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Brunch Club – A Combination of Inspiration and Food for the Homeless

corporate Giving Partnerships has been working with Brunch Club since our inception. We have seen first hand the change that this organization has made both for the homeless in San Diego, and for our corporate clients that have participated in volunteerism events. This is our second feature of Brunch Club. In the Christmas and all Holiday Spirit, we hope you enjoy reading what inspired Jennifer Crone, to start this organization. A special thanks to her for authoring this month’s blog.

I’ve always had a heart for the homeless. I’m just not the type of person who can walk by someone clearly living on the street and not feel something. After growing up in a suburb of San Diego, I lived in New York City for 6 years and I saw homeless people every day. When I first moved to New York, I never ate lunch because as soon as I walked out of the cafe on my way back to work I saw someone who needed the meal more than I did.

There were a few particularly sweet homeless men I met that I would regularly get hot chocolate and a donut for in the winter time, when it was wet and snowy and freezing. One guy camped out on the corner a couple avenues from my place in Murray Hill, and I would sometimes heat up a can of soup and bring it out and sit with him on the curb while he ate. He wasn’t a drug addict or a crazy person; he was a father, who spoke with pride and love about his children, with no animosity or blame that they weren’t helping him. He had drowned in legal fees while trying to get custody of his children from his ex-wife, and that’s how he became homeless.

I continued to help out in the little ways that I could. I always found that the kindness more than the food was what really touched their hearts and added some warmth. The simple act of looking into their eyes and not looking away made all the difference. When I moved back to San Diego I came to Little Italy, on the bay edge of downtown. Again, I saw homeless people every day. Again, I did little things like give them leftovers or make sack lunches from things I had at home. And again, I felt the immense gratitude from every one of them. The morning of my birthday, January 30th, 2014, I was walking downtown and noticed all the homeless people lining Broadway. After my yoga class, I went into a coffee shop and ordered a bagel for myself to go. I then thought of all the people I would pass by on my walk home and ordered 5 more bagels in separate bags. As I walked home I handed them out and was full of love in my heart with each interaction. But I ran out of bagels way before I ran out of hungry people.

A couple months later I was feeling particularly sorry for myself after a difficult time with my boyfriend and forced myself to do the only thing I know to pull me out of self-pity: a gratitude list. I started my list with a roof over my head and food to eat. This sparked the thought of all the people I passed every day who didn’t have either of those. I wanted to pull myself out of my funk by being of service to the people who had less than I did. I knew I could make a couple sack lunches and have a few conversations, but I wanted to do more. I posted an event on Facebook called Brunch Club – Sunday of Service and invited all my local friends I thought might have an interest in giving back. All I said was that I was going to make some lunches to hand out to the homeless and then afterward we could go to brunch. I asked the friends who came to bring a cash donation to help pay for the supplies. I had no idea if anyone would show up or if they would all think I was crazy, but I resolved to do it alone if no one showed up.

A couple days later I went to the local discount market and got 50 bottles of water, fixin’s for pb&js, granola bars, and toothbrushes. 6 people showed up at my door and we put together the bags. The night before I sat up late writing 50 notes. On one side I chose a quote of inspiration or a message from my heart and on the other, I wrote the address for a shelter where they could go for a meal. My friends and I packed up the bags and went to hand them out. They went quickly. There were more people than bags. But the folks were grateful. They said thank you. They joked with us, smiled at us. As I was getting back into my car there was a man sitting on the floor in front of a building lit up with bright mosaic tiles shining in the sun. He pulled out the sandwich and as he read the note I had written a smile overtook his face. My heart grew 2 sizes that day. My friends and I then shared a brunch table and broke bread together as a little family, happy with the small difference we had just made.

A month later I made a similar invite along with new Facebook and Instagram accounts for Brunch Club. Word had spread and 39 people showed up this time; my condo had never been so full. Some of the people I had never even met before. That day we were able to make 150 bags. In addition to the notes, water, food, and toothbrushes this time we added socks and wet wipes to each bag, items often requested by those living on the streets.

Again, the most amazing part of the day was the interactions we had with the people we served. The stories they told us, the gratitude they displayed. A 17-year-old kid broke down in tears telling us that he was so scared to die. He told us that every member of his family and every friend he had ever had died on the street. He told us that he just wanted to make it to his 18th birthday.

Our group is not based in religion, rather in kindness, love, human decency and service, but this kid asked us to pray for him and so we got in a circle around him and my friend Branko said a prayer. It was a moment I will never forget. Writing about it now my eyes are welling up with tears. I haven’t seen that kid since but I think about him all the time. A Veteran who told us he felt forgotten and thrown away by the country he served also came to tears while thanking us for our kindness. Whether he wanted it or not I gave him a big sweaty hug.

The third month we were 60 strong, fed 201 and again were able to add more useful items. Dentists donated whole dental kits with toothpaste, toothbrushes, and floss. My dad donated 100 socks and t-shirts. Nature Valley donated 100 granola bars. We met at Mission Brewery, who just gave us the use of their space.

As Brunch Club expands with more volunteers and we’re able to serve more people, I’m mindful to remember that at the heart of our mission is to be of service to those members of our society that need it the most. I want to do more work to help people transition out of homelessness and get their lives back on track to where they want to be, working with some great organizations who are already doing this kind of work. San Diego, has the third largest homeless population in the country and the first largest population of homeless veterans. At the end of the day, I want to feed people who are hungry and I want to look them in the eyes and tell them they are worthy when they have forgotten it. And that’s what Brunch Club does.

By |2018-04-25T05:56:32+00:00December 5th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on Brunch Club – A Combination of Inspiration and Food for the Homeless

VetCTAP Prepares Our Military Heroes for Today’s Workplace

San Diego is “America’s Finest City”, and a great military town. However, it often surprises people that San Diego County has one of the highest Veteran unemployment rates in the country.

More than 240,500 veterans reside in San Diego County, making it the third highest population of veterans in the United States…Yet, here and elsewhere, veterans experience significant challenges when they transition from the battlefield to civilian life, especially when it comes to rejoining the workforce.
San Diego Workforce Partnership 2016 (SDWP).

November celebrates Veteran’s Day and corporate Giving Partnerships is pleased to highlight one organization making a difference for our heroes.

Veteran Career Transition Assistance Program (VetCTAP)

VetCTAP grew out of the personal military-to-civilian transition of Sandra Fichter, (US Army Officer) who is a Human Resources professional. As Sandra reviewed resumes from transitioning veterans, she became frustrated – knowing that many qualified individuals would not be selected for jobs because they lacked the knowledge to communicate their strengths and skills through their resumes.

“Job search skills were the only thing veterans were missing,” says Sandra. “They met or exceeded the qualifications, but they needed to know the rules of the game to be able to win.”  So Sandra took action and recruited other HR professionals, who collectively created a popular job search workshop series for members of the military as part of their transition to civilian life.

VetCTAP is a part of JBS Transition Experts, a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. Sustained by corporate and individual donations, grants, and in-kind contributions, all of the services and materials are provided free to veterans.

Classes are offered in Carlsbad, and Rancho Bernardo, CA, and there’s always a waiting list to attend. VetCTAP has sustained a 90% success rate of graduates obtaining the career of their choice. “We specialize in working with a uniquely underserved population – those who have served 10 or more years in the military. We also encourage spouses to attend who are seeking employment,” said Janis Whitaker, Executive Director.

The innovative and interactive 8-module series focuses on resume development, networking techniques, interviewing skills, and more. Topics assist participants to successfully identify and translate their military skills for application in the civilian job market.

Hundreds of participants complete the rigorous training and obtain meaningful employment so they can comfortably provide for themselves and their families. In November 2017, VetCTAP will celebrate its 50th successful workshop series!

The organization lives up to its motto: “Preparing Our Heroes for Today’s Workplace”.

If you are interested in learning more, VetCTAP offers opportunities to:

•    Share your expertise and help our veterans succeed in their transition to the civilian workforce
•    Network with these men and women, and other professionals
•    Meet qualified job candidates, and promote open positions
•    Be part of a significant change in the lives of those who have served

Hands-on assistance is needed to help with resume development and with mock interviews with service members and spouses. Please contact corporate Giving Partnerships, or Betsy Sheets, Program Manager of VetCTAP for more information: e) betsty@vetcap.org t)  858.831.8667.
For other donation opportunities or ways to get involved, please visit www.vetcap.org.

By |2018-04-25T05:56:32+00:00November 8th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on VetCTAP Prepares Our Military Heroes for Today’s Workplace

REINS -Therapeutic Horsemanship Brings Joy, Empowerment, and Confidence to Children and Adults with Disabilities

REINS (Riding Emphasizing Individual Needs & Strengths) Therapeutic Horsemanship Program provides therapeutic riding activities to disabled children and adults in Southern California. Founded in 1984, the mission of the organization is to support the physical, mental, and emotional health of disabled children and adults with therapeutic horse related programs.

REINS, located in Fallbrook, CA provides therapeutic riding to over 200 disabled children and adults weekly from all over San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County. Annually over 8,000 lessons are provided. Students range in age from 2 to 90 and the organization is proud to serve a variety of disabilities, including  ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, PTSD, Brain Injuries, Autism, and Paralysis. Autism is the number one disability that served at REINS

Growing amounts of evidence show that therapeutic horsemanship has many benefits, including better use of limbs, stronger speaking ability and respiration, improved balance and coordination, increased motor skills, and increased self-esteem.

“Everyday at REINS we see the changes that this program makes in the lives of our students and their families”, says Deborah Shinner, Executive Director.” Here is a story from one of our REINS mothers about the effects of riding on her daughter.”
My daughter, Raelynn, has been riding at REINS for the past three years. Rae has suffered from PTSD for years. Before she came to REINS, she was unable to socially function in outside settings such as school or doctor appointments. The team at REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program has helped Rae grow into a secure and confident nine-year-old. She can now look people in the eye and shake their hand. Rae can also now hold a conversation with both kids and adults.”

Corporate Giving Partnerships is committed to bringing our readers and clients quality volunteering opportunities. REINS relies heavily on volunteers to help keep their program running efficiently; they are the heartbeat of this life-changing program.

More than 500 volunteers deliver 20,000+ hours of service each year to REINS and the organization is always happy to have people to help. No horse experience is required-there are many jobs at the ranch to keep volunteers busy. Volunteers are used in lessons as side walkers and horse leaders. They also help in the barn area to help tack and groom horses and assist in special events.

For more information on volunteering please visit www.reinsprogram.org or contact CGP for group opportunities.

REINS has some exciting community events coming up in the next few months. Come as a guest- or learn more about working as a volunteer.

October 14, 2017 – join the Annual Country Hoedown. This magnificent community event draws over 800 guests. Among the many festivities, guests will enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner, live entertainment by The Clay Colton Band, a silent auction, carnival game area, and riding demonstrations by REIN’s very own riders!

On May 5, 2018. REINS will host Horses, Hats, & Hope, A Kentucky Derby Party. Attendees will enjoy catered southern fare, mint juleps, a bourbon bar, race day raffles and live Jumbotron screening of the Kentucky Derby. Win, Place and Show prizes for each race and awards for Best Hat and Best Dressed Gent.

Tickets and Sponsorships are still available for both events online at www.reinsprogram.org or call Kim at 760.731.9168.

By |2018-04-25T05:56:32+00:00September 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on REINS -Therapeutic Horsemanship Brings Joy, Empowerment, and Confidence to Children and Adults with Disabilities

15 Ways We Can All Help the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

There’s an abundance of opportunity to contribute and help Houston and its surrounding communities during this time of crisis…

As those in Texas and parts of Louisiana are still grasping with what the the long journey ahead will be to recover from Hurricane Harvey, we’re highlighting some nonprofits that are based in their local communities. A special thanks to the Daily Kos for the list below. Of course the American Red Cross is always a good choice, but if you’re looking for other ways to help, one of these charities may be for you.

  • Texas Diaper Bank
  • SPCA of Texas
  • Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County
  • Galveston Bay Foundation
  • Houston Food Bank
  • Galveston County Food Bank
  • Coastal Bend Community Foundation
  • Nueces County Community Action Agency
  • Houston Diaper Bank
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Bend
  • Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies
  • Food Bank of Corpus Christi
  • Gulf Coast Humane Society
  • Galveston Island Meals on Wheels

Click here to learn more.

Everyone at Corporate Giving Partnerships send our heartfelt support and concern to those impacted by this storm.

By |2018-04-25T05:56:33+00:00August 29th, 2017|Featured NonProfit, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 15 Ways We Can All Help the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

The Collective Access – Bringing Kids, Networking, Dreams…and Ice Cream Together

Students at Cesar Chavez Elementary in San Diego brought the energy, the hope and the dreams of children-all wanting a bright future.  Their potential, their abilities, their aspirations and enthusiasm—were attributes that carried through the air louder than any DJ’s music set during a very unique social event.

Ice cream was stashed in coolers, kids were dancing and singing and teaching the DJ how to properly scratch and scribble.  Cofounder of The Collective Access, Lance Growth and two gracious educators took the mic for short speeches advocating dream chasing, encouraging confidence and fun…Kids however, stole the show, drowning the voices of adults.

On this day, these kids didn’t just believe the hype; they embodied a bursting potential that’s usually only seen during commencements and thank-you, speeches. This day- their potential was tangible and their energy had the adults dancing too. Volunteers waited, armed with smiles, stickers, and most importantly ice cream! Kids stormed the tables like a stampede of future CEOs, lawyers, athletes, doctors, veterinarians, painters, dancers, and singers (in their words) to get ice cream.

Meet The Collective Access, an organization that has created a movement, that engages the generation before us to help build the generation behind us. They’re on a mission to teach kids the importance and value of networking and building relationships.

Before ice cream was served, kids were asked to share their dreams:
“What did they want to be when they grew up?”
“What are the steps they’ll take to accomplish their goals?”

Sponsors and volunteers reminded themselves to ask children what their names were, to make eye contact and to smile. Students made them look like the amateurs when it came to networking, eye contact, and friendly grins. They were delightfully infectious. During the event, there were only smiles, messy faces, sugar highs, and bonding between older and younger generations over common dreams and goals.

In partnership with the “Ice Cream for a Dream” initiative, The Collective Access rewards kids for their ingenuity and ambition. Admittedly, the this initiative may sound strange to our readers. After all, what good can enticing kids with ice cream really do?

“ After handing the first student his first ice cream following his first dream, it hit me,” said Lance Growth… “Adults work and share ideas with the promise of returns, of future gratification, of a reward. Isn’t it better to reward our children for dreaming than the threat of failure for not dreaming?  Watching kids run back and forth and dance. filled with joy, laughter, singing and the polyphony of dreams—feeling the excitement and the hope and promise of great things to come- there is no denying the positive impact that a shared ice cream and a dream can truly have.”

corporate Giving Partnerships is proud to present The Collective Access as our featured nonprofit of the month.  Working with organizations such as this, has a positive impact on our community. The Collective Access is open and daring, nontraditional and inclusive, motivated and powerful… it is a bridge between generations- old and new.

The Collective Access has its next networking event on August 26, 2017 in Horton Plaza Park. If you are interested in participating, in inspiring our youth, contact corporate Giving Partnerships or visit https://www.thecollectiveaccess.com to learn more.

Every great idea comes from a spark, every great moment begins long before its realization, and every great leader was once a child with a dream and an ice cream covered face. The world is ripe for creation, change, and greatness- and kids are the foundation of a coming present beyond our most positive and wildest dreams!

#TheCollectiveAccess #IceCream #CorporateGivingPartnerships #Kids #Networking

By |2018-04-25T05:56:33+00:00August 1st, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on The Collective Access – Bringing Kids, Networking, Dreams…and Ice Cream Together

San Diego Talent Abounds During the San Diego International Fringe Festival

A young man breathes deep as he does his final check.  His curly hair almost, but not quite, covers his glasses and problem skin.  He can feel the heat of nerves creeping up his spine and staining his face red.  He checks on his actors.  Professional actors and kids from school alike stand nervous in the wings.  They are all so good in the parts he has written.

He signals to the Fringe stage manager provided as part of his grand prize winnings.  He can still remember the day his teacher encouraged him to enter his new play in the Emerging Fringe competition.  Looking out at the audience now, filled with friends, family members, and complete strangers drawn by the social media campaign he designed and launched, he can’t believe that the visions that kept him company at night in bed were finally ready to share.  Every set piece, every prop, every detail exactly as he pictured it, as he made it, ready to share with his waiting audience.    

He takes another deep breath, checks his costume, and steps out onto the stage.

The International Fringe Festival began in Edinburgh in 1947 and has since spread, with more than 200 Festivals occurring around the world. San Diego, still a young Festival organization is the only Fringe to host a bi-national Fringe Festival, with performances in both San Diego and Tijuana.

During the festival, artists from across the United States and around the world participate alongside local talent, in art forms spanning from theatre, buskers/street performers, cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, film, poetry, spoken word, puppetry, music, visual art, design & open to any other type of artsyness.

Key to the operation of San Diego International Fringe Festival is its’ role to support, encourage, and facilitate producers, artists, presenters, venues, and businesses. The festival works to ensure that artists and all participants involved have the best possible experience. For independent artists, San Diego International Fringe Festival is an inspirational environment to showcase their work.

With more than 400 performances in an 11- day timeframe, shows vary from puppet shows, spoken word, singing, dancing, plays, and everything else once can imagine.  Fringe supports performing artists by letting them retain 100% of the ticket sales. This helps to give both local and global artists a platform to express and share their art, support their journey and make their dreams come true.

As part of the appeal to everyone, SDIFF will host a Family Fringe event in City Heights. At this event, performances and activities are geared toward youth and family and is completely free. Arts have become less prominent in school and federally defunded, and SDIFF has a strong commitment that now more than ever, it is important to involve, inspire, and include youth in the arts. Performing art is a valuable tool for youth to learn as it can help them cope and have a creative outlet later on in life.

San Diego International Fringe Festival will take place June 22-July 2, 2017, and will include new venues in Balboa Park in addition to those in the downtown area. Performances are $10 or less to attend. A $5 Fringe Tag is required to attend and can be purchased at the office in Horton Plaza Park.  75% of all performances feature local talent, with the 25% of talent traveling internationally from more than 7 countries to conduct performances.

The Emerging Fringe offers local high school students the opportunity to compete for a grand prize that includes a Fringe supported production during the year in a professional theatre space downtown.  The goal of this event is to empower high school kids to create, develop, and mount an original production of their choosing.  Each year, one high-achieving student whose creative, original production will be shared with the greater San Diego audience by utilizing the space and staffing resources available to the San Diego International Fringe Festival.

San Diego International Fringe Festival is a non-profit project of CONTACT ARTS, in association with the Actors Alliance of San Diego, designed to help provide a platform for artists while also helping the community as a whole. For more information visit http://www.sdfringe.org

 

By |2017-08-01T14:41:45+00:00June 6th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on San Diego Talent Abounds During the San Diego International Fringe Festival

The Alzheimer’s Association, Making a Difference

Although the Alzheimer’s Association has been in San Diego for 30 years sometimes there’s a little confusion over who we are and what we do.

To give you a short back story, the Alzheimer’s Association was founded in 1980 by a group of family caregivers and individuals interested in research. Today, the Association reaches millions of people worldwide affected by Alzheimer’s through our headquarters in Chicago, a public policy office in Washington, D.C., and a presence in communities across the country.  We’re the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

That sounds like a lot, but what exactly do we do? Grab a cup of coffee and sit back. Here is a partial list of some of our activities:

Care for the caregivers and those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementias:

  • Our professionally staffed 24/7 Helpline (1.800.272.3900) offers information and advice to more than 300,000 callers each year and provides translation services in more than 200 languages.
  • We offer caregivers and families comprehensive online resources and information through our Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center.
  • Our free online tool, Alzheimer’s Navigator®, helps those facing the disease to determine their needs and develop an action plan, and our online Community Resource Finder is a comprehensive database of programs, service, housing, care services, and legal experts.
  • Our safety service, MedicAlert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®, is a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia who wander or have a medical emergency.
  • We connect people across the globe through our online message boards, ALZConnected® to answer questions and provide support.
  • We host educational sessions in the community.

Research, the path to a cure or prevention:

  • We accelerate research because simply put, there won’t be a treatment or prevention without it. As the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, the Association is committed to hastening the progress of new treatments and preventions.
  • We do more than encourage patients to participate in clinical studies, we help to connect healthy volunteers, people with the disease and caregivers to current studies through Alzheimer’s Association TrialMatch®, a free, easy-to-use clinical studies matching service.
  • We advance the understanding of Alzheimer’s through our peer-reviewed research grant program that has invested over $385 million in more than 2,500 scientific investigations since 1982. In 2015, the Alzheimer’s Association granted $8 million to San Diego researchers.
  • We bring researchers together worldwide to advance scientific data sharing through GAAIN, the Global Alzheimer’s Association International Network, a first-of-its-kind database with advanced analytical tools to accelerate discoveries.
  • Our scientific journal, Alzheimer’s & Dementia®, provides a single publication for the global scientific community to share its diverse knowledge.
  • Our annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC)® is the world’s largest conference of its kind, bringing researchers together to report on groundbreaking studies.

Advocacy:

  • We advocate for the needs and rights of people facing Alzheimer’s. The Association is the leading voice encouraging Alzheimer’s disease research, prevention and care initiatives at the state and federal level.
  • Each year, our advocates participate in our annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum, and a march on Capitol Hill to meet with elected representatives.
  • We advance commitment to Alzheimer’s funding from the federal government. In 2015, the Association helped secure a historic $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research funding.
  • We secure quality health care services for those affected. We were instrumental in a 2016 decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure that people with Alzheimer’s will have access to care planning with a medical professional.
  • We develop policy resources, including Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, to educate decision makers on the economic and emotional toll that Alzheimer’s takes on families and the nation.

Intrigued? If you’re interested in getting involved with activities and volunteering for a local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, check out one of these opportunities:

  • Consider nominating someone for our Advisory Board.
  • Start a team for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease care, support and research.
  • Start a team for The Longest Day®. Honor the strength, heart and endurance of those facing Alzheimer’s with a day of activity on June 21, the summer solstice.
  • Become an advocate. Advocate for those affected by Alzheimer’s and urge legislators make the disease a national priority.
  • Make a donation.

Join us! Visit our website https://alz.org/sandiego to volunteer for any of these activities and help us help others.

Thank you to  Jeffree Itrich, Alzheimer’s Association San Diego / Imperial Valley Chapter for this guest post. Corporate Giving Partnerships works with companies to identify meaningful volunteerism opportunities with nonprofit organizations such as and including the Alzheimer’s Association. If you are interested to learn more, contact us  to learn about the positive impact volunteerism can have on your culture, your business growth, and employee engagement. #alzheimer #volunteering #corporatevolunteering

By |2018-04-25T05:56:33+00:00May 4th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on The Alzheimer’s Association, Making a Difference

7 Considerations to Develop a Successful Employee Volunteerism Program

Engagement is pivotal to the success of productivity. It plays a significant role in corporate marketing, philanthropic and human resource strategies. According to a study by Dale Carnegie 54% of employees revealed they felt more engaged as a result their company’s contributions to society. The 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey which studied millennials who participated in workplace volunteer activities, uncovered they were twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive. Volunteerism has a role in any corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. The following may help in the design of yours.

1. Get Your Leadership Team on Board

  • Even in volunteerism, programs cannot succeed when leaders are not supportive, engaged, or perhaps have their own agendas. Spend time to bring leadership into the values and benefits of building a program from the inside out.
  • When it comes to hiring practices, managers often feel pressured to hire aggressive “takers”, assuming they’re the real go-getters. Managers who realize value and commit to hiring “givers” can receive an enormous boost to their department’s productivity. To learn more about this concept, read Give and Take, by Adam Grant.

2. Cultural Shift

  • “What you are is where you were when”, said Sociologist Morris Massey. Generational perceptions, work-style differences and personal experiences influence how employees approach a volunteerism program. Provide employees with a variety of custom tailored resources and opportunities that appeal to a wide array of people.
  • Enthusiastic employees are influencers. Empower your employees who volunteer. Use their passion and storytelling to invite others to participate. These champions should ultimately lead the program. Corporate culture transforms when volunteerism becomes intrinsic.

3. Mentor Your Volunteer Champions

  • Mentoring increases engagement, enthusiasm, confidence, and teamwork.
  • Mentoring volunteers inspires new leadership within the organization.
  • Mentoring can be done both formally and informally.

4. Build Brand from the Inside Out

  • Connection with community that is encouraged and supported by the employer is natural win-win. Engaged employees will build your brand in a variety of measurable ways, including higher productivity and better customer service.
  • Volunteerism lets employees build personal skills and connections outside of their normal job requirements, which grows brand loyalty.

5.   Rethink Team Building and Social Events

  • Instead of a round of golf or other activity, use volunteerism as an opportunity to team-build with a vetted cause.
  • When asking for a donation of time outside of normal work hours, make activities family friendly. This provides employees with opportunities to teach their children and/or share an experience with their spouse or partner.

6. Storytelling

  • Use corporate volunteerism as an opportunity to evangelize compelling stories. Incorporate into your marketing programs to attract new customers and inspire higher levels of talent, especially among millennials.
  • Empower and encourage employees to share their stories. Find creative ways to promote volunteerism stories including social media, marketing, events, newsletters, lunch and learns, apps, etc.

7. Measure

Benchmark and add analytics to document your company’s progress. Consider measurements between those that volunteer and those that don’t such as:

  • Skill development
  • Employee turnover
  • Team productivity
  • Talent recruitment
  • Absenteeism
  • Job satisfaction

Every company has the opportunity to deepen engagement through contributions to society. Volunteerism requires strategy and thoughtful implementation. What steps has your company taken to build engagement through employee volunteerism?  We’d love to hear from you.

Karen Knight, is the founder of Corporate Giving Partnerships (CGP). CGP is a consulting firm that helps companies to achieve cultural and financial benefits through corporate social responsibility (CSR). Through executive coaching, workshops, employee volunteerism and cause marketing, CGP equips companies with the tools they need to leverage strengths and create dynamic engagement. To learn more, please email engage@cgpartnerships.com or call 760.717.9685. ©2017 Corporate Giving Partnerships

#CSR #corporatesocialresponsibility #employeevolunteerism #corporatephilanthropy #volunteerismweek

By |2018-04-25T05:56:33+00:00April 24th, 2017|Employee Volunteerism, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 7 Considerations to Develop a Successful Employee Volunteerism Program

Send Me On Vacation-Changing Lives for Women with Breast Cancer

You Have Cancer!

Many people believe you either live in love or in fear.

Every breast cancer survivor is initiated with fear once they hear, “You Have Cancer.” Much like a war veteran who returns from battle to discover they are effected by a condition known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), survivors also find PTSD a common condition.  About 82.5% of women have PTSD symptoms after breast cancer diagnosis. Survivors who are fortunate enough to afford mental health therapy, have a greater chance of managing the emotional effects of fighting cancer. Those who do not, often find themselves caught in a downward spiral of depression and fear. Dealing with a traumatic change from health to disease often leaves victims overwhelmed, exhausted and financially devastated.

“In December 2009, I was 39. My world came to a crashing halt went I was told I had breast cancer. In the following year my strength and faith were tested to their limits and my finances were in total ruin. Instead of taking my first trip on a cruise ship that I had been saving for for 10 years, I spent that year and every dime I had saved hoping to see another day.”  – Taneta Blanden

When treatment’s ended, it’s easy to assume one might believe they will be jumping for joy – but joy is a feeling that is too often out of reach. That’s the time, Send Me On Vacation shines a light on the lives of survivors by providing healing vacations to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.

“Today I’m in remission. I’m actually going to see my kids graduate and I went on vacation for the first time in my life to Myrtle Beach, SC. It was a dream come true.  There was no way I would’ve been able to take a break like this from cancer, to relax and reflect on my life and the blessings now see coming my way.” – Taneta Blanden

Corporate Giving Partnerships has worked with Send Me On Vacation to develop a strong board, caring volunteers, and create marketing and fundraising strategies. This partnership has been so valuable in achieving our goals, said Cathy Backus, Founder of the organization.  SMOV has sent hundreds of underserved survivors on healing vacations in the past 6 years from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. SMOV is a 501 (c)(3), all volunteer charitable organization. Vacation options include group therapy vacations, freestyle family vacations and end of life vacations. SMOV is a resource focused program that combines donations from the travel and tourism industry with financial contributions to create transformative experience that have the ability to change lives, one vacation at a time!

Corporate Giving Partnerships is a national consulting firm. We engage corporate leadership and employees with the community, using life experience to inspire collaboration, compassion, productivity and a strong culture. We support growth of corporate social responsibility with technology and marketing, providing companies with the tools they need to build strong volunteerism and cause marketing programs. CGP consults with nonprofit organizations such as Send Me On Vacation to facilitate visibility and growth. Our team’s expertise includes donor development and retention, fundraising strategies, board and volunteer development, marketing and communications. Contact us to learn more.

By |2018-04-25T05:56:33+00:00February 9th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on Send Me On Vacation-Changing Lives for Women with Breast Cancer

Meet Casa de Amparo: Preventing Abuse and Neglect for At Risk Children and Foster Youth

Casa de Amparo, supports those affected by and at risk of child abuse and neglect through a range of programs and services that promote healing, growth and healthy relationships.

Corporate Giving Partnerships has had the privilege to place employee volunteers with this impactful San Diego County based organization; providing a wide range of programs to support those affected by these conditions, from prenatal to 25 years of age (and specifically those within the transitional age foster youth population).

Transitional age foster youth are a severely under-served population and without places like Casa de Amparo, most would transition out of foster care ill prepared for life and end up a statistic. The unfortunate reality is that 40% of children affected by child abuse and neglect will experience homelessness, only 50% complete high school or receive a GED and less than 50% are employed by age 24. In addition, 85% of these children experience mental health issues during childhood and into adulthood and have little to no resources for healthcare.

Casa de Amparo strives through both facility and treatment based programs to meet all of the everyday life needs to as many children and young adults as possible. The nonprofit organization is successful because of the help from the community and the countless volunteers and donors that support their efforts.

For foster teens that are pregnant or parenting, it can be difficult to find a stable or permanent placement as their own children are not considered foster children, making home placement a much harder option. To support these youth, Casa de Amparo offers a program called the “young parent network”. This program resides within their residential services program and addresses the needs of the pregnant and parenting youth who are struggling with the emotional, financial and personal demands of being a parent while being a foster child themselves. The goal of the program is to address trauma and increase health, safety, and the well-being of both children and families. Casa de Amparo is very proud to be the only provider of pregnant and parenting care in the San Diego County.

Corporate Giving Partnerships works with companies to identify meaningful volunteerism opportunities with nonprofit organizations such as and including Casa de Amparo. As a result we have seen the impact of what even one afternoon of time can mean to young lives.

Thank you to Cristin Wondergem for her contribution to our featured nonprofit organization of the month. We’re proud to present Casa de Amparo to our readers. To learn more about their programs, click here or watch their video on YouTube.

If are interested in learning more about employee volunteerism, please contact Corporate Giving Partnerships or if you are interested in getting involved and helping to support Casa Kids, please contact Celeste Leichliter at cleichliter@casadeamparo.org or at (760) 566-3553. Perhaps you or your company will consider one of the following:

  • Organize an In-Kind drive
  • Coordinate a Fundraiser
  • Volunteer/Teambuilding
  • One time activity like a sports event, BBQ, Crafts or parties, etc.
  • Host a drop off party:
    • Baby items for Pregnant & Parenting Casa Kids
    • Wine for special events
    • Gift wrapping supplies for holiday drives
By |2018-04-25T05:56:33+00:00January 4th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on Meet Casa de Amparo: Preventing Abuse and Neglect for At Risk Children and Foster Youth

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