasurer.

 

JILLIAN NIESLEY AND ROMANA ROLNIAK JOIN COMMUNITY HEALTH CHARITIES NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Community Health Charities is thrilled to welcome two new board members: Jillian Nielsey, Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Community Impact, Comcast Corporation, and Romana Rolniak, Communication Manager II at Walmart U.S. They’re joining an evolving team of corporate professionals and nonprofit executives working to build stronger, healthier communities.

 

STARTING A WORKPLACE GIVING CAMPAIGN? WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED

Whether it’s your first time running a workplace giving campaign or you’re looking to increase participation, our Campaign Coordinator Guide has everything you need from starting the campaign to announcing its success.

 

KICKSTART YOUR COMMUNITY IMPACT WITH GIVINGMATTERS365

Community Health Charities offers companies our own online giving platform, GivingMatters365, connecting your employees directly to the causes important to them through stories of impact, volunteer opportunities, goal updates and incentives, and more.
Protolabs has a commitment to making a difference in the areas in which we live and work. Partnering with Community Health Charities strengthens that commitment and provides a way for our employees to give back to local charities close to their hearts,” said Alex Sovell, an employee at Protolabs. “The giving platform [GivingMatters365], has provided an additional way to engage our employees in our Community Health Charities events. As a high-tech manufacturing company, we rely heavily on technology in our day-to-day and the platform is very user friendly for our employees.”

Learn more about Community Health Charities’ flexible solutions to engage employees, reach CSR goals, and build healthier communities.

 

COMMUNITY HEALTH CHARITIES PRESIDENT & CEO JOINS ZERO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Thomas Bognanno, Community Health Charities President and CEO, has been elected to serve on the national board of directors for ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer, a leading nonprofit with a mission to end prostate cancer.

“I am joining with ZERO to help them end prostate cancer. The fact is every 18 minutes another American dies from prostate cancer—that’s 29,430 deaths per year. That’s enough to fill a baseball stadium,” said Bognanno.

Thomas Bognanno is an advocate for men’s health, sharing his experience with prostate cancer to encourage men and families to prioritize their health.

 

HEAT UP YOUR EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Summer starts next week: How are you keeping your employees engaged during the summer months?

Change up your employee engagement program and take advantage of the warm weather: host a picnic during lunch, find outdoor volunteer opportunities, offer flexible hours on Friday afternoons, and prioritize your employees. Use our Tools For Engagement Guide and Year-Round Employee Engagement Calendar for more ideas to liven up your workplace this summer and our Health and Wellness Guide to keep your employees happy and healthy.

Pick a cause for employees to support that is relevant to summer months, such as KOA Care Camps, Camps For Kids With Diabetes, Camps For Kids With Health Challenges, and more  to help children facing long-term health challenges get the chance to be kids in a safe environment this summer.

I’ll never forget when my doctor started our conversation with “Man, you have a lot of cancer in there!”

I had considered myself healthy for a man over the age of 50. My diet was light on sugar and carbs, I had a regular exercise routine at the gym every week, I did not smoke, and my alcohol consumption was minimal—I thought I was on track to live to be 100! I even had my PSA (prostate specific antigen) tested every couple of years, but had been complacent and unworried about my own risk of cancer.

All of that complacency was shattered when I had the life-altering diagnosis of prostate cancer—a lot of prostate cancer. My life was suddenly consumed with appointments with urologists and radiologists; countless hours were spent on internet searches that yielded highly generic, and sometimes conflicting, information. I finally realized I needed to approach this as “my cancer.” I needed to make decisions based on my age, my lifestyle, my family, and, most importantly, the impact on my wife.

The good news is, prostate cancer is a treatable and manageable disease. Regardless of the stage of your disease, you have options for treatment. There are more than 2.9 million prostate cancer survivors in the U.S. The prognosis for survival is excellent, even if the cancer reoccurs. In my case, the cancer reoccurred three years after my prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate and surrounding affected tissues). Radiation treatments took care of the remaining metastatic disease and I am now almost at the coveted five-year survival rate with no signs of re-occurrence.

My message to men is that the opportunity for a long and productive life exists only when a man is proactive, prioritizes his health, and is vigilant on taking preventive measures.

June is Men’s Health Month, and Sunday, June 17 is Father’s Day. There is no better time of the year to focus on men’s health.

As a father and husband, let me suggest to spouses and family members that you skip buying dad another tie or grill mitt this Father’s Day. Instead, let him know you want him to be here for many more Father’s Days.

Here are 7 ways to give your dad the gift of health:

1) Ask dad to get the PSA test. The greatest risk factors for developing prostate cancer are increasing age, family history, ethnicity, and diet. If you can answer yes to any of these factors, get the test today. Don’t wait: I am older than 50, I have a family history of prostate cancer, or I am African-American.

2) Send dad a note, an e-card or a text encouraging him to schedule an annual check-up.

3) Commit to a healthier lifestyle. Keep each other accountable, and get the whole family involved.

4) Get your heart rates up. Take walks together; hike, play a friendly game of basketball, football or Frisbee; go golfing; or invite the grandkids to the park.

5) Eat dinner together. Find healthy alternatives at your favorite restaurants.

6) Give healthy gifts. If you do get dad a gift for Father’s Day, consider a game you can play together; a FitBit, health monitor, health app, or step counter; or a healthy treat or meal.

7) Support Men’s Health. Donate your time or money. Recently, I was elected to serve on the national board of directors for ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer, the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer. I am joining with them to help end prostate cancer. Find a nonprofit that works for a men’s health cause you’re passionate about.

There is nothing wrong with growing mustaches and raising awareness of men’s health issues for Movember. We need that ― but we also need men to take actionI did, and it has saved my life thus far. One in every nine men will have to face prostate cancer in their lifetime. That can be changed. The best way for any man to say, “I love you,” to his family and loved ones is to do his best to ensure that he is here for many Father’s Days to come.

What’s your organization’s purpose?

No, not profitability or outcomes, but the social or environmental impact your organization prioritizes. Consumers no longer are solely focusing on products and services—they’re focusing on the intentions and actions of organizations as well. A 2018 Cone Communications Study found that “companies that lead with Purpose will stand to build deeper bonds with existing consumers, expand the consumer base and enlist those brand advocates to share the brand message.”

The study found that:

  • 78% of Americans believe that companies must positively impact society
  • 77% feel a stronger emotional bond to purpose-driven companies
  • 66% would use products from a purpose-driven company than a non-purpose driven companies

Read Cone Communication’s full purpose study: How To Build Deeper Bonds, Amplify Your Message And Expand Customer Base.

When you’re looking to add purpose to your organization, utilize Community Health Charities’ extensive resource library, engagement tools to get your full team on board, and cause marketing solutions to involve your community.

Each year, more than 14 million children attend summer camp in the US. It’s a rite of passage for many, providing independence and personal growth. For children facing long-term health challenges, this life-changing opportunity builds confidence and helps children see beyond their limits rather than be defined by them.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance has provided four guidelines for supporting philanthropy camps—ensuring that your support is giving kids the chance to be kids, despite health challenges:

  • Search for specialization
  • Find qualifications
  • Ensure camps are licensed
  • See if they are trustworthy

Community Health Charities’ Camps For Kids cause supports BBB-accredited nonprofit partners working to give children in need a happy, healthy summer.

Whether you’re improving an existing employee engagement program or developing a new one, you know that there are countless “proven” strategies out there—Realized Worth makes it easy to know which ones are effective.

Realized Worth has compiled the top trends and mechanisms in employee engagement and corporate social responsibility. Utilize them when improving your company’s culture, and reference our Year-Round Employee Engagement Calendar and Tools For Engagement Guide when implementing.

Read the full Realized Worth article.

 

 

There are 20.4 million veterans in the United States as of 2016—how many of them are in your community?

This Memorial Day, support the members of your community that fought for you, your family, and all of us.

  • Volunteer your time. Host an at-home volunteer event using our Volunteer On The Spot Guide. Whether your team is assembling care packages or writing thank you cards, they will be making an impact on local veterans. Or, use the volunteer opportunity locator to find existing projects in your area.
  • Support Hero’s Health. After sacrificing and serving our country, our military veterans often need to recover from both physical and mental wounds. Nearly 1 of every 4 active duty military members show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or other mental health conditions. Support Hero’s Health to provide comprehensive health services for our nation’s military, veterans, and first responders.
  • Thank veterans and their families. Stop and say thank you to any veterans you know, whether they’re family or community members.

Should Starbucks have an open bathroom policy? Should Amazon support DACA? How should businesses respond to #MeToo?In today’s world, social issues matter. They are on the front page of every newspaper and social media site. Your employees are taking action and expect their company to as well.

  • 75% of US workers between the ages of 18 and 34 expect their employer to take positions on social issues affecting the country, such as civil rights, immigration, and climate change.
  • 84% of US workers believe companies have an important voice in proposed legislation, regulation, and executive orders that could affect the employer’s business or the lives of employees.
  • 75% of US workers expect their employer to support groups and individuals and need in their respective communities, either through donations and/or volunteer efforts.

If employee activism is a hot topic for you, then you won’t want to miss this year’s Employee Engagement Summit in NYC. Andrew Davis, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Coca-Cola, will talk about Tackling Today’s Social Issues and Igniting Employee Activism. A hands-on workshop Connecting Social Issues and Employee Activism with your Brand hosted by Best Buy will follow.

Register now for the 17th Annual Employee Engagement Summit June 27-28, 2018 to leverage employee activism in your business goals.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) isn’t just good for your community—it’s good for your bottom line as well.

Incorporating CSR is good business:

  • Stakeholders want transparency
  • Mission-driven businesses get more press
  • Employees are driven by purpose

Read the full article on Forbes. Then, connect with us to create strategic partnerships with nonprofits, utilize our online flexible giving platforms, find volunteer opportunities, and create a customized program based on your CSR objectives and business goals.

CSR PROFESSIONALS: YOU’RE INVITED TO NEW YORK CITY THIS JUNE

Join us in New York June 27-28, 2018 for the 17th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit.  The summit will explore challenges and opportunities facing CSR professionals, including igniting employee activism,  increasing employee activism through NGO partnerships, leveraging CSR marketing channels to demonstrate impact, aligning employee engagement and corporate purpose, and more. Speakers include CSR experts from American Express, Best Buy, Campbell’s Soup, and more.

Early bird registration  has been extended: Register by May 21, 2018 to save $100 with the code EARLYBIRD2018.

MAKE THIS YEAR’S WORKPLACE GIVING CAMPAIGN THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ONE YET

Looking to make this year’s workplace giving campaign the most successful one yet? Set a goal! Giving your employees a tangible goal is critical to motivating and inspiring your team. Our Goal Setting Guide helps you every step of the way, starting with realistic objectives, incorporating last year’s results, participation, and more. After you’ve set your goals, use our Tools For Engagement Guide to get your team excited about the upcoming campaign.

DONAN EMPLOYEES EMBRACE GIVINGMATTERS365

Donan knows the importance of offering employees choice and a chance to give back to their communities.

Donan offers employees Community Health Charities’ GivingMatters365 portal , an easy-to-use online giving portal, to support any nonprofit or cause important to them. This freedom has proven effective: The campaign raised an average of $25,000 annually since partnering with Community Health Charities, peaking in 2017 at $35,000.

“The support of the GivingMatters team has rocketed the success of our campaign! The amount of attention and guidance they provide is top of the line,” said Heather Fuqua, Human Resource Generalist at Donan.

Read Donan‘s full story and see how other Community Health Charities company partners are engaging their employees.

STAND WITH OUR VETERANS THIS MEMORIAL DAY

There are 21.8 million veterans in the United States.

That’s 21.8 million friends, family members, partners, and coworkers who risked their lives for us. After sacrificing and serving our country, many military veterans need to recover from both physical and mental wounds. Nearly 1 of every 4 active duty military members show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or other mental health conditions.

They fought for us. Now let’s fight for them.

This Memorial Day, volunteer to support veterans and their families; host in-office opportunities to thank veterans for their service; share health resources for military and veterans; and support Hero’s Health.

MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS THIS MAY

Mental health affects everyone. Whether your loved one is living with a diagnosis or you’re struggling to manage daily stress, mental health is vital to your wellbeing. Prioritize mental health beginning with Mental Health Month: Share mental health resources. Support Mental Health and Wellbeing. Start employee engagement strategies in your office to minimize workplace stress; continue the trend of wellness all year with the Year-Round Employee Engagement Calendar.

It has been more than one hundred years since President Woodward Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day as a national celebration. Long before that, however, President Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

Like the lengthening and warmer days of spring, another Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Serving breakfast in bed is truly a Mother’s Day classic. A bright bouquet of flowers and the expected card from the family are other time-honored traditions. There are countless other ways to convey the love and appreciation deserved by all mothers everywhere.

This year, however, I would like to suggest a new tradition, one that will be much more meaningful and long lasting: The gift of health and wellness. Heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death for women in the United States—and the most preventable.

Make health something you and mom do together with a few easy ideas you can start, just in time for the big day this Sunday.

· Take morning walks through the neighborhood. On Mother’s Day and at other gatherings, take a family walk to the park or playground.

· Make meals healthy. Grocery shop together and prepare healthy meals with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Consider creating healthier versions of your family’s favorite recipes or having the kids cook a special meal for mom. Start a small family garden.

· Give healthy gifts. If you do get Mom a gift, try a bowl or basket of fresh fruit, a fruit bouquet, or step counters for her and the whole family.

· Get regular check-ups, and keep each other accountable.

· Support women’s health. Donate to a nonprofit to support mothers and children, especially those disproportionately affected due to their economic status, race or ethnicity, and other factors outside their control—check our cause list for ideas. Volunteer your time. Donate your gently used clothing and household items to local organizations. Your whole family can participate (Mom included), or you can let Mom know you are taking action in her honor.

These simple tips can help make health and wellness a natural part of your family’s routine. Best of all, getting active and giving back increase happiness and boost mental health, so you can help others while improving your own health too.

Celebrate Mother’s Day this year by giving Mom—and the whole family—a gift that will last a lifetime: better health for all.

 

This blog is also published on Thrive Global

Utilize our health resources, opportunities to support women’s health, women’s health information, volunteer opportunities, and more to give mom the gift of health this Mother’s Day. 

This blog was originally published on BBB Wise Giving Alliance, our partner.When considering the value of implementing a volunteer program into your employee engagement and corporate social responsibility strategies, keep in mind the monetary value of volunteering. 

The history of volunteering in the U.S. is a long and generous one from helping out neighbors in barn raising two centuries ago to Habitat for Humanity and similar charities building homes today. And, of course, volunteering is not just about building structures but can address everything from delivering meals to the elderly to educating children. While the personal benefits and joys of providing this assistance are very real for participants, it can be difficult to quantify. There is, however, an estimated dollar value of a volunteer hour. This past week, Independent Sector, the national nonprofit membership organization, in conjunction with IMPLAN, a provider of economic impact analysis software, announced that the value of the volunteer hour in the United States is $24.69 per hour which is up 2.2 percent from the previous year.

As further noted by Independent Sector, 63 million Americans volunteer about 8 billion hours to a variety of charitable organizations. IS also produced a state-by-state chart of volunteer data that is available here.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance encourages potential volunteers to find out more about the charity before volunteering and visit Give.org to verify if the subject charity meets the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. In addition, we offer the following tips:

  • Consider what the charity expects of its volunteers.
  • Are you seeking a one-day offer of assistance or a continuing arrangement with the subject organization?
  • Keep in mind that the IRS does not allow you to deduct the value of your time as a donation, but travel expense such as gas and other incidental expenses might be deductible.
  • Charities can use volunteers in a variety of ways depending on the skills of the individuals providing assistance. Be aware that many charities need help with office work so don’t expect all volunteering is about delivering services to the needy.

Volunteers are usually welcomed throughout the year, so don’t wait until the holiday giving season before offering a helping hand.

When planning your organization’s volunteer program, check out our volunteer opportunity locator to find opportunities by keyword and zip code and our Volunteer On The Spot Guide to organize in-office volunteer events. 

If you aren’t measuring employee engagement, you should be. Skeptics complain that the data from employee engagement surveys isn’t fully trustworthy; any time you survey people, you have to look with a very cynical eye at the wording of the questions and whether the people surveyed believe their answers are truly confidential.

If you run employee-focused programs, however, it’s worth the effort to get to a trustworthy data set for employee engagement.

When I was at Wells Fargo, I worked with HR to correlate my volunteer and giving program usage with employee engagement data, which at that time was considered trustworthy. Through this, I learned a number of interesting things that helped me make a business case for investment in my programs. Among the things we learned:

  • Employees who donate or volunteer consistently return higher engagement scores.
  • Employees who volunteer with company-run events feel more a part of the team and think more highly of their coworkers.
  • Usage of the matching gift program did not correlate with higher or lower engagement, and in fact
  • Employees who were perpetually disengaged (low scores over a three year period) got the highest average donation match.

Furthermore, we went beyond combining basic program usage with engagement data; we cross-referenced program satisfaction surveys, and, in some business areas where management agreed to the research, we included productivity and profitability measures. We learned a number of important things from that research, but two things stood out to me:

  • Employees tend to follow their leader—if their leader volunteers and donates, employees in the workgroup tend to do so as well, and
  • Workgroups with high volunteerism and donor rates on average showed slightly lower short term profitability but had higher engagement, lower turnover, and better retention over time.

Obviously, your success may vary because every organization is different. It’s important to measure engagement, however, because until you have data that supports or refutes your beliefs, you’re just another person with an opinion. Once you have the data, you can investigate its meaning and decide whether you need to adjust your programs, change your approach, or keep your course steady.

 

Have you uncovered interesting or unexpected trends in your engagement and community involvement data? You can tell me, and pick up tips from leading practitioners, at the Charities@Work conference in New York, June 27-28.

Peter Dudley is an author and nationally recognized expert in corporate social responsibility, marketing, and employee engagement. He’s worked the last 17 years in CSR running employee giving and volunteerism for Wells Fargo, where his workplace campaign was ranked #1 nine years in a row by United Way Worldwide. Before joining Wells Fargo, Peter held various roles in high tech startups, from Marketing Director to software development to community management.

Peter is honored to serve on the Community Health Charities national board of directors as well as the Charities@Work Corporate Advisory Council, which he chaired in 2015 and 2016. He has also served on and chaired United Way Worldwide’s Global Corporate Leadership Council.

Peter lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the proud father of both an Eagle Scout and a transgender daughter. 

Donan knows that the key to a successful workplace giving campaign is simple: Support employees giving back to their communities.

The Kentucky-based forensic engineering company has 300 employees across the country. Despite the distance, the organization keeps employees engaged with GivingMatters365, Community Health Charities’ customizable online giving portal.

The portal features Donan’s logo and campaign theme—“Let’s make a difference together.” Leadership means it when they say “together.” The organization offers a 50% match of employee contributions, helping employees enhance their impact on their community.

Donan allows employees to use the GivingMatters365 portal to support any charity or cause important to them, ranging from Kentucky and other state based charities where they have presence, to our national charities, or our Signature Causes. This freedom has proven effective: The campaign has raised an average of $25,000, peaking in 2017 at $35,000.

“The support of the GivingMatters team has rocketed the success of our campaign!  The amount of attention and guidance they provide is top of the line,” said Heather Fuqua, Human Resource Generalist at Donan. “The GivingMatters sites allows our employees from coast to coast to participate and make a difference in their community and in addition allows Donan to make a difference in the employees community as well.  We love our partnership with Community Health Charites!”

Community Health Charities offers giving options, causes, campaign materials, and more. Learn more about GivingMatters365 and how our other customizable platforms could help your organization meet its workplace giving and employee engagement goals.

NEW CAMPAIGN RESOURCE: 2018-2019 EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT CALENDAR

Get easy ideas you can use every month, all year long, to increase employee engagement, show appreciation, and make a difference in your community. Check out the full calendar, with ideas from March 2018 through February 2019.

REGISTER NOW FOR CHARITIES@WORK

Join American Express, Best Buy, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, New York Life, Ralph Lauren, Wells Fargo,and many more for the 17th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit June 27-28 in New York City. The event brings together more than 100 CSR leaders and practitioners from across the country to share the latest advances on employee engagement, workplace giving, and corporate citizenship to drive greater social impact.

Register before May 14, 2018 for early bird pricing and save $100.

INCREASE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT DURING NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK

It’s National Volunteer Week. This week, whether in the office or after work, take time to build stronger, healthier communities. Increase employee engagement by using our Volunteer On the Spot Guide to coordinate in-office volunteer activities, or use our volunteer opportunity locator to find projects in your area. Be sure to share your volunteer photos and tag @HealthCharities so we can amplify your post

 BUILD STRONGER, HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES THIS APRIL

  • Next week is Every Kid Healthy Week! Not every child is fortunate enough to be healthy and safe in a loving home—but every child deserves to be. Support Every Kid Deserves and share health resources, and volunteer next week to improve children’s health and wellbeing.
  • 1 in 68 children, and their families and loved ones, are affected by autism. April is Autism Awareness Month; share autism health resources with families in need.
  • April is National Minority Health Month— support ending Health Disparities and share health resources. Too many individuals, children, and families can’t get the help they need or are disproportionately affected by poor health due to their economic status, race or ethnicity, where they live, and other factors beyond their control.
  • Mother’s Day, May 13, begins National Women’s Health Week. Support mom and the women in your life through Women’s Health and women’s health resources.

DAKOTA ELECTRIC RAISES OVER $29,000 BY OFFERING WELLNESS PROGRAMS YEAR-ROUND

Dakota Electric Association leadership values employee wellness, focusing on keeping employees healthy and engaged all year—not exclusively during workplace giving campaigns.

Read Dakota Electric’s full story and how other Community Health Charities company partners are engaging their employees.

VOLUNTEER TOOLBOX: SHOEBOX OF SUPPORT

You can give a helping hand to individuals, children, and families experiencing homelessness. Find a shoebox and fill it with toiletries and other basic necessities.

This volunteer idea, and many more, are available in our Volunteer On the Spot Guide

The NFL Draft is upon this month. NFL teams will carefully hand-pick college football standouts to join their rosters. The options are endless: bulldozing offensive linemen, polished quarterback, speedy wide receiver, etc. The teams will choose the player that best fits into their organizations.

Similarly, with Community Health Charities, YOU choose the causes YOU care about. Support children, women, veterans, or crisis response, and more. Or create your own unique cause with our Custom Cause tool.

Don’t fumble—the giving options are in your hands.

With a career of more than 25 years spanning tiny startups and Fortune 25 behemoths, I’ve seen the power of community involvement in unifying employees, workgroups, and even entire business lines.

 

Beyond the camaraderie and warm fuzzies people get from doing good, corporate volunteer events and workplace giving campaigns provide other hidden, difficult-to-measure value to a company–business gets done at workplace giving campaign events.

 

A lot of things can split up employees and business units, making people feel disconnected. Project teams competing for internal resources (technology, budget, etc.) may distance themselves from each other. The natural skepticism immediately following a big merger or during a cost-cutting consolidation, when people are uncertain of their role going forward, creates division. And simple focus on the day-to-day work have can get employees stuck in ruts that end up as missed opportunities for collaboration and innovation. A good workplace giving campaign can help overcome these divisions.

 

I saw this at Wells Fargo, where every year the campaign brought team members together, outside their normal day-to-day context. For many, it was the only time they got to reach across departments to talk about collaboration. I saw more than one idea sparked at a campaign function, which led to meetings and new collaborations between departments that had otherwise not been in contact with each other.

 

The campaign’s unifying effect also affects morale. It was a powerful lesson to watch Wells Fargo and Wachovia employees during a difficult merger period come together to common purpose of doing good in the community. Campaign events helped to break down growing barriers of distrust as employees from both sides collaborated and came to know each other as more than just company human resources.

 

My friend Rebecca Wang, a Corporate Social Responsibility thought leader with over 17 years community engagement experience at Cisco and Hewlett Packard, has seen a similar effect in engaging teams. She told me, “In my role leading our global employee giving and volunteering programs, I helped managers leverage my program’s tools and resources to meet their specific employee engagement and team-building goals.” She further noted that about two-thirds of HP/HPE employees said the company’s culture of community engagement played an important role in their decision to join the company. I saw similarly strong numbers in my role at Wells Fargo.

 

I think that many of today’s managers inherently have an idea that community involvement plays a role in employee morale and corporate reputation, but I doubt many truly understand the depths to which an employee giving campaign helps to unify employees and achieve business goals.

 

Have you found surprising ways in which your workplace campaign has unified your workforce or helped your business? You can tell me, and pick up tips from leading practitioners, at the Charities@Work conference in New York, June 28-29.

Peter Dudley is an author and nationally recognized expert in corporate social responsibility, marketing, and employee engagement. He’s worked the last 17 years in CSR running employee giving and volunteerism for Wells Fargo, where his workplace campaign was ranked #1 nine years in a row by United Way Worldwide. Before joining Wells Fargo, Peter held various roles in high tech startups, from Marketing Director to software development to community management.

Peter is honored to serve on the Community Health Charities national board of directors as well as the Charities@Work Corporate Advisory Council, which he chaired in 2015 and 2016. He has also served on and chaired United Way Worldwide’s Global Corporate Leadership Council.

Peter lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the proud father of both an Eagle Scout and a transgender daughter. 

This article was originally posted on SparkVision. 

We all have those moments where we feel like we’re taking crazy pills,  drowning in plain sight and out of control. These are moments where we’re experiencing the negative impact of stress.

By definition, “stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger–whether real or imagined–the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as fight or flight reaction or the stress response.”

Given that April is National Stress Awareness Month, it seemed like the perfect time to touch on this heavy topic.

And, before we get too far, I must put out a disclaimer…Stress has a valid role in our lives. It’s one of our most human expressions when we process strain. There are times where stress can be the emotional trigger we need to get to higher ground. However, the stress I’m referring to in this article is the counter-productive kind. The kind that creates unnecessary burden because of the false emergency alarm that’s going off in our brain.

The majority of stress that I’ve personally experienced has been an inaccurate and inappropriate interpretation of someone else’s demands which triggered me into my fight or flight state. I used to be Rocky when it comes to stress. Fighting with and for the most important things that HAD to be done ASAP. You know that kind?

It wasn’t until I started an active mindfulness-based practice, set intentional boundaries and ignited regular self-care, that I was able to reclaim what elicited stress in my life and what was just part of being alive and getting my work done.

So enough about what stress is and how sh!tty it feels. Let’s talk about the best ways to de-stress and ignite self care. Let’s get off the stress-filled emotional roller coaster and instead go for a peaceful walk on the beach (or in the park, in the city, etc.)

Every single one of these recommendations is something I’ve done personally, is at least semi-backed by research, and has worked for others I’ve known, also. I’ve even put it all together in a calendar so you can easily map out your official Month of Stress Reduction!

  1. Define + Live in your Values: Many people talk about their values, but they don’t take time to define them for themselves. So how can you live in alignment with your values if you don’t know what they are? Take a pen to paper and start writing out what you believe in and how you can live in those beliefs each day. Need a jump start? Check out my Values Policy article.
  2. Determine what is in and out of your control: We often stress about things we have no power over. Is it going to rain during our party? Will my boss be a jerk to me today? If we parse out what we have power over and what we don’t, we can lean into the things that we can control and let go of the things we cannot.
  3. Spend time in nature: Reconnect to the universe through nature. When you connect to the environment around you, it’s a solid reminder of how much bigger life is than your immediate issue.
  4. Remove yourself from a toxic environment: In the middle of a nasty conversation? Can’t stand the people you work with? Physically remove yourself from the toxic space that’s leaking its negativity onto your spirit. Not sure if you’re in a toxic workplace? Check out these 5 warning signs.
  5. Set Boundaries: People learn how to treat you by the boundaries you create. If you leave it up to others to decide, you’ll likely get the short end of the stick. Phrases like, “I have another commitment at that time,” or “What would you like me to take off my to-do list in order to accomplish this new task on time?”can be very helpful.
  6. Take yourself on a date: Haven’t gone to your favorite spot in a while? No need to wait for a date to make it happen! Take yourself where you’d like to go. Personally, I love going to the movies alone.
  7. Listen to music: The soothing power of music is no secret. It has a unique link to our emotions, so it can be an extremely effective stress management tool. Listening to music that brings us a sense of calmness can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies.
  8. Get a manicure or pedicure: The circulation created when a technician is massaging your hands/legs/feet actually releases pent-up stress that your body is physically holding on to.
  9. Take a nap: Sleep can be one of the first things to go when we’re stressed out. Racing thoughts keep us up and we need to catch our Zzz’s in elsewhere. If you’re not getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep at night, a nap can be a great way to recharge until you’re back in a healthy routine.
  10. Get a massage: Massage can help relax tight and painful muscles, improve range of motion in the joints, enhance circulation and lower stress levels. It may feel like a luxury experience, but it’s worth every penny if it can physically release some of your tension.
  11. Listen to a podcast: Let’s make sure it’s an episode on a topic that you love and also brings you joy when you learn more about it.
  12. Repeat a mantra: Try one of these mantra’s to play on repeat when you need the healthy reminder: “All situations are temporary.” “There is no wrong decision.” “I’ve survived all the difficult moments in my past.” “I am on the right path.”
  13. Meditate: If practiced for as few as 10 minutes each day, meditation can help you control stress, decrease anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation. Need a guide? Check out the Headspace app.
  14. Move your body: Physical activity produces endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers–and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.
  15. Drink tea: Green tea contains an amino acid that produces a calming effect, and the act of drinking tea can be a relaxing ritual. Pick out some that make your taste buds dance and brew yourself a little relaxing treat each day.
  16. Give someone a hug: Physical acts of touch increase oxytocin levels. This chemical reaction can help to reduce blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.
  17. Cook a favorite dish: Cooking can help relieve stress, enhance creativity, and build connection with others. Make sure you set aside blocks of time that are only for cooking. This will make cooking more enjoyable and allow you to focus your energy on the task at hand.
  18. Take a long shower or bath: The heat of the bath mixed with Epsom salt increases the temperature of the aching muscles, helping them to relax, and blocks pain sensors which provide pain relief. Don’t have a tub? Take a shower with Epsom Salt scrubs!
  19. Read a book: The written word can literally take us to other worlds in our mind. A book can feel like a vacation if it’s the right fit for you.
  20. Dance to music that makes you happy: When the body feels good, the mind does, too. Any type of physical activity releases neurotransmitters and endorphins, which serve to alleviate stress.
  21. Take a walk: You can use this as a way to remove yourself from a toxic environment, connect with nature AND talk to a friend!
  22. Sit outside: Getting outside (especially if you’re in an office all day) can be an instant state change. Particularly when the sun is shining and you can soak in the Vitamin D.
  23. Do something creative: Scientists discovered that no matter the artistic experience, about 75 percent of people experience a decrease in their levels of cortisol, a hormone that the body secretes to respond to stress. Go express yourself!
  24. Watch a movie you enjoy: This can be one of the best nostalgic experiences. I always watch Alice in Wonderland when I need a pick me up.
  25. Practice yoga: Yoga is proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. Namaste, anyone?
  26. Indulge in a favorite treat: Go treat yo’self to something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy when you take it in.
  27. Spend time with pets: Studies show that interactions with animals can decrease stress in humans. Playing with an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol.
  28. Practice gratitude: Studies have shown that practicing gratitude on a daily basis can make you happier, lower stress, protect you from depression, help you sleep better, boost your immune system and improve your relationships.
  29. Journal: It’s simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. Keeping a journal can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.
  30. Talk to a friend: Don’t go at it alone. Often the simple act of making people aware of your stress can ignite empathy and support from others. We’ve all been there–and we can lean on each other to come back to a less stressful place.

What if this month, you TRIED a handful of these and reflected back on whether or not they made a difference for you? Then you can create your own toolkit of what works for YOU! I’d love to hear what your list looks like–so let me know in the comments below.

P.S. I wrote this article WHILE getting a pedicure. I love practicing what I preach and I hope you will, too!

 

 

MaryBeth Hyland, founder of SparkVision, believes that when you connect people through purpose, there’s no limit to what they can do. Her organization helps multi-generational teams who need an unbiased partner to identify the gap between their current and ideal culture.  By analyzing a company’s values and behaviors, she ultimately empower your people to own their role in crafting culture every day. SparkVision creates environments where people thrive.

Grounded in her BA in Social Work and MS in Nonprofit Management, this millennial leader is sought after for her ability to create movements that resonate. MaryBeth has been honored in Maryland as ‘Innovator of the Year,’ ‘Women on the Move,’ ‘Top 100 Women,’ ‘Top 100 Millennial Blog, ’Civic Engagement Leader’ and ‘Leading Women.’

 

REGISTER NOW: CHARITIES@WORK JUNE 27-28, 2018

Calling all corporate responsibility professionals! Join us in New York City on June 27-28, 2018 for the 17th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit. Register now to qualify for early bird rates.

CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

Women have been making the world a better place for centuries— breaking down barriers, advancing research, and making life-saving discoveries. Now, it’s our turn. Honor their history by working to improve the future: Volunteer with Alzheimer’s Association, Susan G. Komen, and other charities supporting women. Support Women’s Health and help women live longer, healthier lives

This Women’s History Month, continue the tradition of building stronger, healthier communities—for everyone.

SPRING INTO GOOD HEALTH

March is National Kidney Month. Use this month to get a kick-start on the National Kidney Foundation’s kidney-healthy habits that will help keep your kidneys (and you) running.

March 28 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day: 9 out of 10 people at risk for diabetes don’t know it—take the Diabetes Risk Test today and learn more through our diabetes health resources.

April 7 is World Health Day. Share health resources and support Health Disparities, ensuring that every individual, family, and child has the access to health resources they need

VOLUNTEER TOOLBOX: COMFORT KITS

More often than not, families arrive at hospitals and homeless or women’s shelters with very little. Show them someone cares by providing Comfort Kits, ranging from goodie bags filled with playing cards and candy to new towel sets. Small in-kind donations can have a big impact.

This volunteer idea, and many more, are available in our “Volunteer On the Spot” toolkit.

 

CAMPAIGN RESOURCES: COUPON BOOK IDEAS

Incentivize campaign participation by rewarding employees with a coupon of appreciation. Determine incentives to offer, customize the coupon template, and share with engaged employees. For more details and to explore the rest of our employee engagement tools, ideas, and guidelines, check out our Campaign Resources

ELKAY MANUFACTURING INCREASES EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION BY 25%

Research shows that 70% of all U.S. employees would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. Plus, our proprietary research shows that 85% of consumers prefer to give to local charities, making a difference right where they live and work.

Maximize your employee’s potential by maximizing the impact they can have on their communities; it worked for Elkay Manufacturing.

Read Elkay Manufacturing’s full story and how other Community Health Charities company partners are engaging their employees.

PARTNERSHIP WITH BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE HOLDS CHARITIES TO HIGH STANDARDS

Our partnership with Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance promotes transparency and high standards of conduct among our charity partners. This ensures that our over 2,000 charity partnerships consist of only the most trusted health charities

While filing your 2017 income taxes, keep in mind BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s fundamentals on claiming charitable tax donations.

Do employees care about your company’s philanthropic priorities? My guess is some do, but if you exclusively build your volunteer programs around your company’s social impact goals, you’re missing out on a huge engagement opportunity.

I see tech companies focusing on STEM, banks working on financial literacy, manufacturers and retailers supporting sustainability through their supply chains. All these make sense when the company is mobilizing its philanthropic and brand resources to achieve social impact goals, but too often companies treat their employees as just another corporate resource to be mobilized.

You may have noticed that not all people are exactly the same. Our upbringing, our life experiences, our cultural influences, our talents, and how we identify ourselves make every person unique. Working for a bank does not mean you are naturally excited about teaching budgeting for small businesses. Being a chip designer does not mean you are naturally excited about helping high school students build robots.

Yet that’s how many volunteer programs are designed—to mobilize employees in support of the impact goal. It’s an easy sell to the C Suite, and it’s also how many nonprofit partners want the programs designed.

Certainly, there’s room for that kind of programming, but you also need to empower your employees to find and support the causes that are important to them. Here are three easy ways to do that:

1)  Offer time off for volunteering: Companies that don’t offer paid community service hours are missing a huge recognition opportunity. Community service time is different from PTO because it can only be used for time spent working with a nonprofit. A typical program offers 16 hours a year or more.

2) Create volunteer councils, run by and for employees: Encouraging employees to work together in designing and running local team volunteer events results in higher engagement. It can also build leadership skills and create a great networking opportunity for employees.

3)  Recognize independent volunteering: An employee’s hours volunteering as a school crossing guard may not be relevant to your company’s social impact goals, but employees feel great when you recognize them for the volunteer community work they do. And, rather than a typical dollars-for-doers program which is little more than a transaction, recognize volunteerism with e-cards, internal social media mentions, or flexible company grant dollars the employee can direct to a nonprofit they choose.

What other ways do you engage employees that allow them to find and follow their passions in their own volunteering? You can tell me, and pick up tips from leading practitioners, at the 17th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit in New York, June 28-29.

 

About Peter Dudley

Peter Dudley is an author and nationally recognized expert in corporate social responsibility, marketing, and employee engagement. He’s worked the last 17 years in CSR running employee giving and volunteerism for Wells Fargo, where his workplace campaign was ranked #1 nine years in a row by United Way Worldwide. Before joining Wells Fargo, Peter held various roles in high tech startups, from Marketing Director to software development to community management.

Peter is honored to serve on the Community Health Charities national board of directors as well as the Charities@Work Corporate Advisory Council, which he chaired in 2015 and 2016. He has also served on and chaired United Way Worldwide’s Global Corporate Leadership Council.

Peter lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the proud father of both an Eagle Scout and a transgender daughter. 

We are committed to ensuring that our more than 2,000 charity partners are held to the highest standard of trust. Our partnership with the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance holds charity partners to the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, signaling that they are trustworthy and held to high standards of conduct.

We are both proud and grateful for our collaboration with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Together, we are building stronger, healthier communities.

It’s that time of year again– the NCAA basketball tournament is underway. While enjoying the hoops action, don’t foul out your health. There are ways to keep on track at work, and at home. Stay in the game with these March Madness health tips:

  • Host a lunchtime basketball game or start a company basketball team
  • Compete to see who can consistently make the healthiest choices with a March Madness-style bracket
  • Install a mini basketball hoop on an office door to spark some office competition and reduce stress
  • Plan ahead and snack smart with these healthy options from some of our charity partners:

Wise Giving Wednesday: Deducting Donations at Tax Time was originally published on BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a Community Health Charities partner. 

In recent months, concerns were raised about the impact of U.S. tax law changes in 2018 since, among other things, the increase in the standard deduction to $12,000 per individual or $24,000 per couple, could reduce the incentive for some households to get a charitable deduction since fewer tax filers would itemize on their returns. While it is too early to tell if this fear will materialize, those claiming charitable deductions on their 2017 income taxes, should still keep in mind the following fundamentals.

One can claim a charitable deduction for contributions made to organizations tax exempt as charities under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and to veterans organizations tax-exempt under section 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions to other tax-exempt entities are generally not deductible as charitable gifts. To verify a group’s tax-exempt status visit the following IRS web page: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organizations-select-check

If the charity sends you something of value in response to your gift (for example, a stuffed animal, book, or concert tickets) only the portion of your donation above the fair market value of what you receive would be deductible. The charity will usually remind you about this in their acknowledgement or thank you message.

Direct contributions to needy individuals, are generally not deductible as charitable gifts. While it is clear that one can’t deduct handouts made to the homeless, the deductibility of gifts made to crowdfunding postings can be a bit cloudy depending on the fact circumstances.

If a donor contributes to a charitable project that has been posted to a crowdfunding site that is owned and managed by a 501(c)(3) charity, the donation generally will be deductible. If, however, one contributes to a charitable project on a crowdfunding site that is owned and managed by a for-profit company, one needs to be cautious since the deductibility can be impacted by whether the payment platform used by the site sends the gift directly to the specified charity. If the crowdfunding posting, however, is to help a specific named individual (for example to fund a dream overseas trip) there is little chance for donors to claim a deduction.

Finally, the value of volunteer time or services to a charity is not deductible. Out of pocket expenses, such as gas and travel expenses directly related to the volunteer service will usually be deductible.

 

Women have been building stronger, healthier communities for centuries— breaking down barriers, advancing research, and making life-saving discoveries.

In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell, MD was the first woman to earn a medical degree. Blackwell co-founded an infirmary to help women gain experience as physicians after her graduation. 167 years later in 2016, there were 253,635 female physiciansVirgina Apgar developed the first series of tests determine newborn babies’ health in 1952. The Apgar Score is used in most hospitals worldwide today and works to reduce infant mortality. Dr. Antonia Novella became the first female and first Hispanic U.S. Surgeon General in 1990. While in office, Novella advocated for the rights and health of women, children, and minorities.

These women, and countless more, have been working to make the world a better place.

Now, it’s our turn. Honor their history by working to improve the future: Volunteer with Alzheimer’s Association, Susan G. Komen, and other charities supporting women. Support Women’s Health and help women live longer, healthier lives.

This Women’s History Month, continue the tradition of building stronger, healthier communities—for everyone.

.

You take care of your heart and your lungs, but when is the last time to you prioritized kidney health?

Most people are born with two kidneys, and these vital fist-sized organs are responsible for removing waste from the body, regulating blood pressure, controlling the production of red blood cells, producing an active form of Vitamin D that promotes healthy bones, controlling pH levels, and more.

March is National Kidney Month. Use this month to get a kick-start on National Kidney Foundation’s kidney-healthy habits that will help keep your kidneys (and you) running:

  • Eat mindfully: Avoid high sodium foods with high saturated fat content
  • Stay hydrated: Keep a water bottle on hand—dehydration can damage kidneys.
  • Keep moving: Whether you’re taking a walk or hitting the gym, work physical fitness into your routine.
  • Start a conversation: Prevention is the best way to cure kidney disease. Share kidney health resources with friends, family, and coworkers, and make kidney health a group activity.

Your kidneys keep you going. Take the National Kidney Foundation’s advice and Heart Your Kidneys.

SFM Mutual Insurance Works Hands-On To Give Back 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workplace giving isn’t solely about meeting CSR or company goals—it’s engaging employees by helping them give back to their communities.

SFM Mutual Insurance knows this first hand. For their second annual giving campaign with Community Health Charities, the company focused on giving employees the opportunity to work hands-on with the charity partners they support.

Read SFM Mutual Insurance’s full story and how other Community Health Charities company partners are engaging with their employees.

Thank You, Jaxport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaxport, a full-service international trade seaport in Northeast Florida, presented Community Health Charities and other partners with $40,000 from their 2017 Charity Drive. Over the past ten years, employees have raised more than half a million dollars supporting North Eastern Florida.

Celebrate Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

February is American Heart Month. Nearly 85.6 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke. Chances are, your coworkers are living with a heart condition or know someone who is. This February, start some heart-healthy habits in your workplace.

March is National Kidney Month: Celebrate your kidneys this month by keeping them healthy with National Kidney Foundation’s Tips on How to Heart Your Kidneys.

American Diabetes Association Inspires New Giving Campaigns

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two companies, Carman and Munich, started employee giving campaigns with Community Health Charities thanks to American Diabetes Association recommending us on their website. Be sure to talk about your partnership with Community Health Charities in your communications to encourage more organizations to join. The more we work together, the more we can improve health and wellbeing

Make Plans To Attend Charities@Work, June 27-28

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Toolbox: Max Straps

 

 

 

 

 

 

This month’s featured tool is the Mask Straps—they are used to improve the comfort level for patients required to wear masks to prevent the spread of infection or protect patients from infection. These mask straps replace the elastic band that comes standard on the mask. Patients say that flannel and fleece material feel much better against their cheek and cause far less rubbing than the original elastic band.

This volunteer idea, and many more, are available in our “Volunteer On the Spot” toolkit.

Campaign Resources: Olympics-Themed Campaign Plan 

This month’s featured campaign resource is the Olympics-Themed Campaign PlanKick off your workplace giving campaign with a breakfast of champions; host office competitions complete with gold, silver, and bronze medals; and hold a closing ceremony.  For more details and to explore the rest of our campaign tools, ideas, and guidelines, check out our Campaign Resources.

The third time Judy Halter heard the words, “You have cancer,” she panicked. “I knew there was a possibility that my time here could definitely be shortened,” she said. But even more than her diagnosis of bladder cancer, Judy says she worried about how she was going to get to treatment.

At age 76,  Judy no longer drove more than a few miles away from home for fear of getting lost and had no way of getting to all her appointments.  “I didn’t know what I was going to do,” said Halter. In desperation, she called American Cancer Society asking for guidance. Judy was immediately connected to a program that could help. Through the program, volunteers donate their spare time and personal vehicle to drive cancer patients in their community to treatment appointments. Judy was matched with two drivers who had both been cancer patients themselves.

Since she began treatment a year and a half ago, Judy says she has never missed an appointment.

Before finding Covenant House, Daniel was living in the streets after escaping an abusive home.

“My dad was addicted to meth and drank a lot,” said Daniel. “He abused my mom [and] sexually abused me for years. And no one knew.”

Daniel’s father’s addiction spiraled out of control after Daniel’s mother left. “I thought she would take us with her, but I guess she was just too scared,” sad Daniel. His father stopped going to work, and they were evicted. His father’s abuse didn’t end when they had to move in with family friends.

“I used to sleep in the truck outside because I was so afraid to be in the same house with him,” said Daniel. It wasn’t long before this innocent child faced a choice none of us should have to make: remain in a violent home or risk the dangers of the streets. Daniel chose the streets.

“When I was 15, I started getting into a lot of fights and ended up dropping out of school,” Daniel said. “One day, I was on the street with one of my friends and a group of boys started taunting us. I ended up trying to ‘handle them,’ and they took out a gun and shot my friend right in the face. To this day I blame myself for his death and that we didn’t just walk away,” he said.

Sexually abused by his father. Abandoned by his mother. His best friend shot to death in front of him. All before he was 18.

Daniel has since found shelter, care, ongoing support, and unconditional love at Covenant House. Covenant House staff are working to help Daniel believe in himself and his future, and that he can change his life for the better.

Six-year-old Nico was diagnosed with diabetes in 2014. The diagnosis meant that his mother, Jodi, had to quickly learn about diabetes, including how to care for Nico on a daily basis, give him insulin shots, and spot the warning signs of a diabetic emergency.

The school feared a lawsuit if any of its school staff gave Nico his shots, so Jodi became his caregiver at school. She traveled from her home office to Nico’s school around noon each day to give him an insulin shot. This continued for several months. Because nobody at the school was trained about diabetes, Nico was also unable to participate in after-school programs and activities.

The entire situation was frustrating for the family and Nico.  Jodi contacted American Diabetes Association for help, and learned about Nico’s rights. Under federal law, Nico’s school had to provide him proper diabetic care. School staff were trained in diabetic care, giving Nico and his family the support they need.

 

Jim and Leslie Donigan have been married for almost 50 years. Currently retired with three adult children, they have both faced a cancer diagnosis and are in remission today.

In October of 2003, Leslie was diagnosed with GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors), a stomach cancer, and was told it was terminal. But then her doctor tried a medication intended for blood cancer—and it worked. The treatment that saved her life resulted directly from blood cancer research funded by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Then, in May 2016, Jim faced a mantle cell lymphoma diagnosis. Once again, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society funds dedicated to research were critical in advancing this therapy. Between two cancer diagnoses, the family faced serious financial hardships. Jim relied on Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s co-pay assistance program to help pay for his treatment.

Today, both Leslie and Jim are doing well. “There is hope. Never give up,” says Jim. They are thankful for the investment in blood cancer research, which saved both their lives.

Jim and Leslie 

According to Forbes, 77% of employees believe health and wellness programs positively impact the culture at work, yet only 55% of organizations practice workplace wellness initiatives—Is your company one of the few not valuing employee wellbeing?

Dakota Electric Association leadership values employee wellness, focusing on keeping employees healthy and engaged all year—not exclusively during workplace giving campaigns.

At Dakota Electric, leadership listens to employees and their health concerns, and then invites local Minnesota Community Health Charities’ charity partners to the office for educational programs. Employees interact with the health issues that are important to them, engage with local charities, and learn healthy practices to use in their own lives. Dakota Electric holds these educational wellness events throughout the year.

Dakota Electric’s consistent focus on health culminated during their 2017 week-long workplace giving campaign, Dakota Cares, with employees raising over $29,000 for Community Health Charities and other charities. Dakota Electric employees hosted a pledge drive and a variety of fundraising events, such as a sporting clay shoot, silent auctions, special meals, and more.

“The employees stepped up to the challenge” President and CEO Greg Miller said. “It’s nice we can raise a significant amount of money to support these great causes. My thanks to the committee for all their hard work.”

 

Want to impact and engage your employees? Learn how you can use the results to customize a wellness and giving campaign tailored to your team.