Marriott International, Capital One and Berkshire Bank Share CSR Expertise

Don’t miss the latest CSR Center pieces by executives from Marriott International, Capital One and Berkshire Bank.
• Learn how to implement sustainability principles in “My Actions To Achieve a More Sustainable Future” by Jerome Tennille at Marriott International.
• Find out why it’s a moral imperative for successful leaders to sponsor other women in “Women and the Critical Role of Career Sponsors” by Katya Andersen, SVP of Card Customer Experience at Capital One.
• Learn how to achieve a 100% participation rate through “Employee Centered Corporate Social Responsibility” by Gary R. Levante, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Berkshire Bank.

Community Health Charities in the News

Check out our recent news coverage in the Washington Post, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report and more, including:

Government shutdown impact on CFC 

Since the government was under a partial shutdown from before the holidays through the end of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) on January 11, we called an emergency meeting with OPM, CFC Outreach Coordinators, and other CFC partners last week. We are pleased to share the campaign has extended and will provide more details accordingly.

Join Us in New York City 

KampCo Restaurants Continue to Give Back

KampCo is kicking off 2019 by continuing its partnership with CHC and giving back to our nation’s heroes. On January 29, KampCo will donate a portion of all sales to support CHC’s “Hero’s Health” cause.

“We’re very excited to be supporting Hero’s Health and Heart Health and giving back to people that have given so much for us,” said Randy Kamp, founder of KampCo. “It’s an exciting time to be able to support great causes that help great people and provide assistance when in need most.”

KampCo first started its cause marketing partnership with CHC in September 2018 and has since donated to a special cause once a month by raising awareness and donating 10% of proceeds at all KampCo locations across Oklahoma and Texas.

Do-Good Date Night 

A nationwide survey by our partner Leukemia and Lymphoma Society showed that volunteering enhances relationships and improves your love life. This Valentine’s Day and all year long, find volunteer projects near you with our Online Locator Tool. Or make it a group date and search our On the Spot Volunteer Guide for easy activities you can do with your family, friends, or coworkers.

7 Steps to a Healthier You: How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

You are never too old, too out-of-shape, or too overweight to make healthy changes. And while it doesn’t take the start of a new year to institute healthy changes in your life, this is the perfect opportunity to think about the improvements you would like to see. Here are seven simple steps to help keep your resolutions.

CHC Board Member Awarded Gold Stevie for Female Entrepreneur of the Year

CHC Board Member and CEO of TriageLogic and Continuwell, Dr. Charu Raheja, was named a Gold Stevie winner for Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services – in the 15th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Watch Dr. Raheja’s acceptance speech and post-awards ceremony interview.

Community Health Charities recently held its second invitation-only health convening in New York City, hosted by PwC. This breakfast brought together leading companies and organizations to discuss social determinants of health – factors such as inequity or lack of access that impact health – and share in solutions-oriented conversations to improve employee and community health. Speakers included leaders from American ExpressChevronPwC, CUNY University Graduate School of Public Health, and Liberation Health Strategies

Topics discussed included: lack of access to primary care, injustice and inequity, poor eating habits, health policy reform, the benefits of companies developing stronger health cultures, reducing the stigma around mental health, and more. Highlights from speakers:

  • Joxel Garcia of American Express shared how health challenges vary by location. One area may have more chronic diseases and another primarily diagnosed with a single disease like cancer. Dr. Garcia also explained that to create change regarding social determinants of health (SDOH) in underserved communities, we must understand the root causes of poor health habits in those communities. Many people cannot afford healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. They do not have safe neighborhoods, reliable transportation, parks and playgrounds. Data and metrics can demonstrate the ROI of improved employee and community health and encourage company leadership to address social determinants of health, to provide employee health clinics, and more. Dr. Garcia also suggested companies use a “stealth diet” (stealth health) in cafeterias by offering healthier food and providing clear nutrition labeling.
  • Alex Cunningham of Chevron shared how his company is working to help de-stigmatize mental health. Mental health is more than someone diagnosed with a disease, it’s not always incapacitating, and it impacts almost all of us. Chevron wants to develop a culture that encourages employees to take advantage of company resources.
  • Ayman El-Mohandes of CUNY discussed how it is discriminatory to assume all poor people are unhealthy and the wealthy are healthy. Social determinants of health is a disease. It’s a “life reality index” that affects poor and rich alike. Health habits are learned early. People learn to eat cheaply when they can’t afford to eat healthy, even in college, and then end up with a cheap palate. Loneliness and isolation are other factors impacting health. It will take all of us collectively working together to address these different issues.
  • Natalie Teear of PwC shared that to change the issues surrounding SDOH, people need to rally around policy reform and work with congress to update health policies. Teear also discussed the benefit of flexible work schedules to provide employees with time to exercise as well as spend time with family and friends and build community.

Thank you again to PwC for hosting this convening and to all our distinguished panelists. Community Health Charities is committed to building stronger, healthier communities. Check out our previous event in Atlanta https://healthcharities.org/workforce-communityhealthrecap/ or read more about social determinants of health. https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/what-is-community-health/

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Joxel Garcia, MD
Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
American Express

 

 

Welcome and Keynote Introduction:

Kevin Clayton
Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement
Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Community Health Charities National Board Vice Chair

 

 

Panelists:

Alex Cunningham
Senior Advisor, Global Social Investments
Chevron

 

 

Dr. L. Toni Lewis, MD
Founder and President
Liberation Health Strategies

 

 

 


Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes
Dean, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health
and Health Policy

 

 

Natalie Teear
Director, Health Industries
PwC

 

 

Check out the program and event photos.

 

The promotion of health and well-being is a priority for Continental Resources. That is evident within the company and in the communities where its employees live and work.

Continental’s annual fundraising campaign allows employees to choose where their money goes, while helping them learn about the organizations working to improve their community.

Community Health Charities has benefitted from Continental’s Giving Campaign since 2015.

“We enjoy working with Community Health Charities because it provides the opportunity for our employees to contribute to causes important to them and support organizations serving people with specific health issues that have impacted their own lives or families,” said Lesley Martin, the company’s senior director of community relations & events. “The ability to tailor their giving to support causes meaningful to them is a large part of why our Giving Campaign continues to grow.”

During the company’s month-long 2018 Giving Campaign, Continental employees raised more than $325,000, marking an increase of more than $60,000 over the previous year and more than $100,000 over 2016.

Department fundraisers – from bake sales, raffles and ice cream socials to email bingo and trivia night – are a popular engagement component of the campaign, bringing in nearly $76,000 in 2018, more than double what they accounted for in 2016.

While Continental devotes an entire month to its Giving Campaign, company employees continue to engage with charities year-round by volunteering, thanking providers and raising money to support specific programs and initiatives.

The company’s focus on building healthy communities extends beyond its annual campaign. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm, the company’s founder, is a driving force in the quest to find a cure for diabetes. He is devoted to securing a healthy and secure future for all Americans.

Continental takes proactive measures to equip employees and their families with the skills and resources to achieve healthy, active lifestyles. It has been acknowledged as an American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite and a Certified Oklahoma Healthy Business.

Community Health Charities can help your company provide energetic and engaging campaign activities as well as empower employees to act year-round with our campaign resources. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my career building models and strategies that deliver results ranging from reputation management and risk reduction to brand storytelling and employee and community engagement. I also spend a lot of time providing advice to other companies about how to leverage these disciplines for true business value. I partnered with Kathrine Smith at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship to write this book to share these perspectives and provide a guide for those who are either just starting out in Corporate Citizenship, CSR, or any effort that touches the environmental, social, or governance (ESG) dimensions of business — or who want to refresh or refine their CSR program.

This is a book about building a successful business in the 21st century. It’s a book about leveraging all the tools, trends, and assets at the disposal of business to drive bottom-line results, value chain resiliency, productivity, innovation, long-term shareowner value, and benefit for the community. We set out to provide a set of practices and checklists that can help you ensure that you are considering ESG impacts and assets to create competitive advantage for your company and a better world for us all. We use terms like sustainability, corporate responsibility, and social impact to help explain concepts and translate frameworks, but this is all about creating the most successful business possible in the 21st century competitive landscape.

If you work your way through the sections of this book and implement the tools and tactics described, you will develop both yourself as an effective advocate for corporate citizenship and your organization’s 21st century business strategy will be more resilient, agile, and successful than your competitors.

All of the profits from the sale of this book will benefit the BC Center for Corporate Citizenship. Click here to purchase your copy today.

Dave Stangis serves as Vice President-Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer for Campbell Soup Company. Dave designs Campbell’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability strategies, goals, policies, and programs. He leads the Company’s strategies and external engagement related to CSR Strategy, Responsible Sourcing, Sustainable Agriculture, and Operational Sustainability. Working closely with other senior leaders, he advances Campbell’s operational and communication strategies in these areas.

“Corporate policy prohibits us from funding staff or operational expense. We only fund programs.”

I was speaking with a community affairs manager of a major company this morning, and they told me their company’s particular version of the above statement. On the surface, that seems like good stewardship of the company’s philanthropic investments—the money should go directly to impact, not to rent, salaries, or printer ink. The theory is that the most efficient nonprofits are also the most effective at delivering impact without needless spending. (I won’t be talking in this post about whether overhead is needless spending. That’s been discussed before.)

When I was managing CSR programs for more than 15 years at Wells Fargo, I was skeptical about that theory because no one ever talked about what happens in the extreme case when every donor requires their donation be 100% spent on program. Now that I serve on Community Health Charities’ national board plus work for a nonprofit myself, I see that the “we only fund programs” approach not only ignores some important realities, but it can actually incentivize inefficiency or, worse, ineffectiveness.

The reality for many nonprofits is that they do get a lot of unrestricted donations, mostly from individuals, that end up paying the electricity bills and other essential operating expenses. But even when this is the case and the nonprofit can legitimately promise a corporate funder that 100% of their grant will go to program, the grant itself brings with it additional burdens.

Although there are exceptions, in my experience, most corporate funders have three expectations that make sense in the corporate office, but which are not in the nonprofit’s nature:

  • Reporting on impact, in the company’s language

Good nonprofits measure the effectiveness of their programs in one way or another. At Cancer Support Community, we capture important information through surveys and measurements every year that help guide our program development and delivery. But companies tend to want their own metrics, on their own schedules. In some cases, companies can help the nonprofit improve their measurements, but in my experience, a lot of what companies ask for is designed to support the company’s CSR mission, CSR communications, or management confidence—not necessarily the nonprofit’s mission. If what the company asks for is different from what the nonprofit needs, the nonprofit will have to create a new process to report to the company in the format and language it demands. Loath to upset the funder, the nonprofit will typically find a way to add this to their work without telling the company how much of a staff and financial burden it is.

  • Recognizing the company’s “partnership”

Every nonprofit I know is profoundly grateful for every donation received, and they want every donor to feel that gratitude. Large nonprofits, especially those with huge communications teams, are equipped for and competent in creating communications that promote their donors. Small nonprofits, however, often don’t understand what recognition would be meaningful to their corporate partners, or don’t have the channels to include that messaging. Thus, many larger companies gravitate toward the larger nonprofits, to the neglect of many outstanding and often more impactful local organizations. It’s so much easier to drop a big grant on a big brand who knows how to recognize the company… even if a small nonprofit would more effectively deliver the impact the company actually wants to create.

  • Customizing program delivery to the company’s specifications

A lot of my peers in the nonprofit space talk about how they don’t want to “chase the money,” but many companies are so focused on their strategic priorities that they dream up impact they want to create, then shop around until they find a nonprofit willing to do the work they’ve ideated. Some companies do a great job of partnering—bringing the company’s competencies to the table and hearing what the nonprofit’s competencies are, then collaborating on making a profound impact together. The power dynamic in these conversations, however, is imbalanced, and nonprofits are too often seduced into believing they have to agree to a company’s desires no matter the cost in order to get the funding they need. This can lead to mission scope creep and delivery dilution as the nonprofit customizes their programs to different funders in order to give those funders what they’re asking for—whether it truly supports the nonprofit’s mission or not.

These expectations seem completely natural to corporations, but they are not at all natural to nonprofits that are built and staffed to deliver their mission, not to serve the corporation’s mission. As a result, nonprofits that get large corporate grants end up filtering into two groups:

  • Those that burden their mission staff with serving the company’s demands, thus diluting their effectiveness, and
  • Those that build a whole new staff internally to serve the company’s demands, which in aggregate reduces the organization’s focus and efficiency.

Smaller nonprofits that “chase the money” tend to fall into the first category, and large nonprofits that can absorb more overhead tend to fall into the second. Many nonprofits simply put all the burden on their development director, who ends up not being able to singlehandedly bridge the divide between the mission staff (who think pleasing the donors is the development director’s job) and the corporate funders (who think the development director can influence program design). This is probably one reason that the average tenure of a typical development director is less than 18 months.

Since jumping the fence from corporate to nonprofit, I’ve become more aware of how I fell into these corporate mindsets in the past. I’ve also learned that a lot of people whose careers have been spent entirely within nonprofits don’t understand the corporate mindset or the pressures from management and other stakeholders that CSR program managers face.

Too often, I think companies look at nonprofits as an extension of their own staff—the company wants to feel they are “moving the needle,” so they fund a nonprofit to accomplish whatever goal they’ve created, and then they demand that the entire donation go to “funding the program, not overhead.” In 15-plus years of looking at CSR programs, however, I’ve observed that the most effective corporate donations are those that take the venture capitalist’s approach: Find the best nonprofit that is aligned to the same intended outcomes, and give them the money they need to accomplish their goals. You’re investing in the leadership, not hiring a vendor. Learn to use the metrics the nonprofit produces for their own program adjustments rather than demand they learn your specific corporation’s vernacular.

Ultimately, everyone involved in the process wants to better the world in some way. Corporate funders often don’t realize the unintentional and unnatural burdens they are unwittingly putting on nonprofits in the name of effectiveness and inefficiency, however—often creating new inefficiencies that exist for the sole purpose of supporting the grant.

Peter Dudley, Chief Development Officer, Cancer Support Community, former Wells Fargo SVP, Community Health Charities board member

Protect yourself against the most common form of cancer with these tips

What do Hugh Jackman, Diane Keaton, Anderson Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Khloe Kardashian, and Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese have in common? The surprising answer is skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer with roughly 5.3 million new cases each year, meaning one in five people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with skin cancer before age 70.

In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. Given these statistics, most likely there is someone in your life who has been impacted by skin cancer.

More than 90 percent of skin cancer cases are linked to UV exposure and while individuals with fair complexions and features are the most at risk, skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of color.

Need proof? Look no further than Bob Marley. You may be surprised to learn that the Jamaican singer, musician, and songwriter died from melanoma at the age of 36.

When a dark spot appeared under his toenail, Marley attributed it to a recent soccer injury. Unfortunately, it was a form of skin cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma that often becomes aggressive because it is detected later than other melanomas.

While most melanomas are caused by exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds, this type of skin cancer develops in areas not commonly exposed to the sun, such as under nails, on the soles of the feet, or palms of the hands. While this form is rare, it is the most common form of melanoma in people of color.

The American Academy of Dermatologists states that patients with skin of color are less likely than Caucasian patients to survive melanoma due to the lower rates of routine screenings for skin cancer that lead to a later stage diagnosis when the cancer is difficult to treat.

Aside from skin tone, other factors also affect your risk of damage from UV light, including:

  • Spending a lot of time outdoors or work indoors all week and then get intense sun exposure on weekends
  • Taking medicines that affect your immune system or make your skin more sensitive to sunlight
  • Having a medical condition that weakens your immune system, such as infection with HIV
  • Having had an organ transplant
  • Having certain autoimmune diseases, such as lupus

It is a common fallacy to think sun protection is only necessary during summer days spent on the lake, at the beach, or poolside. Sun exposure is cumulative and it happens every time you are in the sun.

The easiest way to protect yourself from skin cancer is staying in the shade. When you are in the sun, though, the best line of defense is to wear sunscreen. Yet, 63 percent of African American adults never use sunscreen and only 1 out of every 10 teenagers reported wearing sunscreen regularly when outside for more than an hour on a sunny day.

If you plan on spending time outdoors, here are action steps you can take for sun protection, regardless of your skin color:

  • Do not burn. Nearly 50 percent of 18-39 year olds report getting at least one sunburn during the year. Even a single sunburn exponentially increases your risk. Remember, people of color can sunburn and develop skin cancer from UV damage, too.
  • Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher 15 minutes before going out. Be sure to reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, or pants. Be aware that covering up doesn’t block out all UV rays. If you can see light through a fabric, UV rays can get through, too.
  • Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. If you are unsure how strong the sun’s rays are, use the shadow test: if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are the strongest, and it’s important to protect yourself.
  • Check the UV index to prevent overexposure.
  • Perform regular skin self-exams to detect skin cancer early, when it’s most treatable.
  • Remember your ABCDEs: any spot that appears Asymmetrical, has an irregular Border, has an uneven Color, has a Diameter larger than a pea, and is Evolving should be checked out by a dermatologist.

This Memorial Day, Community Health Charities honors and remembers the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice by defending our country.

Did you know:

HERO’S HEALTH

Effective health care often lies outside the confines of a strictly medical approach and includes broader social determinants of health, such as housing, income, and family supports. CHC is helping American heroes and their families with our Hero’s Health cause.

Hero’s Health engages business and health sector leaders to help American heroes and their families by:

  • Supporting paralyzed and seriously injured veterans
  • Providing thousands of military families free lodging close to loved ones hospitalized for an illness, disease, or injury
  • Preventing veterans from being in the emergency room, homeless, and incarcerated due to mental illness
  • Providing confidential 24/7 peer support and resources to veterans, service members and their families

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Honor our veterans this Memorial Day by using our volunteer opportunity locator to find existing volunteer projects in your area that support those who served in the military.

Share our Military and Veteran health resources, to raise awareness and help those in need of these resources or peer support.

Be sure to encourage others to show their appreciation for our fallen heroes by supporting Hero’s Health.

Join ESPN, Under Armour and Cleveland Cavaliers at NYC Summit

New speakers from ESPN, IBM, Target and Under Armour join The Cleveland Cavaliers, The Coca-Cola Company, Comcast Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks for the 18th Annual [email protected] Employee Engagement Summit June 12-13, 2019 in New York City. Community Health Charities is once again leading this event for corporate CSR leaders, and space is running out. Register today.

Microsoft and Marriott International Share CSR Expertise

Don’t miss the latest CSR Center pieces by executives from Microsoft and Marriott International.

  • Learn how to positively impact employees with disabilities in “Ready, Set, Hire!” by Jessica Rafuse, Senior Program Manager for NGO Engagement within the Office of the Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft.
  • Learn how to create a more sustainable future in “My Actions To Achieve a More Sustainable Future” by Jerome Tennille, Manager of Volunteerism at Marriott International.

Community Health Charities in the News

Check out our recent news coverage in Forbes, Thrive Global and more, including:

100 Years, 100 Ways to Celebrate Gratitude

2018 marked the 100-year anniversary for our company partner Liberty Diversified International (LDI). To complement their 100-year celebrations, CHC worked with LDI to engage employees with the campaign through fun and educational activities. Learn how we supported and provided expertise for LDI’s workplace giving experiences that raised more than $1 million to support national and local nonprofits, including several CHC partners.

Join BBB Wise Giving Alliance “The Future of Giving” Webinar  

BBB’s Give.org hosts a series of charity industry best practices webinars. The next installment will be on the Future of Giving and will take place on May 30 at 3:00 pm ET. This conversation will feature ideas42, to discuss the gap between donors’ intentions to give and their actual giving behavior. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ideas42 partners with leaders in philanthropy to develop and test behavioral solutions aimed at improving the giving process. On this webinar, ideas42 executives share their insights on solutions that can be utilized to close the giving gap.

Register today and take advantage of this exclusive conversation only being extended to Give.org Seal Holders and CHC partners.

Last year marked the 100-year anniversary for Liberty Diversified International (LDI), a Minnesota-based manufacturer of packaging, office furniture, and building products with facilities across the nation. The spirit of community and gratitude embedded in the company’s culture of caring was the focus of their 100-year anniversary activities, including their workplace giving campaign.

To kick off the giving campaign, Community Health Charities (CHC) visited LDI’s headquarters in New Hope, Minnesota, to highlight partner charities and thank the company and its employees for their continued commitment to share their success with the community. The company also held mini-kick-offs for the various shifts at each of their locations.

As a complement to their 100-year celebrations, CHC created a 100 Ways to Celebrate Gratitude Through Well-Being Guide for LDI employees. This guide empowered employees to further engage with the campaign through fun and educational activities that highlighted paying it forward. Each of the fourteen weeks focused on a different cause, such as physical fitness, financial fitness, mental health, children’s health, and more.

In addition to the workplace giving campaign, company executives and advisory board members also celebrated by embarking on the Great Gratitude Tour, a 19-day journey that stopped in 17 communities where LDI employees live and work. Each stop of the tour featured thank-you events, activities and donations amounting to more than $1 million to national and local nonprofits, including several CHC partners.

“We’re lighting the torch for the next 100 years, by working to inspire people across the country to share their gratitude, do good for others and get involved in their communities,” said Mike Fiterman, chairman of the board of LDI and grandson of the company’s founder. “We are a company born from gratitude. It’s a core part of who we are that continues to this day.”

Employees are also encouraged to engage with the community year-round and are provided eight hours of pay a year for volunteering during the work day.

“The well-being of our communities is important to us, and we believe it is our responsibility to contribute to their growth and vitality,” said Fiterman. “At LDI, we do our best to make the communities in which we live and work just a little better. And we encourage our employees to do the same by donating what they can, whether its dollars, cans of soup, hats and mittens, or that most precious of commodities – their time.”

For ideas to engage your employees or launch your own gratitude movement, contact us at [email protected].

Did you know approximately 122 million calls are made on Mother’s Day – more than any other day of the year?

May 12 will be here sooner than you know it, how will you celebrate and show appreciation to the woman who gave you life?

Traditionally, most families would either buy their mother’s flowers, provide breakfast in bed or take mom to a nice restaurant. However, last year our CEO, Thomas Bognnano, encouraged our readers to start a new tradition for Mom – a healthy one.

In case you weren’t aware, heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are among the leading health causes of death for women in the United States—and the most preventable.

So, make health a priority for both you and mom in time for Mother’s Day, and year-round. Below are simple ways to incorporate health and fun in time for the big day.

  • Support women’s health: Donate to an organization that support mothers and children in need or another charitable cause close to Mom’s heart.
  • Take morning walks or afternoon walks: Encourage mom to go on walks instead of just sitting.
  • Volunteer your time: Encourage and the who family to participate in a community service project and let Mom know you are taking action in her honor.
  • Give healthy gifts: Consider purchasing Mom a fruit bouquet or pedometer.
  • Cook healthy meals: Consider creating healthier versions of your family’s favorite recipes, cooking healthier meals or start a small family garden.

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

A recently released study of 140 U.S. companies found that those who embrace best practices for employing and supporting more persons with disabilities in their workforce outperform their peers. These companies are not merely compliant or acting out of perceived obligation, but are excitedly embracing the advantages that come with employing more creative, industrious and well-rounded people.

Making a positive impact on the unemployment and underemployment rates for people with disabilities, however, is a challenge that requires a collaborative effort.

Last November, Microsoft gathered experts and influencers from over 75 different organizations from across the Seattle-area for the second annual Microsoft DisAbility Employment Symposium. The event generated discussion on common challenges, lessons learned, and innovation in disability employment. We celebrated people with disabilities and committed to our ongoing efforts towards inclusion.

Below are three steps your company can take to continue the journey to positively impact disability employment.

 1. GET READY: Nurture a culture of inclusion

Celebrating people with disabilities within your organization will ignite a sense of disability pride that results in a more inclusive and productive workplace. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Recognize Talent: People with disabilities are an asset to the workplace. From innovation to troubleshooting to project management skills, each individual with a disability brings with them a unique set of skills that they have honed as a result of their disabilities. Remember that 70% of disabilities are non-apparent, so you likely have someone with a disability in your workplace today who is already adding value to the team.
  • Create opportunity for connection: To build a culture you first need to build a community. Our Disability Employee Resource Group is a long standing group of employees, who have helped to define disability inclusion at Microsoft. If you are looking for a first step in this journey, start here. Just a few passionate employees with common experiences can support your business in the creation of truly inclusive culture.

2. GET SET: Invest in accessibility

Embedding accessibility into the fabric of your company is key to recruiting and retaining talent with disabilities:

  • Be creative, be frugal, and be resourceful. “Investment” does not always mean “budget” allocation. Utilize resources that are available for free on public platforms. For example, watch Introduction to Disability and Inclusion to learn the basics, and educate your colleagues by using Microsoft Accessibility Training Resources particularly our At a Glance series, which provides bite-sized accessibility trainings.
  • Leverage technology to empower people with disabilities. The role of technology is indisputable in empowering all people, including people with disabilities. From accessible career websites to assistive technologies like screen readers (e.g., Narrator and JAWS) for people who are Blind or Low Vision, accessible technology can make your company more attractive to talent with disabilities. As an individual, you also have a role in making your workplace more accessible with a few simple tricks. Try using the Accessibility Checker before sending an email or turn on Translator within PowerPoint during your next meeting. If you want to know more about accessibility features check out our Accessibility Feature Sway and at the Microsoft Accessibility Site.
  • Accessibility in all levels of your company. Senior leaders are immensely influential as accessibility champions. Ignite your leader’s passion for accessibility by sharing personal stories about how your company’s business has positively impacted the lives of people with disabilities. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella provides six accessibility feature demos: Inclusive Presentations, Seeing AI, Xbox Adaptive Controller, Learning Tools, Soundscape, and Eye Control.

3. HIRE: Hire someone with a disability today!

While nurturing your company culture and integrating accessibility into all that you do, actively seek candidates with disabilities to join in your journey. People with disabilities are just the problem solvers you need to provide feedback on your efforts as you strive for improvement.

  • Transparency in recruiting: candidates appreciate transparency in your company’s inclusion efforts and clear timelines on the accessibility journey. For hiring managers, open communication is key to confront bias and to allow for discussion around your company’s policies for workplace accommodations and benefits.
  • Identifying gaps: partner with your internal talent acquisition team, HR, legal, or other stakeholders to understand the process for working with candidates with disabilities. Ensure that your organization has a process for soliciting and responding to requests for accommodations. Offer trainings to all members of a recruiting ecosystem and co-create resource guides that are specific to your business. Don’t wait for the processes and  policies to be perfect.
  • Resources abound: check out the Disability Equality Index (DEI), which serves as an neutral benchmarking tool to evaluate, measure, and improve your company’s disability inclusion efforts. We are sharing even more of our learnings through our Disability Inclusion Sway and the Microsoft Inclusive Hiring Site.

Above all, be curious, be bold, and be collaborative. Hire someone with disabilities and they will guide you along the way.

Jessica Rafuse is the Senior Program Manager for NGO Engagement within the Office of the Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft. Jessica is responsible for Microsoft’s strategic engagement with organizations that focus on people with disabilities and accessibility. Jessica holds a position on the Board of Directors for Disability Rights Washington.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.

There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis, and access to appropriate services lead to improved outcomes.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, be sure to learn the signs and help promote autism awareness.

Signs of Autism?

One of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of autism:

  • By 6 months:
    • Few or no big smiles or other warm, joyful and engaging expressions
    • Limited or no eye contact
  • By 9 months:
    • Little or no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions
  • By 12 months:
    • Little or no babbling
    • Little or no back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving
    • Little or no response to name
  • Any age:
    • Delayed learning of language
    • Difficulty holding a conversation
    • Poor motor skills
    • Repetitive actions or routines
    • Difficulty accepting change
    • Not understanding how to play or socially interact with others
    • Challenging behaviors involving sudden mood swings or aggression
    • Hypersensitivity to sounds or textures
    • Problems with eating and sleeping
    • Difficulty understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings

CHC invites YOU to help raise awareness by sharing our Autism Spectrum Disorder Resources, which provides access to autism tool kits, employment information, advocacy opportunities, support groups, and more.

CHC Board Vice Chair Joins NBA Cavaliers

Join us in congratulating Community Health Charities Board Vice Chair Kevin Clayton on his new role as vice president of diversity, inclusion and engagement for the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers. Read more about his exciting new opportunity.

Raising $8 Million in 6 Years, the Heart of San Francisco Beats Strong 

Working closely together for 30 years, Community Health Charities successfully streamlined the City and County of San Francisco’s “Heart of the City” Combined Charities Campaign and aided their ability to capture and easily access campaign data this year. We also provided support and expertise after encouraging a campaign extension to include a #GivingTuesday blitz that raised $50,000 in a few hours. Read more on how we partnered with the City, and helped them raise more than $8 million for charitable organizations over the last six years through this annual fundraiser.

CSR Pros: Network and Learn in NYC

Join The Coca-Cola Company, NBCUniversal, ExxonMobil, Best Buy, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Marriott International, Fossil and more at the 18th annual [email protected] Employee Engagement Summit June 12-13 in Times Square. CHC is once again leading this event which draws hundreds of corporate social responsibility and employee engagement practitioners from across the country. Topics include a shark tank to tackle your toughest challenges like increasing participation or measuring impact; aligning employee resources groups with social activism; the new frontiers in diversity and inclusion; and more. Register before April 30 to save $100 with code EARLYBIRD19: www.charitiesatwork.org.

Why Earth Day Is More Than Just a Day

Earth Day may be celebrated on April 22 but the activities you participate in on that day can help the world year-round. Check out our latest blog, “Why Earth Day Is More Than Just a Day,” to learn some earth friendly tips plus how the environment impacts your health.

How Will You Celebrate Volunteer Week

This week officially kicks off National Volunteer Week. If you’re still in need of volunteer ideas, check out our Volunteer On the Spot Guide for quick and impactful ideas. You can also visit our volunteer portal to find opportunities in your own community.

A CDC study revealed that excessive alcohol consumption was responsible for the death of almost 1 in 10 U.S. adults between the ages of 20 and 64. This means that approximately 88,000 lives are a lost to excessive alcohol use every year.

In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, this April, Community Health Charities invites you to help us raise awareness. Below are facts and links to resources you can share to help empower individuals to lead healthier lives.

Alcoholism impacts physical health in a variety of ways:

  • Brain: Alcohol impacts the brain’s communication pathways, changing the user’s mood, behavior, decision-making, and coordination
  • Heart: Heavy use of alcohol, whether over time or once, can damage the heart and lead to high blood pressure and stroke
  • Pancreas: Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can lead to pancreatitis
  • Immune System: Chronic drinking weakens the user’s immune system, making them more likely to contract diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis
  • Kidney: Alcohol can cause changes in the function of the kidneys, making them less able to filter your blood and potentially leading to kidney and/or liver disease
  • Cancer: Clear patterns have emerged between alcohol consumption and the development of head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer

For more in-depth information on how alcoholism can impact your physical health, visit our kidney disease or addiction resources.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Community Health Charities is empowering individuals to take action by raising awareness about the signs of sexual assault.

The 2015 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) reports that more than 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 4 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact at some point in their lives.

Victims of sexual assault or sexual violence may demonstrate the following behaviors:

  • Signs of depression
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Anxiety about places or situations that were not present in the past
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Changes in self-care, such as paying less attention to hygiene and appearance
  • Increase in alcohol or drug use

Since sexual assault and violence a can lead to short and long-term physical and mental health problems, check out our mental health resources for access to hotlines, programs, and more.

Monday, April 22, is Earth Day, a global day of activism in support of environmental protection. According to the Earth Day Network, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year.

Participating in Earth Day activities helps protect our environment, but did you know it protects your health as well?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that the environment can directly affect our health and wellbeing. Whether it is air or water quality, pesticide use, or sun safety, our bodies and minds are impacted by the environment.

For example, our partners at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America state, warmer temperatures in the U.S. have extended the pollen season 11 to 27 days longer since 1995.

Not to mention, the American Lung Association suggests that drought, wildfires, heat, flooding, pollution—the effects of climate change—already create serious threats to lung health.

Ways to Make an Impact this Earth Day and Year Round

  • Consider carpooling or catching public transportation for a smaller carbon impact
  • Visit our Volunteer portal to find opportunities help clean your community
  • Donate to one of our causes that support those living in communities who can’t afford clean water or those recovering from a crisis.
  • Plant a tree and start garden in your community
  • Start recycling at home and in your office
  • Switching to CFL or LED bulbs, which has a great impact on energy use

Community Health Charities is celebrating a 30-year partnership with the City and County of San Francisco (City) and their annual “Heart of the City” Combined Charities Campaign. Working closely together, Community Health Charities successfully streamlined the campaign process for the City and aided their ability to capture and easily access campaign data this year.

More than 15 percent of the City’s 33,000 employees participated in the annual workplace giving campaign, surpassing the $1.4 million goal. Plus, 22 percent of donors gave more than $500, raising 62 percent of the campaign total.

Scheduled to end mid-November, the campaign was $200,000 shy of the $1.4 million goal. Community Health Charities worked with the City to prolong the campaign through #GivingTuesday and helped create an email blast to all employees announcing the extension and offering ways to participate in the global day of giving. Within a few hours on #GivingTuesday, the campaign raised $50,000 and secured enough donations over the next few days to surpass the campaign goal.

The workplace giving campaign offered employees the chance to win donated items including a San Francisco 49ers Kyle Juszczyk Limited Edition Football, Peet’s coffee cards from San Francisco Municipal Executive Association, general admission passes to the San Francisco Zoo, a Sheriff’s K-9 Unit experience, and a tour of the dome at City Hall. A full list of the drawing results is available here.

“I am honored to have chaired the campaign this year. I appreciate the thousands of employees who serve our residents, visitors, and businesses and proudly give back to communities both locally and globally,” said 2018 Combined Charities Campaign Chair and Director of People, Performance, and Development at the San Francisco International Airport Linda Yeung. “It was a great pleasure and wonderful experience working with Community Health Charities. Their partnership enabled us to deliver positive changes to the campaign process that aided in reaching our $1.4 million goal.”

Employees have donated more than $8 million for charitable organizations over the last six years through this annual fundraiser.

Pictured: Community Health Charities Development Manager Krystie Scull and 2018 Campaign Chair and Director of People, Performance, and Development at the San Francisco International Airport Linda Yeung

Did you know that colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer? It’s also one of the most treatable cancers if caught early.

March is National Colorectal Awareness Month and CHC wants to help raise awareness year-round.  According to the American Cancer Society, Colorectal Cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., and on the rise for those 50 and under. Screening is key to preventing colorectal cancer, check for these signs and symptoms:

  • Rectal bleeding, dark or black stool
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Narrowing of stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort (cramps, gas, pain, or feeling bloated)
  • Anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • If you have Crohn’s, Colitis or IBS, you are at a high risk

Visit our cancer resources for additional information on how to reduce your risk, support programs for patients and caregivers and more.

Experts Discuss the Future of Workforce and Community Health

Community Health Charities recently held an invitation-only event in Atlanta, hosted by The Coca-Cola Company, for leading companies and organizations to discuss programs and projects that are seeing results and tangibly improving  workforce health and community resilience. Speakers included The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron, Georgia Health Policy Center, PARTNERS for Equity in Child and Adolescent Health, and Black Women’s Health Imperative. Read more.

Save Your Seat for the 18th Annual [email protected] Summit

Community Health Charities is once again leading the CSR event of the year for corporate citizenship and employee engagement professionals on June 12-13, in New York City. This year’s themes include storytelling and demonstrating impact, harnessing employee activism, the latest trends in employee engagement, the new frontiers of diversity and inclusion, and more. Register before April 30 to receive the early bird discount with code “EARLYBIRD19.” Save your seat today!

Community Health Charities in the News

Check out our recent news coverage in the Forbes, Fast Company and more, including:

JAXPORT Increases Employee Participation in Giving Campaign 

Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) celebrated a 30 percent increase in employee participation in their 2018 Giving Campaign and recently presented Community Health Charities and other community partners with a check for more than $34,500. For more than 15 years, JAXPORT and its employees have donated nearly $660,000 to support good causes in Northeast Florida. Find out more.

Rococo Spreads the Love

Chef Bruce Rinehart’s Oklahoma restaurants, Rococo and The Manhattan OKC, recently launched a year-long partnership with Community Health Charities through their “Share the Love” campaign, which raises awareness and funds for local charities and features a different CHC partner every month. Read the full release.

Get a Head Start on Your Next Campaign Season

It’s never too early to start planning your goals for the next campaign season. Make this year’s workplace giving campaign the most successful one yet by checking out our Goal Setting Guide to get your mind on the right track. Let this guide help you every step of the way and get your team excited about the upcoming campaign.

Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), a full-service, international trade seaport in Northeast Florida, just celebrated  a 30 percent increase in employee participation in their 2018 Giving Campaign.

Recently, JAXPORT presented Community Health Charities and other community partners with a check for more than $34,500.

This year’s campaign marked a change in campaign leadership, and to encourage employee participation, JAXPORT held a drawing for Universal Studio tickets and Visa gift cards.

The company also hosted a Thanksgiving Feast for employees, conducted their sixth annual golf tournament at Hidden Hills Country Club, and offered participating employees with a “Jeans Week” to wear jeans to work.

“JAXPORT conducts this annual campaign to give our employees the opportunity to donate to health causes that resonate with them personally,” said Justin Damiano, JAXPORT’s Director of Government Affairs and 2018 campaign chair. “Their participation in this year’s campaign is evidence of the generosity of our employees, and of the heart they have for our community.”

For more than 15 years, JAXPORT and its employees have partnered with Community Health Charities and other nonprofit partners to raise awareness and resources for health and wellness. During that time, JAXPORT and its employees have donated nearly $660,000 to support good causes in  Northeast Florida.

Community Health Charities recently held an invitation-only event hosted by The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta to discuss local workforce health and community resilience and initiate solutions-oriented conversations.

Dr. Arti Aurora, Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company, welcomed guests and spoke to the company’s focus on offering healthy beverage options.  “Ensuring we are building healthy communities is very important to us,” said Dr. Aurora. “We collaborate with more than 400 companies in the metro-Atlanta region because we believe in the power of working together in partnerships to invest in our community.”

Keynote speaker Karen Minyard, CEO, Department of Public Management and Policy, Georgia Health Policy Center, shared data proving zip code is often the biggest predictor of health status in the Atlanta region. She offered recommendations and implementation strategies for local businesses and others to collaboratively improve healthcare quality, access, and affordability, demonstrating clear return on investment in reduced healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism and improved productivity.

A panel discussion, moderated by Linda Blount, CEO of Black Women’s Health Imperative and Community Health Charities board secretary, followed the keynote presentation and offered additional promising practices and an exchange of ideas on how companies can work together with health and community leaders to improve health outcomes for current and future employees.

“As a global community, companies need to come together to find a way to approach health that is consistent,” said Panelist Alex Cunningham, senior advisor for Chevron and Community Health Charities board member. “In the past, companies focused on direct costs and not on having happy, healthy workers. Today, we need to create cultures of health that leverage technology to allow people to work in ways that positively impact their overall health and wellbeing.”

Dr. Veda Johnson, Marcus Professor in General Academics and Pediatrics/Director for PARTNERS for Equity in Child and Adolescent Health focused on the importance of children’s health during the panel. “Every child who comes in to this world has the capacity to change the world,” said Dr. Johnson. “They are the legacy we leave behind and we need to invest more in them starting from birth if we expect them to be an effective workforce.”

Cynthia Rolfe, Vice President of Brand Strategy at Blue Cross Blue Shield (retired) and Community Health Charities board chair, thanked the presenters and the Coca-Cola company for hosting the event.

For more than 60 years, Community Health Charities has been raising awareness and resources for health, working with companies and organizations to build stronger, healthier communities. In 2019 and beyond, we’re focusing on improving the resilience and health of communities across the U.S., focused on addressing the root causes – social, economic, and environmental factors – that impact health. To learn more, contact Amanda Ponzar.

« 1 of 10 »