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According to the State of the Sector Research, “41% of charities surveyed expect to be partnering more with private sector organizations over the next three years.”

Larry Fink, Blackrock CEO, confirms this trend and urges organizations to follow suit and take responsibility for their impact: “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” Fink wrote. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.”

Read the full Realized Worth article.

Community Health Charities exists to empower people to take action to improve health and wellbeing; we want help your business build healthier communities and prioritize corporate social responsibility. We offer giving options, causesvolunteer opportunitieshealth resources, strategic partnerships, cause marketing solutions, campaign materials and resources, and more to help you engage your employees and customers while impacting communities. Contact info@healthcharities.org now to find out more. For more information on these resources, or if you have questions, email info@healthcharities.org or call (800) 654-0845.

When it comes to charitable donations, Americans favor health above all other causes.  Grey Matter Research and Opinions4Good asked a demographically representative sample of 1,000 donors to name their one favorite donor-supported organization (excluding a local place of worship).  This wasn’t a measure of which organizations pull in the most funding, but of which brands donors favor – and fully one-third of them named a health-related organization. 

This includes 24% who favor an organization fighting a specific disease (such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, JDRF, American Cancer Society, or Alzheimer’s Association), plus 8% who name a more general health-related charity (such as Planned Parenthood or a local hospital).  Much of this is driven by donors age 50 and older, who are twice as likely as younger donors to want to support a disease-related organization above all others.  But the bad news is that lower-income donors are significantly more likely to favor disease-related organizations than are wealthier donors.

The researchers also investigated each of the hundreds of individual brands named – their Form 990 income, theater of operations, overhead ratio, and whether they’re faith-based or not.  For instance, we learned that very low overhead ratios rarely have a strong impact on what charitable brand donors favor, and that Americans tend to prefer very large organizations working globally rather than small, local charities.

For more information (and to get a copy of the full research report), go to Grey Matter Research’s Website.

This report is also covered in The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article, “Donors Were Asked What Charity They’d Support if They Could Pick Only One. Half Chose the Same 20 Groups.”

At Community Health Charities, we work to increase the capacity of our nonprofit partners. That means we support you and constantly work to empower organizations and individuals to connect with your mission and support you in building stronger, healthier communities.

Nearly one-third of annual giving occurs in December. The Combined Federal Campaign raised $177.8 million in 2015. The upcoming months are pivotal for nonprofits. We are hard at work connecting organizations to your mission and finding donors passionate about your cause.

While we support you in the coming months, compound our efforts by taking action:

  • Participate in the Combined Federal Campaign. The 2018 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) runs September 10 through January 11. If you’re registered to participate, remind your eligible donors of the impact they can make by supporting your organization: Email donors that have previously given through the CFC; advertise your CFC number on the main page of your website and on supplementary materials; participate in charity speaking events at local government office; and work with Community Health Charities to reach new federal and military donors.  We represent our nonprofit partners during the campaign annually; multiply our efforts by reaching your donors as well.
  • Seek workplace giving opportunities. Typical workplace giving programs take place in the fall. Work with Community Health Charities to find organizations in your area with caring employees looking to support causes like yours.
  • Don’t fall behind on end of year giving. It’s only August, but end of year and holiday giving can begin as early as October. Start preparing now: Work on social media campaigns, emails to existing donors, direct mail strategies, and more.

For more information on ways to empower your donor base, or if you have questions, email info@healthcharities.org or call (800) 654-0845.

As the end of the year draws close and you begin to prioritize your end of year and holiday giving, make sure you’re giving to organizations that truly have intentions of building stronger, healthier communities.

BBB-Wise Giving Alliance has compiled 7 guidelines to ensure you’re giving to nonprofits that are genuinely raising awareness for health and wellness.

  1. Get the charity’s exact name.
  2. Resist pressure to give on the spot.
  3. Be wary of heart-wrenching appeals.
  4. Press for specifics.
  5. Check websites for basics.
  6. Check with state charity officials.
  7. Don’t assume that every organization is a tax-exempt charity.

When you’re looking to give, remember that Community Health Charities works with more than 2,000 of the most trusted health nonprofits across the United States. Make the world a better place and support the causes you’re most passionate about with Community Health Charities.

As an organization focused on connecting talented business professionals with nonprofit organizations to build capacity for the social sector, Common Impact is excited to see an increased appetite for pro bono service across companies of all shapes and sizes. Our experience tells us that when done right, skills-based programs hold tremendous potential for corporate volunteers and the nonprofits they support. While it is great to see so many companies bought into the concept, we know from our nearly twenty years of practice that for programs to be most effective, they need to facilitate meaningful cross-sector partnerships and generate transformational community impact.

This is a concept we call “The Knitting Factor”, coined in our Stanford Social Innovation Review article, “The Promise of Skills-Based Volunteering”. The Knitting Factor brings together three key conditions that enable skills-based engagements between the private and nonprofit sectors to create strengthened, sustainable solutions that don’t come undone when partners part ways.

  • A Panoramic Perspective:  Taking a bird’s eye view when crafting partnerships, by looking at people and organizations beyond their titles and sectors and allowing value to transcend profit
  • Skill Sharing: A focus on two-way talent exchange, where pro bono professionals and their companies are learning as much from the nonprofits they work with as those nonprofits learn from them
  • Sticky Relationships: A commitment to building long-lasting partnerships that drive nonprofit missions and business engagement forward

An example of a program that embodies all three of these characteristics, is Skills for Cities, one of Common Impact’s newest models for community engagement in partnership with IMPACT 2030 and SVP Boston. Skills for Cities is a citywide, cross-company day of service event that activates regional skills-based volunteers across industries and invites participation from smaller organizations without traditional pro bono programs. The first of these events will be launching in Boston, MA this September and will bring together community-minded professionals and impactful local nonprofits to tackle some of the city’s most pressing social issues.

Here’s a snapshot of how Skills for Cities Boston hits all three characteristics of 
The Knitting Factor:

  • A Panoramic Perspective:  Skills for Cities Boston brings together leaders from across industries and backgrounds to direct their talents and expertise towards a targeted and shared purpose – making an impact in the communities in which they live and work. The idea for Skills for Cities initially started in collaboration between senior leaders in the public and private sector, leveraging the cross-sector expertise of Common Impact, SVP Boston and Berkshire Bank’s Gary Levante, who runs the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. Gary played an integral role in getting this program off the ground by leveraging Berkshire Bank’s strong footprint within the Boston community, as well as his regional involvement with IMPACT 2030, a collaborative initiative itself that engages corporate, social and academic leadership to develop employee volunteer programs that advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Skill Sharing:  By bringing together corporate and nonprofit professionals who otherwise may not have crossed paths, Skills for Cities Boston provides a unique opportunity for individuals from all sectors and leadership levels to learn from one another and develop new skills that they’ll bring back to their organizations.
  • Sticky Relationships:  Skills for Cities Boston combines the expertise of three socially conscious organizations, Common Impact, SVP Boston and IMPACT 2030 to launch the first-of-its kind skills-based day of service. This event is designed to focus on the needs of the greater Boston community and deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our hope is that these partnerships will ultimately sustain far past the initial day of service and continue to make a deep impact in the local community for years to come.

The Common Impact team is looking forward to launching this new model and giving back to the community in which we were founded almost twenty years ago. Follow us on our blog for event updates and connect with us on Twitter to get involved in the conversation!

About Danielle Holly

Danielle Holly is CEO of Common Impact, an organization that designs programs that direct a company’s most strategic philanthropic asset – their people – to the seemingly intractable social challenges they’re best positioned to address. Danielle has supported hundreds of nonprofit organizations on positioning and branding strategies to more effectively scale their models of social impact.  In addition, Danielle has helped numerous corporations navigate the new era in corporate social responsibility and skills-based volunteering, including global powerhouses JPMorgan Chase, Charles Schwab, Marriott International, and Fidelity Investments. She is a contributing writer for Nonprofit Quarterly on strategic corporate engagement.  She is a member of the NationSwell Council, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and Net Impact NYC. You can reach her via email at dholly@commonimpact.org or follow her on Twitter @dholly8. 

Hurricane Florence may have dissipated, but the ripples of this natural disaster will be felt for some time, and we always need to be prepared for the next storm. Join Community Health Charities to meet the short- and long-term health and mental health needs of those impacted by Hurricane Florence and other natural disasters.

Here are three ways you can help:

  1. Donate to CHC’s Disaster Response Fund, whether for a specific disaster like Florence or our year-round crisis and disaster fund to support vetted organizations serving the impacted areas.
  2. Share our Crisis and Disaster Resources to raise awareness of Health and Human Services information, preparedness resources and recovery tips.
  3. Encourage your company to join Spirit HR and others in supporting and promoting our disaster relief efforts through a workplace giving campaign or volunteerism. Contact us to set up your company’s custom giving page.

Because together, we can rebuild and restore the lives of individuals, children, and families.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has evolved dramatically over the last decade. Most companies are no longer satisfied with just writing checks to charities or sponsoring events. Now, corporate leaders are aligning social impact and employee engagement with business objectives. That means measuring results and ensuring CSR and employee engagement efforts demonstrate real value to the company.

Read the full article on Forbes

How consumers perceive businesses is changing: Making a profit is no longer enough, organizations are often expected to take responsibility for their actions and give back to the greater community.

Is your organization keeping up?

Forbes contributors Jim Ludema and Amber Johnson recommend six strategies for integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into your business model:

  1. Align CSR to your business strategy.
  2. Earn support from the top with engagement at all levels.
  3. Look for opportunities to build a future pipeline.
  4. Strong, sustainable partnerships equal automatic success.
  5. Find new drivers of innovation.
  6. Integrate design thinking approaches.

 

Read the full Forbes article.

 

Community Health Charities offers giving options, causesvolunteer opportunitieshealth resources, strategic partnerships, cause marketing solutions, campaign materials and resources, and more to help you engage your employees and customers while impacting communities. Partner with Community Health Charities and our more than 2,000 trusted nonprofit partners to integrate CSR into your business model. For more information on these resources, or if you have questions, email info@healthcharities.org or call (800) 654-0845.

 

 

Looking to increase the impact of your corporate partnerships? Join Jerome Tennille, Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, to learn how to best align with companies for mutual benefit: “Corporate Social Responsibility – Making it Work for your Organization’s Volunteer Program” on Tuesday, September 18 at 1:00 PM.

Before the webinar, check out some of Jerome’s advice on creating successful corporate-nonprofit partnerships.

Looking to increase the impact of your corporate partnerships? Join Jerome Tennille, Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, to learn how to best align with companies for mutual benefit: “Corporate Social Responsibility – Making it Work for your Organization’s Volunteer Program” on Tuesday, September 18 at 1:00 PM.

Before the webinar, check out some of Jerome’s advice on creating successful corporate-nonprofit partnerships.

Jerome Tennille is the Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, where he leads the company’s traditional and skills-based volunteer programs, ensuring they reflect the latest innovations, technologies, and best practices. This includes Marriott’s global week and month of community service, providing the framework, resources, and support needed for volunteerism efforts to be executed both globally and locally.

The upcoming months are pivotal for nonprofits. As the campaign begins, we are hard at work connecting military and federal employees to your mission and finding donors passionate about your cause.

Here are three easy ways you can take action to enhance our efforts during the Combined Federal Campaign:

  1. Email donors that have previously given to you through the CFC. If you need your donor list, contact info@healthcharities.org.
  2. Advertise your CFC number on the main page of your website and on supplementary materials
  3. Participate in charity speaking events at local government offices

Together, with the powerful support of military and federal workers, we are building stronger, healthier communities.

Community Health Charities doesn’t just help our corporate partners build stronger, healthier employees—we help our employees give back to the causes they’re passionate about as well.

From Thursday, August 2 to Friday, August 10, Community Health Charities employees participated in the #CauseAnImpact Employee Engagement and Giving campaign. Employees practiced work-life balance by cooking healthy meals with their families, took mental health breaks throughout the day, and prioritized their wellbeing.

The campaign began and ended with Mission Moments: Two charity partners, Jessie Rees Foundation and Pet Partners, spoke with Community Health Charities and shared the impact employees could have through charitable giving.

“Our culture of giving is changing dramatically. In order to feel compelled to give back, the employees should feel more involved. Listening to the stories of our charity partners connects them back to the reasons why we give and how that support changes our community in such a positive and helpful way,” said Amanda Williams, Development Operations Specialist.

The campaign ended with a potluck celebration, where employees shared the healthy meals they learned to make during the campaign.

Looking to establish your own workplace giving campaign? Contact us and utilize our campaign resources for guidelines from start to finish, including engagement ideas, goal setting, and volunteering-in office.

 

  

Play ball! Community Health Charities is teaming up with the Oklahoma City Dodgers and the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board to support American Indian health.

The three organizations are hosting the American Indian Health Fund Night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Friday, August 17. Tickets for the baseball game are a special rate of $16, with $2 of each ticket supporting the American Indian Health Fund.  The American Indian Health Fund is a program founded by Community Health Charities and the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board that supports and improves American Indian’s health.

Read the full article.

After 60 years, Community Health Charities recognized that we stood at a vital crossroads: evolve or become irrelevant.

The landscape of philanthropy has changed. Technology has advanced the transactional aspect of giving, as mobile, digital, social and online giving platforms replaced most in-person asks and paper pledge forms — and supplanted a large portion of our role as a workplace giving-centered organization.

As technology and donor demands continue to evolve, many nonprofits that were strong and successful in the past are now struggling and left with a particularly daunting decision: adapt or die.

Here are my top recommendations for how to make the switch from transactional to collaborative, helping your nonprofit remain relevant and increasing your impact into the future.

Avoid mission creep while making a mission shift.

 

Read the full article on Forbes.

 

If you’re measuring volunteer programs by their participation rate, you could actually be hurting company culture.

Reporting by Realized Worth shows volunteer programs that pressure employees to participate often backfire, leading to employees feeling coerced and obligated to participate.  This results in a company culture embedded in resentment.

The solution? Encourage employee volunteering and giving by finding leaders in your organization to model engagement: “When people see others, especially leaders, engage in [organizational citizenship behavior], they are likely to find voluntary expressions of mimicking such behavior.”

Read the full article on Realized Worth. Utilize our campaign resources to recognize employee champions in your workplace to model employee engagement. Check out our Volunteer On The Spot Guide for volunteer activities employees can get involved in right in the office.

If your small business is looking to incorporate workplace giving into your company’s culture, consider the following guidelines from BBB Wise Giving Alliance:

  • Verify the charities’ tax-exempt status.
  • Keep in mind state registration requirements for charities.
  • Be wary of excessive pressure.
  • Confirm the amount donated from benefit dinners and performance tickets.
  • Confirm with charities before establishing clothing bins and coin collection boxes.
  • Receive cause-related marketing disclosures before using a charities’ name in promotions.
  • See if the charity meets BBB Charity Standards.

Read the BBB Wise Giving Alliance article.

All of Community Health Charities’ more than 2,000 nonprofit partners have been approved by BBB Wise Giving Alliance and meet high standards of transparency and conduct, especially in workplace giving campaigns.  We work with many small and mid-size businesses establishing workplace giving campaigns, offering giving options, causes, volunteer opportunities, health resources, strategic partnerships, campaign resources, and more to help you engage your employees and customers while impacting communities. Contact us to learn more.

Jerome Tennille, an employee engagement professional who specializes in volunteer management, recently presented “Corporate Social Responsibility – Making it Work for your Organization’s Volunteer Program” with candid recommendations for how companies and nonprofits can best align for mutual benefit.

5 Takeaways:

  1. Do your research first. Due diligence is critically important in understanding a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Some companies have specific causes they focus on, and others may more broadly support the community and giving back. Before asking for money or seeking volunteers, nonprofits must align with those corporate goals.  Doing research offers useful insights into a company’s core focus areas and demonstrates alignment (or not) with a nonprofit’s mission. “I get solicitations all the time from people who clearly have not done their research,” said Jerome. “Unfortunately, that is a waste of time for both sides.”2
  2. Focus on impact and authenticity. This applies to both sides of the partnership. It’s not authentic when a company comes at the last minute asking for large-scale employee engagement activities that a nonprofit has to create in a rush, diverting resources from their mission. It’s also not authentic when a nonprofit treats a company like an ATM machine and is only interested in money. “Don’t go for short-term gain and risk the long-term relationship,” cautioned Jerome. “A company is a business and has to be successful and make money before it can give it away.” The best corporate-nonprofit partnerships focus on building long-term relationships to achieve real impact, aligned with the company’s business goals and the nonprofit’s mission. Ultimately, the goal for both partners is to serve the community.
  3. Get creative. In his experience, 90% of companies are looking for a turnkey, single day of service for employee engagement. Rather than put pressure on nonprofits to provide volunteer activities for hundreds or thousands of employees on one day, Jerome suggests companies and nonprofits look for new and more meaningful ways to work together. Ensure any project meets a real community need and is mission-driven, not sacrificing program integrity. While at The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), when large companies with thousands of employees kept approaching him for ready-to-go volunteer projects, Jerome worked jointly with program managers to solve the challenge. They stayed true to TAPS’ core services and developed “Thousands of Thanks,” a volunteer program for employees to write or draw leaves and create beautiful thank you trees—a “forest of thanks”—that encouraged visiting families who were grieving the loss of a military loved one. This program has now expanded to custom quilts as well. “It took a lot of brainpower to get to that point,” Jerome said.
  4. Understand motivations: Employees might volunteer to help the cause, or to enhance their résumés, boost business reputation, or fulfill a company mandate. Nonprofits need to take the time to listen to a company and its employees’ motivations. Equally, nonprofits can work to educate companies, especially key leaders, on community needs and the costs involved in mission work and meaningful impact. For example, although most companies want to volunteer at a food bank during the holidays, the real need is during the off-months.
  5. Make it about mutual benefit. A company’s business goals and philanthropic strategy can align seamlessly with a nonprofit’s mission and work for both sides. For example, Jerome recommends nonprofits position volunteering as a solution to a business challenge—not just unpaid work that takes away company revenue. “Find a mutual benefit and position yourself to solve their problems,” Jerome advised “Help them reach their goals while not sacrificing yours.”

 

Jerome shared two examples that demonstrate how mutual benefit in corporate-nonprofit partnerships works.

  • The hospitality industry at large is working to eliminate food waste while serving communities in need. Similarly, many food banks, pantries, and distribution centers want to eliminate food waste and serve communities too. So, it’s not uncommon that companies that source high volumes of food want to donate what’s not used, plus, company volunteer can help sort this food in the food pantry’s warehouse, while also sourcing unique skills from their employees to develop best-in-class processes to more efficiently receive and distribute the food.
  • The entire hospitality industry is experiencing a staffing shortage. Volunteering can be a solution. Some companies in this industry provide job training, résumé writing, interview practice, mentorship, and more with a special focus on youth, diverse populations, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and refugees. Employees volunteer with these communities to provide employment skills, helping eliminate stereotypes and providing hope and a future for underserved groups. “Youth are four times more likely to choose a job if they are exposed to it early,” said Jerome. And by developing a talent pipeline for the hospitality industry, companies engaged in this type of volunteering position themselves to better meet a business need.

 

In the end, creating partnerships for mutual benefit is the only way to build long-term, sustainable relationships with maximum community impact.

 

 

Jerome Tennille is the Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, where he leads the company’s traditional and skills-based volunteer programs, ensuring they reflect the latest innovations, technologies, and best practices. This includes Marriott’s  global week and month of community service, providing the framework, resources, and support needed for volunteerism efforts to be executed both globally and locally.  Prior to joining Marriott International, Jerome held the position of Senior Manager of Impact Analysis and Assessment for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a national organization that offers help, hope, and healing to all those grieving the death of a loved one serving in America’s armed forces. Jerome currently serves as a board of directors member of Peace Through Action USA and on the PsychArmor Institute Advisory Committee for the School of Volunteers & Nonprofits. Jerome holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in operations management and a Master of Sustainability Leadership (MSL) from Arizona State University. Jerome is designated as Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) and is also a veteran of the US Navy.

 

Liberty Diversified International (LDI), a Community Health Charities corporate partner, celebrated their 100 year anniversary celebration this July. The celebration consisted of a 19 day “Great Gratitude Tour,” where the organization gave back to 17 cities and boasted millions of dollars in giving. The bus tour began in New York, went as far as California, and concluded with a Grand Finale in Minnesota.

On Friday, July 20 the tour concluded with a Grand Finale that presented 15 LDI nonprofit partners with gratitude grants, including Community Health Charities and four of our nonprofit partners.  Beginning at 10:18 AM, LDI gave gratitude grants to each of the nonprofit partners every hour at the 18th minute; 18 signifies life in the Jewish faith.

We’re proud to be partners with an organization so focused on building stronger, healthier communities across the country.

Contact us and access our campaign resources to organize opportunities for your employees to support their communities.

 

Employee engagement has never been more critical. Engaged employees are happier and 22% more productive (Harvard Business Review), yet most companies find employee engagement challenging. In fact, Gallup studies show 70% of U.S. workers are not engaged at work.

Every company has three types of employees: engaged, not engaged, or actively disengaged.

Engaged employees have a passion for the company and drive it forward, while actively disengaged staff often cost the company. For simple ways to enhance employee engagement and reduce turnover, including suggested communication methods, valuable tools, and company resources, check out “Engaging and Communicating with Employees: Empower, Communicate, and Engage Your Employees with Access to Resources.” This e-book was authored by Community Health Charities Board Member and Continuwell President & CEO Charu Raheja.

For more employee engagement resources, take a look at Community Health Charities’ Tools For Engagement GuideHealth and Wellness Guide, and Year-Round Employee Engagement Calendar.

 

Charu Raheja, PhD is the CEO of Continuwell & TriageLogic Group and has served on the Community Health Charities’ Board of Directors since 2015. Charu graduated with a PhD in Finance from New York University and her award-winning research and publications have influenced corporate governance policy and regulation.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.’

 

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.

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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.

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:

  • Initiate a step competition. Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories—American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days a week. Get your team geared up with fitness trackers and get moving.
  • Allow flexible work schedules. Chronic stress can contribute to heart disease—the leading cause of death for both men and women. Help your employees manage stress by giving them some flexibility. Life happens; allow your employees to cope with it.
  • Host a healthy potluck. Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent heart disease. Ask employees to bring in their favorite heart-healthy dishes for an office potluck—they can use American Heart Association’s How To Eat Healthy Without “Dieting” guidelines if they aren’t sure what to bring.
  • Share heart healthy resources. Help your employees keep up their healthy habits outside the office with our charity partners’ health resources.
  • Support Women’s Health and Men’s Health. Include Women’s Health and Men’s Health in your workplace giving campaign to support research, preventative care, diagnosis, and treatment so that everyone can live their healthiest, best lives.

Continue reading “5 Heart Healthy Habits At Work”

This Sunday, don’t just join friends and family for the big game—unite with the world in the fight against cancer.

Sunday, February 4 is World Cancer Day. Our charity partners are fighting this Sunday, and every day, to find a cure for cancer and support everyone affected by it:

  • Andy was diagnosed at age 60 with multiple myeloma, a cancer that he lost his first wife to 12 years prior. A treatment involving stem cell transplantation saved his life. Now, Andy rides his bike with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team In Training to fundraise and find a cure for multiple myeloma.
  • Jim was given six months to live after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. That was 25 years ago. The American Cancer Society funded the scientists who saved Jim’s life.
  • Gideon spent his first Christmas at home for the first time in 2017 after spending his first two in care at  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Doctors discovered tumors on his legs, arms, face, and stomach when Gideon was only seven months old.

This World Cancer Day, join in the conversation about cancer, beating it, and advancing life-saving research. Share cancer resources and support our trusted charity partners fighting to find a cure: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, Cancer Research Institute, and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.