Whether you’re attending a holiday potluck or cooking for family gatherings, it’s often hard to make the meal healthy. Check out these crowd-pleasing healthy recipes from our nonprofit partners American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, plus the Mayo Clinic.


Avocado Blueberry Muffins – substitute avocado for the butter or oil for a scrumptious breakfast muffin

Banana Bread Smoothie – whether as a breakfast treat or a dessert, the oats in this recipe are healthy for your heart

Breakfast Burritos – a low-cal version that uses an unusual ingredient we guarantee you already have in your pantry to make light, fluffy scrambled eggs

Cauliflower Quiche – your guests will never know about the hidden main ingredient in this recipe

Greek Frittata – a Mediterranean flavor infused brunch recipe you can make in a slow cooker

Morning Glory Muffins – using whole-wheat flour and applesauce, this recipe packs warm flavors

Popovers – this four-ingredient breakfast treat is quick and easy to customize with toppings such as salsa, avocados, pico, and cheese

Pumpkin Oat Muffins – low in fat and loaded with vitamin A and fiber, pumpkins are good for more than just fall decor

Sliced Fruit with Honey-Vanilla Yogurt Dip – any fruit can be dunked into this American, no-cook yogurt dip

Steamed Pumpkin Bread – a moist and delicious update to the traditional steamed brown bread recipe


Caprese Kebabs – an easy appetizer that combines the colors of the season: red cherry tomatoes, green basil, and white mozzarella

Creamy Spinach Feta Dip – a lighter, heart-healthy version of the favorite dip sure to change the mind of any spinach “disliker”

Crunchy Cucumber-Dill Salad – this dish provides a refreshing option that doesn’t weigh you down

Festive Tuna Roll-Ups – Bright red and green pepper rings dress up this easy appetizer

Ginger-Pumpkin Bisque – This recipe adds richness without the fat of heavy cream


Acorn Squash Wedges with Walnuts – this slow cook recipe incorporates a brown sugar and walnut sauce that makes “browning” simple

Baked Mushroom Mac-n-Cheese – create this comfort food staple with a healthy twist

Cauliflower Mash – this side tastes so much like mashed potatoes that no one but you will know the truth

Creole-Style Black-Eyed Peas – It’s believed black eyed peas bring good fortune when eaten on New Year’s Eve; the beans in this dish are an excellent source of folate and fortune!

Green Bean Casserole – this recipe includes a homemade white sauce instead of canned cream of mushroom soup, which cuts the sodium significantly without sacrificing flavor

Maple Syrup-Glazed Sweet Potato Casserole – slash the calories of this classic dish by incorporating whipped egg whites for a light and healthy side

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower – add crunch to your meal with this flavorful and eye-pleasing dish

Simple Squash Salad – a light dish you can serve hot or cold


Curried Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Chutney – the sweet and tart cranberries add a seasonal twist to this holiday meal

Festive Turkey Rice Salad – use your leftover turkey to make this quick, two-step meal

Herb-rubbed Turkey Au Jus – instead of adding butter to the turkey and serving it with gravy, this healthy version is complemented with an herbal run and a flavorful au jus

Mom’s Roasted Turkey with Butternut Squash and Asparagus

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Salsa – pineapples, cranberries and cinnamon combine in a tangy salsa that great’s for winter holidays

Orange-Rosemary Roasted Chicken – The piney flavor of fresh rosemary makes for a festive addition

Turkey Medallions with Sweet Potato-Walnut Mash – a festive one-skillet dinner that’s delicious any time of year and easy enough for a weeknight


Apple Bread Pudding – whole grain bread, apples and cinnamon make a sweet dessert that is healthy too!

Baked Apples and Pears with Almonds – this dessert uses honey and fruit to satisfy any sweet cravings without the guilt

Baked Sweet Potatoes and Apples – this warm seasonal recipe makes a great breakfast dish, side dish, or dessert

Cheese Latkes – top this dessert with fresh fruit for a healthy and warm end of meal treat

Honey and Spiced Pears – a delicate and easy dessert using seasonal fruit

Fruited Rice Pudding – make this protein-packed dessert ahead of time, refrigerate and serve cold or serve it straight from the oven and warm

Mint-Chocolate Meringue Cookies – bite-size cookies bursting with flavor you would never guess were low in calories and fat

Read more about how our nonprofit partners are making a difference in communities across the nation here. Feel moved to act? You can celebrate the season and give the gift of hope by donating today.

At a recent speech I was asked about the role of sponsorship in women’s career paths. I responded that I considered it a moral imperative to sponsor other women and for leaders to mentor those who may not know where to find a helping hand.

It was an incomplete answer. It didn’t really do justice to why sponsorship profoundly matters or how to advance it. So I’m suffering a bit with “l’esprit de l’escalier” or “staircase wit” – when the right riposte fails you at the party, only to occur to you as you’re leaving the building. The speech is long over. But I have heartfelt feelings about this question, and so I thought I’d answer it more fully here.

There is a universality in connecting to each other through our stories. Sharing our stories binds us, builds trust and – if we are fortunate – allows us to collectively apply our diverse experience to accomplish great work.

Joseph Campbell, the late scholar of comparative mythology and religion, believed we all share the story of a hero’s journey, which has hallmarks that appear in everything from ancient myths to Star Wars: a call to adventure, a mentor, a series of tests leading to a great ordeal, a reward and a path back that allows the hero to help others.

Early in what Campbell calls the “monomyth,” a person is called to adventure but wavers at the prospect. Then a mentor appears — maybe it’s Yoda, a fairy godmother or some kind of guide or teacher. At this critical point in the story, as the veteran story consultant Christopher Vogler puts it: “Sometimes the mentor is required to give the hero a swift kick in the pants to get the adventure going.”

By this description, the mentor is truly a sponsor. If mentors advise you and sponsors advocate for you, then it’s the sponsor who pushes you to boldly answer the call. Many adventures would not happen – or would unfold more meekly – without that person. Whoever you are, wherever you are, we’re connected to this truth: a sponsor can fundamentally transform your journey.

There is ample data to support this idea for women in particular. Women in the Workplace, a joint initiative between LeanIn.Org and McKinsey, recently studied the gender-parity gap in my field of financial services.  Here’s the issue: In North America, women represent half of the entry level workforce in the industry but only one in five C-suite roles. A critical way to change that? Sponsorship, according to a survey of 14,000 employees at nearly 40 financial services companies as well as conversations with the small number of women at the top.

An overview of the research notes the important correlation in career advancement and receiving advice from senior leaders, which, unfortunately, early-tenure women are receiving less of than their male peers.

Kathleen Murphy, President of Fidelity Personal Investing, acknowledged the ease at which men, in general, take career risks for the reward of advancement and warns that the cumulative effect of career-long conservatism “is that you aren’t going to advance nearly as much as the person who takes risks.”

In other words, we sometimes hesitate to make a great leap because it can appear daunting. We fall prey to the pitfall of comparison, causing us to pass on the bigger opportunities.

Jacqueline Molnar, Chief Compliance Officer of Western Union, explained in the study how a sponsor jumpstarted her adventure: “When I was in my twenties, I had what I call a ‘first believer’—a man who said, ‘Why don’t you apply for this principalship?’ I had excluded myself in the typical way: ‘I’m too young. I haven’t done this before. I only hit seven and a half of the ten requirements.’ Having had that sponsorship, particularly by a man, was profound for me.”

Sponsors at work – of any gender – are like those of the monomyth, preparing our hero for the unknown. They, along with role models, help women see how they can succeed.

The McKinsey/LeanIn study concludes by urging companies to establish formal sponsorship for women. I agree and believe sponsorship programs are important not just for women but for all of us. They’re critical to promoting all forms of diversity.

I would add to these recommendations a personal commitment to serve as a sponsor. I can’t think of a higher calling than being the helping hand to an adrift adventurer. I want to do more for the many heroes among us who are wondering how to find their own ways onward and upward. Too many of them do not get the opportunity to be written into the universal story, but they should. They must. I am dead certain we’ll get to a better ending if they do.


Katya Andresen, SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One

Imagine that a vicious competitor secretly installed an evil device in your company’s lobby. Without workers knowing, the contraption zaps away half their motivation and productivity. Perky people approach the building, but wilted workers arrive at your meeting.

Guess what? If your company is like most, that nasty demotivating device is already firmly installed. According to research by Georgetown University’s Christine Porath, it has zapped 98 percent of workers.

Don’t, however, look for a science-fiction gizmo in the rafters. Look at your work culture. With its hard edges and intolerance for inefficiency, today’s dominant work culture is sterile and cold. Workers are not comfortable caring for others or even expressing concern for human suffering. A central part of their personality, their Inner Giver, is exiled from their place of work. Without the softening influence of Inner Givers, workplace rudeness is acceptable because it’s direct and efficient; meetings might be harsh but decisions are timely; and employees rarely stray from their assigned tasks. This might sound productive, but it’s not.

A work culture devoid of kindness makes workers feel emotionally unsafe and, thus, triggers their evolutionary response to danger. Their nervous systems secrete cortisol. This “stress hormone,” as it’s known, awakens the part of their personality that protects – using violence if needed – the self. It unleashes the Inner Egotist. You’re now left trying to manage a team of frightened individuals chemically predisposed to hurt each other. Porath studied 800 managers and employees in 17 industries and found that performance dropped in 66% of workers experiencing incivility, as she calls a culture overrun by Inner Egotists.

Fortunately, putting a small crack in an uncivil culture is usually enough for a few courageous workers to unleash their Inner Givers. Their example, in turn, makes it safe for a few others to follow. Before you know it, Inner Givers run your workplace, Inner Egotists are mostly exiled and you suddenly enjoy your team.

The question, then, is how the heck do you crack open customary incivility so that workers’ buried benevolence can flourish?

The fix

With his angular jaw, tall shoulders and over-sized gestures, you might confuse Charles Antis for the tough superhero who appears in ads for Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, the company he founded. I, however, know better. I’ve seen Charles do something anathema to a superhero. I’ve seen him cry.

As CEO of Antis, Charles decided to reward one high-performing team member with a company-branded charitable gift card at every staff meeting. The winners direct the $25 donation to the charity of their choice and, at the following staff meeting, can share which cause they helped and why. Staff members talk about the high-school mentor who never gave up on them, about hospice caring for their dying mother and about a societal injustice they wish to vanquish. It is at these touching presentations that you can catch Charles wiping away tears.

Charles’ gift-card program is a brilliant example of the practice that restores humanity in uncivil cultures: structuring and modeling giving behaviors. First, Charles provides a space where employees can express their Inner Givers without taking a big risk or feeling awkward. Second, he models such expression.

Charles admits that, once upon a time, his workplace was uncivil. “People were looking over their shoulder. Dyads and triads would form and immediately fall apart because of generalized distrust.” Some urged him to catch and punish those who stole from the company, disrespected others and perpetrated other incivilities. On a hunch, Charles decided to do the exact opposite: try to “catch workers doing good” by instituting the giving-card program. It was an act of desperation but, to his delight, it worked. “I’m amazed that opening the door to simple kindness sweeps away workplace nastiness.” I can attest that today it’s hard to find nastiness at Antis.

For the record, Charles bristles at the suggestion that there’s any connection between him and heroism. If you’re mired in a miasmic culture, you might disagree. His workplace turnaround smacks of a superhuman feat. However, Charles is right. You, and all managers, can also soften your harsh culture. No superpower is needed, only the ordinary management practice of structuring and modeling giving behaviors. Oh, and you might also need a box of tissues.

Bea Boccalandro helps people mess with their jobs for good. Specifically, she increases the social impact of jobs and, therefore, makes work more enjoyable and fulfilling. “Job purposing,” as this practice is called, has been shown to heighten employee engagement, performance and wellbeing while making meaningful contributions to social causes.

Bea is founder and president of VeraWorks, a global firm that advises corporate boards and leadership on job purposing and that helps companies implement job purposing and measure its business and societal impact. Her clients include Aetna, Allstate, Bank of America, Caesars Entertainment, Disney, Eventbrite, FedEx, HP, IBM, Levi’s, PwC, TOMS Shoes and Toyota. Bea also conducts research and thought leadership on job purposing and corporate community involvement.

Her book, Do Good at Work, will come out in 2019 (Morgan James Publishing). Learn more at www.BeaBoccalandro.com.

When you were in school, did you have little tricks that you used on your papers to try to get a better grade?

Did you increase the margins, double space after periods and do little things to your font to help you reach that eight-page mark? Did you right click for synonyms to try making you seem smarter, more astute?

I did too. And there’s one secret I wish my English teachers would’ve told me much sooner: Your reader may be capable of reading at a higher level, but that doesn’t mean that they want to.

Plus, no one carries around a thesaurus in their back pocket… OK, we all do. It’s our phones. But, how often do you pull out your phone to look up a word you don’t know? (I got you on that one, didn’t I?)

If your readers don’t have to look up words, they will grasp your point faster and have a better chance of staying engaged.

In my role, I’m usually the first person to “edit” content. And, that content is always about a new program or initiative that a team of people has worked really hard on. Many of them work so hard on drafting their messaging and materials, they consider it their “baby”. They love it, they cherish it. Then, they package it up and send it over to me, hoping that I will smile and tell them it is beautiful.

Unfortunately, most of their babies are not as ready for the world as they think. Most of these partners are experts on the topic, and they may have studied it for 10 years. Most of the time, the drafts are written as though everyone is an expert on the topic. But, for those who did not study the topic over the last decade, it’s like trying to read a foreign language. That’s the key to crafting a message. You have to remember that your knowledge is not the same as your readers.

With newer writers, they may have a message that’s fairly simple to start with. Often, I get the feeling that the simplicity made them feel vulnerable and like they didn’t do enough. So, they move their mouse over those little words, right click and replace them with the bigger ones.

After I receive these drafts and we figure out their cascade plan (how the message will be delivered through the organization one level at a time), audience, what they are trying to solve for, etc., I start to read these messages and try to understand it from the perspective of the audience who are reading it for the first time. My goal is to translate what they are saying into efficient messages that our audience can easily understand and take action on…without investing valuable time trying to study it to comprehend it all.

My team works to make complex issues easier and cash in those dime-sized words for nickel-size words. But, we don’t all get a team of communicators to help with all the messages we send. So, my challenge to you is to be a clean writer. Write simply and clearly. Write in a way that you don’t limit your audience to just those with your level of understanding on a topic. And, for goodness’ sake, put away the thesaurus.

Romana Rolniak is a 10-year associate of Walmart, Inc. where she is currently responsible for communicating with 1.4 million U.S. store associates. Prior to the U.S. Communications team, she held several roles with the Walmart Foundation, where she supported volunteerism, workplace giving, communications and programs like Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Associates in Critical Need Trust. She led teams across the business to plan and execute giving campaigns and led the development of multiple comprehensive stakeholder recognition strategies and multi-year fundraising strategies. Between 2010 and 2015, Romana served on the United Way Global Corporate Leadership Advisory Council, representing the Foundation. Romana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of Arkansas.

Focus on fitness and family fun to stay happy and healthy this holiday season

It’s easy to hibernate and become a lonely coach potato, zoning out with electronics when it’s cold and dark outside. The kids can get bored during winter break and adults often skip exercise. Prevent cabin fever in your home and stay healthy and happy with these fun activities. Remember, The American Heart Association recommends at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate intensity physical activity every day.


  • Take a family walk to a park or playground or visit a new neighborhood
  • Build a snowman, make snow angels, or go sledding
  • Have a snowball fight, or hang a target in the tree and let children take aim with snowballs
  • Catch a parade or outdoor festival
  • Go ice skating
  • Volunteer to walk the dogs at your local animal shelter
  • Participate in winter sports (snow skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, etc.)
  • Go birdwatching; make your own birdfeeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed
  • Create a nature book by collecting twigs, leaves, and flowers on a winter hike; or iron leaves or flowers between waxed paper
  • Head to the zoo
  • Make snow castles using buckets and shovels from the summer months
  • Shovel an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway
  • Visit the local botanical gardens or other public park to view the holiday lights
  • Make snow paint out of water and food coloring to paint your yard
  • Go mini golfing
  • Take a family hike at a national park
  • Bundle up and run laps at your local track


  • Build a gingerbread house or make cookies
  • Go caroling at a nursing home
  • Declutter your home and collect gently used toys, household items and clothes to donate to charity
  • Make holiday cards for sick children, veterans, or the elderly (see our Volunteer on the Spot Guide for indoor volunteer activities)
  • Find volunteer opportunities near you
  • Donate food to a soup kitchen or food bank
  • Volunteer to pack holiday food baskets or sort food donations
  • Shop for children in need (backpacks, holiday gifts, etc.)
  • Tour local museums, aquariums, science centers, or other places with free or low-cost admission
  • Make fruit baskets or homemade bread and preserves/jelly for neighbors
  • Create a scavenger hunt around your home
  • Have a family dance-off or talent show in your living room
  • Do a workout video or fitness video game or try yoga or gentle stretching
  • Start an indoor garden
  • Fight the winter blues by journaling; make a gratitude list and write encouragement cards
  • Visit the local library, take part in story time and other activities, or volunteer to read to younger children
  • Do a puzzle together
  • Have a Lego or block building competition
  • Play board and card games like Uno, Sorry, Monopoly
  • Visit friends and family, set up play dates, or meet up for coffee
  • Visit indoor playgrounds, bounce houses, or trampoline parks
  • Cook together and experiment to make your favorite holiday recipes healthier
  • Play freeze tag, charades, hopscotch or Simon Says
  • Shoot hoops at your local recreation center, take an exercise class, or swim indoors
  • Use outdoor toys (jump ropes, hula hoops, balls, push toys, etc.) inside
  • Create an indoor obstacle course or play hide and seek (you can hide a stuffed animal as well)
  • Go roller skating or bowling as a family
  • Invest in an indoor mini basketball hoop, Nerf ping pong, pool table, or air hockey table
  • Use your imagination! Build and paint cardboard boxes to create spaceships, castles and more
  • Visit an indoor rock climbing facility
  • Join (or start) a book club; don’t forget the healthy snacks
  • Take an art class or learn a new craft every week
  • Be sure children get the sleep they need
  • Set step goals and compete as a team; reward meeting goal with a fun family outing
  • Do “winter cleaning” or chores together; kids often enjoy helping rake leaves, shovel snow, wash dishes, paint, vacuum, clean closets, etc.
  • Plan a fun overnight trip to an indoor water park or hotel with a pool (find a deal on Groupon or another discount site)

It’s easy to build stronger, healthier communities by supporting Community Health Charities on Giving Tuesday, this holiday season, and throughout the year.

Here are 5 ways you can help:

  • TWEET: Benevity is donating $100,000 this #GivingTuesday and will donate $10 to your favorite charity. On Tuesday, November 27, find the @benevity pinned tweet (Be the Good video) here, and retweet with a comment, mentioning @healthcharities with hashtag #BeTheGood. Example: “I want to #BeTheGood for @healthcharities.”
  • DOUBLE YOUR DONATION ON FACEBOOK: This #GivingTuesday, make a bigger impact by donating to Community Health Charities on Facebook on November 27 to receive the $7 million Facebook match — in just two easy steps!
    • Log in to Facebook at 8 AM ET tomorrow, visit Community Health Charities Facebook page, click the fundraiser “Donate” button, and select the amount you want to give. Or click here. After selecting your donation amount, select “Friends,” then click the green button to share. This will automatically post to your page and promote our #GivingTuesday efforts.
  • RUN A FACEBOOK FUNDRAISER. Want to make a bigger difference on Facebook? Create your own Fundraiser to support Community Health Charities on Giving Tuesday.
    • Select “Fundraisers” on the left side of the menu tab or click here. Then select “Raise Money.” You will be prompted to create your own Fundraiser. Keep selecting “Next” and it will automatically post to your page.
  • DONATE: Make a gift directly on our year-end holiday giving page to help children, women, and veterans.
  • SHOP: With Amazon smile, every order raises money for Community Health Charities. Just shop at smile.amazon.com.

For a step by step visual guide on the ways to give, click here.

When it comes to giving, there’s good news and bad news. The good news? Giving was up 5% in 2017, with Americans giving $410 billion to charities, according to Giving USA’s latest report.

The potentially bad news? The impact of tax reform is not yet known. With the standard deduction doubling from $12,000 to $24,000 for joint filers, many families may no longer be able to write off their charitable deductions. Will it matter? Will they give less? The jury is out. A possible bellwether could be that giving declined 2.4% in the first three months of 2018; this could be a fluke, or it could signal a downward trend.

What can you do to stay prepared and maximize giving? Read the full article on Forbes


KampCo Foods is committed to keeping it local while helping raise awareness and funds to give back. That’s why KampCo Foods partnered with Community Health Charities to build stronger, healthier communities during the upcoming year as a part of the KampCo Gives Back campaign.

KampCo locations provide Generosity Jars plus host monthly #KampCoGivesBack nights benefiting different nonprofits. These monthly fundraisers occur at all nine of KampCo’s locations across Oklahoma and Texas, which include five Johnny Carino’s restaurants and four Kamp 1910 Café diners.

“We have employees facing all kinds of health issues. As we look around at our employees and neighborhoods, and the communities around us, we see many needs,” said Randy Kamp, founder of KampCo. “We believe we have an obligation to use our resources to give back and we are excited to support such worthy causes and make a difference in our local communities.”

The company promotes a nonprofit or special cause each month and encourages employees and customers to get involved. Each location hosts a monthly Give Back Night where diners can donate as well.

KampCo kicked off the partnership in September by donating 10 percent of proceeds at all KampCo locations to Community Health Charities.

The company’s October Give Back Night benefited The American Cancer Society’s #Real Men Where Pink, and the Oklahoma City Chapter of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. All month long a portion of sales from every strawberry cupcake was donated to support Breast Cancer Awareness.

November’s charity, The Alzheimer’s Association of Oklahoma, is meaningful to the KampCo family. John Kamp, father of KampCo Foods founder Randy Kamp, suffered from Alzheimer’s prior to his passing on November 12, 2013. In memory of John, KampCo locations will donate proceeds from sales on November 12 to support the work to end Alzheimer’s.

Check out the press release for more.


*Pictured: KampCo Foods founder Randy Kamp

We’re proud to honor our United States service members, veterans, and their families. After serving our country, many are still fighting due to mental and physical health challenges. Veteran suicide rates are 1.5x higher than the general public, and 1.8x higher for veteran women. Approximately 20% of veterans have a service-connected disability. But our veterans don’t have to fight alone. We can help by providing support, resources, and healing, so our service members, veterans, and their families can thrive.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Give to our Hero’s Health cause fund to support paralyzed and seriously injured veterans; provide military families with free lodging close to loved ones hospitalized for an illness, disease, or injury; offer 24/7/365 peer support; and provide mental health services.
  • Share our Military and Veteran health resources—for crisis peer support, mental health warning signs, PTSD assistance or housing support, scholarships for military children, or to donate frequent flyer miles or hotel points.
  • Use our Volunteer on the Spot Guide to coordinate a volunteer event in your office. Write cards for veterans in hospitals, make snack packs for family members visiting their loved ones, or design your own event. You can also visit our volunteer locator to find volunteer opportunities by zip code and keyword.

For more information, check out media coverage and other news:

KampCo Restaurants Give Back

Nine KampCo locations across Oklahoma and Texas, including five Johnny Carino’s restaurants and four Kamp 1910 Café diners, are partnering with Community Health Charities and hosting Give Back Nights, encouraging customers to donate as they dine.

“We have employees facing all kinds of health issues. As we look around at our employees and neighborhoods, and the communities around us, we see many needs,” said Randy Kamp, founder of KampCo. “We believe we have an obligation to use our resources to give back and we are excited to support such worthy causes and make a difference in our local communities.”

KampCo will also donate 10% of proceeds at all locations for one night as part of their CHC campaign kickoff.


A recent survey of donors in the U.S. found that donors prefer larger, more recognizable nonprofits that provide health impact. Even though donors were not prompted with a list, 36% named a large charity, including ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the American Cancer Society.

Nearly 1 in 3 of those surveyed named a health-related charity, making health the number one supported cause


For the latest trends in CSR, check out our CEO Thomas G. Bognanno’s Forbes piece on how global corporate leaders are aligning social impact and employee engagement with business objectives.


Workplace giving, including the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), is alive and well. Our CEO Thomas G. Bognanno was recently quoted in a Federal Times article discussing the new digital direction of the CFC. “We are confident that as more charities and participants become familiar with the new system, CFC contributions will increase accordingly,” said Bognanno. Community Health Charities and our partners are the single largest recipients in the CFC, which has raised more than $8.3 billion since 1961.


Recently, Chesapeake Energy and its employees held a Chesapeake for Kids Week to raise funds for Community Health Charities, Special Olympics, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and Children’s Hospital Foundation Oklahoma. The week’s events culminated with a children’s movie night. Proceeds from donated concession items were contributed as part of Chesapeake’s CHC giving campaign, and children brought in their piggy banks to donate “Change for Change.” For more campaign special event ideas, check out our campaign tools playbook or contact us at [email protected].


Check out the latest articles in our CSR Center:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility: Making It Work for Your Organization’s Volunteer Program, including the webinar recording from Jerome Tennille, Marriott International.
  • Health Benefits of Volunteering for the Employee Volunteer by Jessica Jenkins, Realized Worth
  • Cultural Quantum Mechanics by Rebekah Bastian, Zillow Group
  • The Science Behind Why Employee Giving and Volunteering Works by Chris Jarvis, Realized Worth
  • Cross-Company Collaboration: Creating Regional Impact through Skills-Based Volunteering by Danielle Holly, Common Impact

To read these and other articles from Kimberly-Clark, Continuwell, and Wells Fargo, visit our CSR Center.

With more than 700 moms dying in childbirth and pregnancy this year, the U.S. is the most dangerous developed nation in which to give birth, with preterm birth rates on the rise. Join Community Health Charities to find out where your state ranks in the 2018 Premature Birth Report Card. Raise awareness by sharing these Facebook posts, turn your profile picture purple for world Prematurity Day on November 17, or show your support for #BlanketChange.

According to Nonprofit Tech for Good’s recent Giving Report, the donor community worldwide is made up primarily of women (65%) who have a liberal ideology (53%), characterize themselves as religious (72%), and give between $100-$1,000 annually (43%). Learn more about what donors find important here.

According to recent research, despite understanding the benefits of investing in CSR, company executives fail to do so because they have a positive ideological view on the market economy. In other words, good business will result in a good (read: morally driven) society. In order for CSRs to be successful, executives must become more sensitive to the social and environmental issues in their area (from both a geographical and corporate perspective). Read more

Chesapeake Energy, an oil and natural gas company headquartered in Oklahoma City, collaborates with local nonprofits to meet community needs and strengthen the places they call home. Currently, they have operation sites in six states: Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming.

Recently, Chesapeake Energy and its employees held a Chesapeake for Kids Week to raise funds for Community Health Charities, Special Olympics, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and Children’s Hospital Foundation Oklahoma. 

The week’s events culminated with a children’s movie night, watching Peter Rabbit. Proceeds from donated concession items were contributed as part of Chesapeake’s CHC giving campaign, and children brought in their piggy banks to donate “Change for Change.” 

These “give back” weeks continue throughout the year as a way to raise awareness and introduce employees to a variety of Community Health Charities partners.

Interested in hosting give back weeks or a similar event? Peruse our list of campaign special event ideas available in our campaign tools playbook or contact us at [email protected] to help you find one perfect for your company!

The Oklahoma City Dodgers, a Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, partnered with the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board and Community Health Charities to host American Indian Health Fund Night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on August 17, 2018. 

The baseball team provided tickets at a discounted rate and donated $2 from every game ticket sold to the American Indian Health Fund, a collaboration between the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board and CHC. Fans that attended received a free limited edition OKC Dodgers hat, game program and a post-game fireworks show. The fundraiser was so successful that the OKC Dodgers are already planning a repeat in 2019. 

“We consider ourselves an important community asset and we have 70 baseball games throughout every season that we try to identify groups of people that want to come out and have an enjoyable activity together,” said OKC Dodgers President and General Manager Michael Byrnes. “It’s interesting how everyone connects to the game of baseball.”

The Southern Plains Tribal Health Board is a nonprofit in Oklahoma City that acts as the unified voice for the 43 federally recognized tribes located in the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Community Health Charities raises awareness and financial resources for health and wellbeing. The American Indian Health Fund provides critical resources to improve the health of American Indians who are disproportionately affected by long-term health challenges that in many cases can be prevented. Read media coverage about the Fund launch or news and video  about the OKC Dodgers partnership. 

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 [email protected] now to find out more. For more information on these resources, or if you have questions, email [email protected] 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 [email protected] or call (800) 654-0845.

Here are some tips from Jerome Tennille, Marriott International’s Manager of Volunteerism, Culture, and Business Councils, to ensure that your nonprofit leverages volunteer efforts to build successful partnerships with companies:

  • If possible, avoid the unsustainable single day of service that most companies want because they are typically more of a time-burden for the organization the company is seeking to serve. Rather, volunteer programs should be turnkey and operations friendly.
  • Think longer-term and create something that is mission driven and includes the diversity of your corporate partners.
  • Do not ask for money when seeking volunteers from a company. Volunteer coordinators should only seek volunteers, not funds.
  • Understand the motivation of the company’s efforts and reconfigure your volunteer programs accordingly to accommodate the company.
  • Research before you engage to understand the company’s funding structure, philanthropic goals, and employee availability. If the information about the company isn’t readily available, ask!
  • Position volunteerism as a business solution that utilizes employee skills and helps solve business challenges.
  • Don’t force any opportunity that isn’t best for your organization or mutually beneficial. Volunteer engagement is vital, but don’t waste your time or theirs with projects that don’t make sense.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch the full recording here, or read “5  steps for successful corporate-nonprofit partnerships.”

There are many well-documented business benefits that spring from employee volunteering programs (EVPs). The CSR industry is becoming increasingly familiar with the value of EVPs, but there is another growing body of literature emerging about the benefits of EVPs for employees. As EVPs continue to evolve, companies need to start thinking harder about the WIIFM (“What’s iifor me) for the employee. You certainly can’t run an EVP without the “E.”

When a company asks employees to volunteer, there is a tendency to lean heavily on community impact as a benefit. Impact is certainly a benefit to the community, and a desired result. Yet, when it comes to the WIIFM, there are plenty of benefits to the individual that CSR practitioners can leverage to engage employees more effectively in volunteerism. One of the most significant benefits is the effect volunteering has on personal health and well-being.

A 2017 study by United Healthcare and Volunteer Match confirmed many findings over the last decade that demonstrate the mental, emotional and physical benefits of volunteering. The study found that, of respondents that volunteered in the last 12 months, 76% felt healthier, 94% felt it improved their moods, and 78% reported lowered stress levels. But let’s dig a little deeper into this – health and well-being come in many forms. We’ve plumbed the depths of our resources to give you a high-quality selection of the most relevant articles and information on the health benefits of volunteering. We hope you’ll share them with your employees!

I. Mental and Emotional Health

  • Happiness. A study from the London School of Economics found that the more you volunteer, the happier you are. Interestingly, researchers compared the difference in happiness levels of non-volunteers and weekly volunteers to that of those with a $20,000 annual salary compared to $75,000-100,000 annually, respectively. Impressive!
  • Decreased stress and anxiety. Meaningful connections to the beneficiary and other members of a volunteer community can reduce stress and anxiety. As discussed in Chris Jarvis’ Empathy in Motion, social contact and helping others can lead to the “Helper’s High,” working not only to decrease stress and anxiety, but increase happiness levels as well.
  • Individual fulfillment. If done correctly, volunteering is shown to increase a person’s self-confidence and sense of purpose. In turn, happiness levels and the ability to fight depression will increase. A boost in self-confidence becomes a ripple effect in a person’s ability to expand their social network and take on more leadership responsibility, which has shown to contribute to individual career development.
  • Career advancement. Expanding a volunteer’s social network and the development of new “on-the-job” skills can contribute to their career development. The 2016 Deloitte Impact Survey found that 80% of hiring influencers believed that employees who volunteer move into leadership roles more easily, and 82% of hiring influencers are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience. Assumedly, career advancement will have a positive effect on a person’s economic health, translating to better mental health up to a certain point.
  • Decreased risk of depression. The ability to combat depression with volunteering can be attributed to many of the benefits already listed. In addition to increased happiness levels and decreased stress and anxiety, a sense of purpose and a strong social support system are effective tools for fighting depression. The simple act of getting out of the house or office for physical activity is linked to fighting depression as well.

II. Physical and Physiological Health

  • Longevity. Volunteering can help you live longer, according to both a University of Exeter study and a CNCS study. This is largely due to many of the aforementioned mental and emotional benefits by way of decreasing stress, anxiety, depression and the associated physiological effects. Increased longevity is also due to the following physical benefits.
  • Decreased risk of hypertension. A 2013 study by Carnegie Mellon University found that volunteering can lower the risk of high blood pressure, specifically in volunteers over the age of 50. This age demographic remains a critical part of today’s workforce, and instilling healthy volunteering habits in millennials and generations in between will promote their heart health long-term, thereby decreasing the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Decreased back pain and obesity. Especially for employees whose work environment involves hours of sedentary desk-sitting, volunteering can get employees out of the house and office and promote physical activity. As a result, acute problems like back pain can be relieved, and obesity levels lowered.
  • Decreased risk of disease. The onset of diseased related to a sedentary lifestyle can be delayed or avoided through the exposure of physical activity and social interaction of volunteering. Studies have shown that diseases such as colon cancer, breast cancer and diabetes are more likely in people with sedentary lifestyles. Further, socially active lifestyles can result in the slowed progression of mental deteriorations, such as Alzheimer’s. The latter is due to the increased brain elasticity that can be achieved through regular social interaction and acts of service.
  • Increased use of preventative health care. According to a 2016 study in the Social Science & Medicine Journal, active volunteers are more likely to use preventative health care services including flu shots and cancer or disease screening. Harvard Health suggests that this

III. Leverage a Transformative Volunteering approach to maximize employee health benefits

A study from the University of Exeter found that although it is perceived that people tend to volunteer for altruistic reasons, if they do not feel they are getting something in return, then the positive health outcomes on volunteers are limited.

A Transformative Volunteering approach puts employees at the center of EVPs to ensure its benefits, such as health outcomes, are realized. Of course, the basic benefits of EVPs such as increased physical activity or the introduction to a social network will stand true for most EVPs.

However, there are elements of Transformative Volunteering that will allow volunteers to realize some of the more significant health benefits. For example, tactics used in Transformative Volunteering, such as including a disorienting dilemma during the brief and self-reflection in the debrief, provides the opportunity for volunteers to identify with a stronger sense of purpose. As the research shows, this is linked to higher levels of happiness and help fight depression.

Further, meeting volunteers at their highest level of contribution, whether that be as a Tourist, Traveler or Guide, will allow volunteers to continue developing skills that may translate to their workplace and aid in career advancement.

These are just a few examples of how Transformative Volunteering can strengthen the significant health benefits associated with traditional volunteering.

IV. Food for Thought

Positive health outcomes start with the employee volunteer—but don’t end there.

Employee volunteering, if done correctly, can kickstart a powerful cycle that promotes the health of not only the beneficiary and the employee volunteer, but also the employer and community at large—a whole other topic in itself.

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson [ Source]

Realized Worth offers consulting on employee volunteering and giving programs. We are a global agency that specializes in program design, employee volunteer training, and employee engagement. Contact us to learn more!

Jessica Jenkins, Project Manager at Realized Worth

Reprinted with permission.

I never thought quantum mechanics would teach me a lesson about the human experience, but it did.

When I was taking a physics class once, we spent a little time learning about Wave-Particle Duality. This is a quantum mechanics observation that light can be both a wave and a particle at the same time, depending on how it’s observed.

At the time, I didn’t think much of the theory beyond what I needed for the class. But flash forward 20 years, and I’m finding a new relevance in these observations. It was evident in my previous work on Zillow products, and then even more so as I moved into working with people and our corporate culture: Human experiences often behave in the same duality that light does, in that two opposing states can both be valid at the same time.

Understanding this is important because the way forward through tough problems requires the space for multiple experiences to exist, even when those experiences are conflicting. We need to be able to hear each other, understand opposite perspectives and then be as flexible as light in deciding the right state to adapt to. A few examples of this come to mind.

Love and fear

A mentor of mine shared with me the idea that there are only two emotions: love and fear. A single situation can play out so differently simply by switching between leading with love and leading with fear.

For example, as women in technology, we can trick ourselves into feeling fear that only a few women will make it through the ranks in such a male-dominated field and that we must compete with one another to get ahead. But in the same situation, we can lead with love and help one another along. When we do that, we realize that it’s not a zero-sum game after all, and we can go further together than we can alone.

Assuming intentions

Every interaction we have with someone results in a story that we tell ourselves about what happened and why. That story is our own perspective and can be guided by the intent that we assume in the other person. When we assume the worst intent — thinking that people have unjust motivations or are out to get us — relationships can dissolve, and collaborations can become ineffective. When we assume a person has good intentions, then even if we disagree with their perspective we are still able to move forward productively.

There is a saying, “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” And I believe that everyone is doing what they think is the right thing in a given situation, based on their priorities, beliefs and experiences. This belief system creates space for us to assume best intent, and that yields both stronger relationships and less self-doubt.

Meritocracy vs. equity

Meritocracy is a popular belief system, especially within the tech sector, that suggests rewards (such as opportunities, compensation and recognition) are directly tied to ability and performance. Equity is a growing focus in corporate America too — and a focus in my current role. Focusing on equity means that we are taking into account barriers, oppressions and opportunities that people have encountered then dedicating extra effort to bringing people up to a level playing field.

A colleague asked me recently how we can reconcile the narrative that these two concepts are mutually exclusive — that we need to either focus on rewarding the best and brightest or focus on creating equitable business practices. I believe the answer to this lies directly in this quantum mechanics metaphor. Not only is there space for both belief systems to exist at the same time, but it is necessary to honor both perspectives in order to bring everyone along. And, of course, the punchline is that in focusing on removing barriers and creating opportunities for those who have experienced oppressions, we do end up seeing better business results and celebrating highly skilled teams. Meritocracy and equity are the wave and particle of workplace values.

Once I started recognizing the dual nature of most problems and experiences, I started seeing and embracing those opposites everywhere. What used to cause me cognitive dissonance now provides new inspiration for creative solutions. We will always have our different experiences and perspectives, and embracing those differences will help us see the light (pun intended).


Rebekah Bastian is Vice President of Community & Culture at Zillow Group, leading efforts around Equity & Belonging, Social Impact Products and Cultural Engagement. Rebekah was one of Zillow’s first employees, coming over from Microsoft in 2005, and spent her first 12 years leading product development across many areas of the company.

Rebekah serves on the Board of Directors of Bellwether Housing and the Advisory Board for the University of Washington School of Mechanical Engineering. She is also an advisor to technology startups, a respected thought leader and community partner. She writes articles in multiple publications and is a frequent speaker at conferences and community events. She has been recognized in the Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40, the Inman 33 People Changing the Real Estate Industry and the Female Founders Alliance Champion Awards.

Rebekah earned her Master of Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley and Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. She is also a mentor, a mother to two boys and an aerial acrobat.


This post was originally featured here. Reprinted with permission.

Typical human resource theory and practice has suggested that the best way to strengthen employee commitment is through benefit packages that appeal to the individual’s self-interested motives to receive. New research is beginning to show that this is only half the story – and possibly not the most important half. 

Turns out the well-known phrase “it is better to give than to receive” is profoundly true when it comes to employee engagement.

Prosocial Sensemaking

Whether we are award of it or not, as employees, we are continually trying to answer the question, “Who am I within this organization?” This is a natural process that all people use to make sense of their experiences within a given context or organization.

Prosocial behavior is defined as: “A voluntary behavior intended to benefit another” and is usually expressed through acts of sharing, donating, and volunteering. These two concepts of prosocial behavior and sensemaking come together when companies launch employee giving and volunteering programs. Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School and author of the upcoming book “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success” suggests:

The act of giving to support programs strengthens employees’ affective commitment to their organization by enabling them to see themselves and the organization in more prosocial, caring terms.

This is a stunning assertion.

If Adam Grant and other researchers are correct, it means that the billions spent by corporations in typical HR benefit packages may not be enough. In fact, by comparison, the ROI of these benefits may be less than those of a robust workplace giving and volunteering program at a fraction of the cost.

 It’s about the brain; not the wallet.

In a recent article, “The Neuroevolution of Empathy” published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, author Jean Decety conducted research that clearly demonstrated that:

The fronto-mesolimbic reward network is engaged to the same extent when individuals receive monetary rewards and when they freely choose to donate money to charitable organizations.

Decety found through behavioral and functional neuroimaging studies that prosocial actions release dopamine and make us feel good (we’ve written about this effect before). What is most fascinating about Decety’s work is that she is able to offer an explanation why our brains are hard-wired to reinforce prosocial behaviors such as giving and volunteering.

Turns out it has been a survival tactic among humans for millennium. Obviously, we are instinctively set to look after our offspring and immediate family members, but the groups of people and cultures that thrived throughout history are those that expanded their care-taking beyond their own family unit. Those who stayed primarily focused on family at the expense of others in the immediate group failed.

Which means that today, we have evolved to the point where nearly all of us are capable of choosing prosocial behavior, even when it means the wallet takes a hit.

The ROI of Prosocial Behavior

Given our predisposition to care for others, we value cultures and organizations where this is our experience as well. Nobody wants to feel like they are a ‘means to an end’ or just a ‘cog in the wheel’. Instead, we desire to know we matter and will be cared for in an ethical and just way. Equally important, we desire to be a part of groups that allow us to demonstrate our commitment to care and act justly toward others.

When companies offer their employees space to act in a prosocial manner they began to ‘make sense’ of the organization and their place within it in a positive manner. This is prosocial sensemaking.

Grant conducted multi-method research at a Fortune 500 retail corporation and found that offering employees the opportunity to give within the workplace:

“strengthened affective organizational commitment by triggering prosocial sensemaking about the self—a process through which employees interpreted their personal actions and identities in more caring terms.”

Workplace giving and volunteering is a practical step companies can take to prove they care, “signaling that helping, giving, and contributing behaviors are valid, acceptable, and encouraged.” As employees interpret these signals, they begin to form an identity that will contribute to the overall productivity and profitability of the company. Here’s how:

1. Productive

Giving triggers a “process of prosocial sensemaking about the self and the company that strengthens employees’ affective commitment to the company.” Affective commitment is key to driving down absenteeism, encouraging engagement and facilitating teamwork.

2. Ethical

When companies provide the opportunity to act in a prosocial manner they encourage employees to view themselves as ethical, prosocial people. This self-identity creates value systems to support that identity and guide decision making processes.

3. Grateful

When companies create opportunities for employees to give and volunteer the employees develop strong emotional bonds with their employers. This is because when “employees engage in prosocial sensemaking about the self, their commitment is based on gratitude to their organization for facilitating their own giving behaviors and caring identities.”

4. Proud

Similarly, when companies enable employees to gain a positive sense of themselves through volunteering and giving, the employee transfers a positive image back on to the organization. This positive image is expressed through feelings of pride resulting in stronger allegiance.

Action Steps

Start with something simple to give your employees the chance to be prosocial. For example, Charity Giving Cards. There are a number of options from great organizations:

  1. Network For Good offers the Good Card® which is a charity gift card with stored value that can be redeemed as a donation to more than 1.2 million charities. Good Cards can be distributed physically or via email and can be completely private labeled by corporate partners. Call Allison McGuire (888.707.8950) to place your order.
  2. The TisBest Charity Gift Card is a donation gift that works like a conventional gift card but instead of buying stuff, the recipient “spends” the TisBest card by selecting which of our 300+ charity partners receives the money. Personalize any TisBest card with your own message, image and/or company branding. Contact – [email protected] or 206-501-3005.
  3. Benevity Charitable Gift Cards: Create charity gift cards where recipient redeems to give to cause(s) of choice at branded redemption site. The Benevity platform is a highly customizable “giving engine” that helps companies attract, retain and motivate customers and employees.



Some Notes

“A recent neuroimaging study sheds light on a possible biochemical explanation for the positive psychological effects of helping others. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, it was found that the brain’s mesolimbic system was active in participants when they chose to donate money. The mesolimbic system also shows activation in response to monetary rewards and other positive stimuli. Thus, choosing to donate to charity results in an activation of a brain region that produces feel-good chemicals that promotes social bonding, increases happiness and promotes prosocial behaviour.”

^ Moll, J., Krueger, F., Zahn, R., Pardini, M., de Oliveira-Souza, R., & Grafman, J. (2006). Human fronto-mesolimbic networks guide decision about charitable donation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103, 15623-15628.

“The reunification of Germany caused the collapse of much of former East Germany’s volunteer structure. Controlling for other variables, Meier and Stutzer found that reduced opportunities for volunteer work led to a decrease in happiness.” More here.

“Furthermore, prosocial motivation is a theoretically and practically significant phenomenon because it has a substantial influence on employees’ work behaviors and job performance. Recent research suggests that prosocial motivation can drive employees to take initiative (De Dreu & Nauta, 2009), help others (Rioux & Penner, 2001), persist in meaningful tasks (Grant et prosocial Motivation at Work 2 al., 2007), and accept negative feedback (Korsgaard, Meglino, & Lester, 1997).” More here.


Some ways we can help

Most of the blogs we write are geared toward managers responsible for employee volunteering, workplace giving, and sustainability programs. Our intention is to help you be more successful – whether you engage us formally or not. The work you do is critical to addressing the huge social and environmental issues facing our global society. The role you play in the company you work for is key to humanity’s future.

If you’d like our help with your employee volunteering or workplace giving program, please feel free to drop us a line at [email protected], leave a comment below, or call us at 855-926-4678. You can also reach out to us on Twitter,  LinkedIn, and Facebook.



Co-Founder, Chief Strategy Officer, Realized Worth  

Executive Director, RW Institute

Chris Jarvis co-founded Realized Worth in 2008 with his partner, Angela Parker. Chris’s research and presentations focus on corporate citizenship as a powerful mechanism to address the critical social and environmental issues facing our global society.

Chris’s work and thought leadership are all geared toward helping practitioners strategically grow and scale their employee volunteer programs. He provides one-on-one guidance to C-suite executives on the strategic alignment of CSR and business objectives. 

Chris assumed the role of Executive Director of the RW Institute in 2017 and is a key founder of IMPACT 2030.

Realized Worth is a global agency that specializes in employee volunteer training, program design and employee engagement.

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] or call (800) 654-0845.



New CSR Center Features Kimberly-Clark, Marriott, Wells Fargo, And More

Our new CSR Center just launched, featuring insights and trends on engaging employees, building better corporate partnerships, and improving workplace culture from leading companies. Check out the articles:

  • A New Hope: Engaging New Employees in your CSR Efforts by Erin Gollhofer, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • Managing Results is Half the Leaders’ Job by author S. Chris Edmonds
  • 5 Steps for Successful Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships, featuring Jerome Tennille, Marriott International
  • Why Employee Engagement Matters, featuring Charu Raheja, Continuwell & TriageLogic Group

Why Employee Engagement Surveys Matter by Peter Dudley, formerly Wells Fargo, now Cancer Support Community


The upcoming months are pivotal for nonprofits: The Combined Federal Campaign runs September 10, 2018 to January 11, 2019. 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 [email protected]
  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. Are you needing training or are unsure how to register for speaking events? Contact [email protected]

Together, with the powerful support of more than 3.8 million military and federal workers, we are building stronger, healthier communities.

Mark Your Calendars: Join Marriott To Maximize Your Corporate 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.


Community Health Charities Partners With The OKC Dodgers For American Indian Health

Pictured From Left To Right: Shelly Douglas, Community Health Charities; Governonr Edwina Butler-Wolfe, Absentee Shawnee Tribe, and Josh Hill, OKC Dodgers

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

The three organizations hosted the American Indian Health Fund Night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Friday, August 17. Tickets for the baseball game were sold at 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.

Edwina Butler-Wolfe, Governor of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, threw the first pitch.

Read the full article in Mvskoke Media. Support Community Health Charities’ American Indian Health cause to advocate for the health of American Indians.

Support All Kids Going Safely Back To School

September signifies one thing: The end of summer vacation.

Kids across the country are filling up their backpacks, packing their lunches, and headed back to school. However, not every child has access to a safe, healthy learning environment: Every day, 160,000 students skip school for fear of being bullied. Nearly 27,000 children are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness annually, and many more face uncertain futures due to life-limiting conditions.

Support End Bullying and Every Kid Deserves causes to help give every child a brighter future.




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.