4 Triangle, NC Companies Achieving Corporate Social Responsibility Goals With United Way
Roughly 56,000,000 working Americans are Millennials (ages 24 to 39 in 2020), having surpassed Generation X in 2016 to become the single largest generation in the workforce. With the sheer volume of individual representation, you can bet that American companies are paying attention to what today’s employees want out of the companies they choose to work for (and how to retain their employment long-term). Employers in the Triangle are no different.
High on the list of what today’s employees want is a company that has strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) values. According to a 2016 study of Millennial employee engagement, 64% stated that they won’t take a job with a company that doesn’t have strong CSR values. And 88% said their job is “more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues.”
While companies typically think of United Way as a fundraising nonprofit — and that’s still true — the organization can also be a resource to employers seeking ways to invest their workforce’s time and talent where it’s going to have the biggest impact. Here’s how United Way of the Greater Triangle is supporting five local companies in doing just that:
Founded in Switzerland in 1856, this leading financial services company entered the Triangle marketplace in 2005 and has since expanded to employ more than 2,000 individuals. With such a large workforce, their team quickly realized their potential to impact the local community. They came to United Way to figure out the best way to do that.
Credit Suisse isn’t shy about wanting to tackle some of our communities’ most systemic challenges head on. In August 2020, Credit Suisse employees joined United Way of the Greater Triangle in its commitment to supporting local community leaders of color as well as nonprofits with systemic approaches to dismantling racist structures that keep our neighbors in poverty. Together, the two companies — along with other volunteers — supported a virtual telethon that raised more than $200,000 for United Way’s recently launched Anti-Racism Community Fund.
Their commitment to engagement doesn’t end there. In an effort to support the work of United Way’s many education-focused partners, Credit Suisse employees will soon get the opportunity to meet a vital community need during the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting the Daniel Center for Math and Science through virtual financial literacy tutoring for students learning while still out of the school setting.
As a company, IBM is a big fan of using its employees’ innate talent for a greater purpose. From design-thinking workshops for United Way’s 10 to Watch leaders to their long-time support of United Way’s annual MLK Day of Service initiatives, their team has already applied their time and expertise in areas that matter.
The company approached United Way again after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with a request to develop a year-long employee engagement initiative that could support students learning virtually in the Triangle. And with a special program that offers volunteer hours to employees in exchange for direct compensation to the nonprofit organization that facilitates the experience, it was a win-win for everyone!
Together, IBM and United Way are developing a year-long engagement program that will support virtual tutoring needs, give students the opportunity to explore different careers, and offer additional out-of-school learning experiences to expose children to the world of STEM at IBM.
When asked where they wanted to focus their giving and volunteering efforts, Humacyte, a regenerative medical technology company in Durham, wanted to know where they could support the greatest need in their own backyard. Their requests were simple: they wanted to give their team the option to give to a Durham-nonprofit that most needed help this holiday season and offer safe opportunities for employees to volunteer.
United Way built a custom webpage to meet Humacyte’s specific interests and through that one portal, 140 employees will be able to customize their own individual engagement experiences with one click.
“The excitement exhibited by the staff was contagious,” shared Charity Kittrell, Associate Producer, Procurement at Humacyte. “We are so appreciative of how quickly they were able to understand our requests and get the website up and running. Our team is very thankful to the staff for providing a COVID-safe way for us to still give back to our community during these very difficult times.”
4. Google Fiber
Google Fiber isn’t just bringing high-speed, high-bandwidth internet to neighborhoods throughout the Triangle, it also wants to use its power for good. And that’s exactly what the company did in May 2020 with its $25,000 donation to support United Way’s Rapid Response Fund.
The fund, which launched in March in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has since delivered on its promise to support Triangle nonprofits meeting the needs of vulnerable residents during this unprecedented year and distributed more than $1.4M in Wake, Durham, Orange, and Johnston Counties. Those funds targeted specific areas of need during that time frame including nonprofits supporting Black and Brown residents, virtual learning, and more.
Google Fiber recognized that its donation would be best suited to virtual learning support and United Way was happy to make it happen. Thanks in part to that donation, more than 23K students have been provided the resources necessary to support their education needs while out of school.
“This year has challenged our community, but we’ve also come together to meet those challenges,” said Jess George, Government & Community Affairs Manager for Google Fiber NC. “Google Fiber is grateful to have been able to help the United Way support the students in the Triangle as they continued to learn and grow through the pandemic.”
We have a saying on the United Way of the Greater Triangle team: “we’re not your grandfather’s United Way.”
We’re proud to design the engagement opportunities that give our corporate partners both the chance to create tangible outcomes and build their own CSR initiatives too.
If this sounds like something that would interest your team, don’t hesitate to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.