|[November 16, 2012]
Twin Cities Businesses Help Communities and Increase Morale with Work-For-Free Programs
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. --(Business Wire)--
From the latest micro-volunteering strategies to leveraging the
technical expertise of food industry giants, companies in the Twin (News - Alert)
Cities and across the country are redefining the future of corporate
service through pro bono volunteering. On Nov. 16, A Billion + Change
will recognize Twin Cities businesses leading social change through pro
bono service at a breakfast and panel discussion at the Mall of America.
This breakfast will spotlight the innovative ways companies are giving
back to their communities at the start of the giving season, and will
build on the momentum of A Billion + Change's national campaign to
mobilize billions in pro bono service from businesses across the
country. The breakfast will be held from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. in the
Great Room at the Mall of America, and will feature a thought-provoking
panel discussion with:
Kate Rubin, Vice President of Social Responsibility for UnitedHealth
Group. United Health Group uses online micro-volunteering that
enables its employees to contribute their professional skills to
nonprofits by completing short assignments for nonprofits. More than
1,000 employees have volunteered this year, helping nearly 350
nonprofits in 17 countries.
Donna Svendsen, Associate Director of Community Action for General
Mills, Inc. More than 300 General Mills employees have volunteered
thousands of hours to lend technology and support to African farmers
and food producers. By using big company food science and lending its
professional expertise, General Mills has helped food producers, like
SoyAfric, develop fortified and locally sourced food products for
infants, seniors and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Katie Janowiak, Senior Specialist, Community Affairs at The
Medtronic Foundation. The Medtronic Foundation has ploted a
global skills-based employee volunteer program addressing diabetic
caregiver awareness and gestational diabetes in India.
"Skills-based volunteering is a natural extension of our volunteering
program," said Rubin. "The micro-volunteering model is an ideal forum
for busy people to plug into nonprofit projects and provide valuable
insight and impact; feedback from employees has been nothing short of
"It was a mind-blowing, hair on fire, sleep-when-I'm-dead experience.
The people we've worked with are incredible, the need is unimaginable,
the experience indelible," said Lane Desborough, who participated in
Medtronic's pilot volunteer project in Chennai, India.
The Mall of America event, organized by A Billion + Change, UnitedHealth
Group and HandsOn Twin Cities with sponsorship support from Corporate
Volunteerism Council-Twin Cities, is the latest in a series of events
highlighting pro bono change-makers across the nation. Since November
2011, more than 250 companies have pledged $1.9 billion
worth of pro bono services to help build nonprofit capacity as part of A
Billion + Change.
"By investing in skills-based volunteering, the business community can
make a big impact on social issues critical to our country's economic
recovery and overall well-being," said Michelle Nunn, CEO of
Points of Light, which houses and manages A Billion + Change.
"Skills-based volunteering is central to our ability to inspire, equip
and mobilize people to take action that changes the world."
For nonprofits, the value of skilled support in areas such as general
operations, technology and professional services can be 500 percent
greater than the value of traditional volunteering, according to True
Impact, which helps organizations measure the social and business impact
of their operations. Skills-based volunteering programs are also
valuable talent management tools that help businesses attract and retain
talent, especially as skilled volunteers are 47 percent more likely to
report higher satisfaction from their service than traditional
To learn more about A Billion + Change and to see a list of companies
that have pledged, please visit: www.abillionpluschange.org.
About A Billion + Change
A Billion + Change is a national
campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based
volunteer services by 2013. It was launched by the Corporation for
National and Community Service in 2008 and continues as an initiative of
the federal agency. Reinvigorated in 2011 with expanded leadership under
the honorary chairmanship of Senator Mark Warner, it is now housed and
managed by Points
of Light. The initiative is powered by the support of Deloitte, HP,
the Case Foundation and IBM (News - Alert) with additional founding support from State
Farm, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Morgan Stanley. Learn more at: www.abillionpluschange.org.
[ InfoTech Spotlight's Homepage ]