Percent Pledge Press

How Grow Financial Effectively Connected its DEI to its Social Impact Efforts [Case Study]

Cori Hammoor
Posted by  Cori Hammoor on Jan 5, 2022
Learn how Grow Financial strategically aligned its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives with authentic social impact efforts while saving its DEI team time.
 
8 minute read
 
The Challenge
Volunteering in the workplace has proven many benefits time and time again, from team building to employee engagement to improving employer brand.
 
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union -- a credit union working for the benefit of its members -- wanted to take its deep-rooted volunteer program to the next level by ingraining diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into each volunteer event. 
 
​​”We made an intentional decision to add DEI to our philanthropic efforts since a big goal of ours is to involve more employees in our DEI initiatives. 
 
But with a small diversity team, it is difficult to thoroughly research nonprofits that align with our tactics. And the logistics of organizing these events was a huge time commitment.” -- Chantel Negron, Diversity Committee Chair and AVP Asset Protection @ Grow Financial
 
Blending DEI initiatives with existing philanthropic efforts is enough of a challenge, but then the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced. Like many culture efforts during this time, volunteering fractured. 
 
Grow Financial feared that their volunteer program that has held strong since the early 2000s wouldn’t endure the strange, new times the pandemic introduced.
 
“Volunteering in the community is high on our radar and a lot of our departments use it as team-building events. But when the pandemic hit, we struggled to find ways to make an impact that weren’t in person.  -- Negron
 
Challenged by strategically aligning with DEI initiatives, the significant time commitment in planning volunteer events, and the pandemic, Grow Financial turned to Percent Pledge to fulfill one of their core goals -- “Grow the greater good.”
 
Percent Pledge’s Solution
Grow Financial engaged Percent Pledge to power its volunteer program. Within six months of the partnership, Percent Pledge curated 17 volunteer events. 
 
For each volunteer event (all 17), Percent Pledge provided the following white-glove support:
  1. Designed program based on geographies, causes, and volunteer type
  2. Researched, vetted, and partnered with local charities, matching preferences
  3. Presented vetted project recommendations (2-3 recommendations per 1 project) 
  4. Created event pages on Pledge Portal; shared internal comms templates (i.e. emails)
  5. Facilitated volunteer project execution
  6. Sent volunteer pulse surveys; created impact report ft. stats + employee stories
Grow Financial’s decision to implement Percent Pledge’s volunteering services has saved them 20-30 hours of researching and planning for each volunteer event, and it returned incredible results: 
 
30% of 500 employees have engaged in its volunteer program within six months of the partnership.
 
To further explain what has led to this great success, Grow Financial shared how they have benefited most from partnering with Percent Pledge. 
 
“We strategically aligned our philanthropic efforts with our DEI initiatives and mission.”
To build a social impact program that aligns with Grow’s thoughtful strategy, including its values, community, and DEI initiatives, Percent Pledge began by administering its proprietary Employee Passion Assessment. Starting here:
  • Makes programs employee-driven, which leads to far better engagement and inclusion 
  • Provides invaluable insights into how employees give back and what they care about most
And once employees took 5 minutes to complete the Passion Assessment, Percent Pledge created the Grow Financial Passion Report. 
 
“The Passion Report has been utilized in multiple ways. We shared it with our Foundation President, Executive Team, and Board of Directors to show them where our employees’ passions lie, so we can develop a strategy that intertwines with how we should make an impact and where our team members want to serve in the community.”  -- Negron
 
The report shared that employees have the same values: 
  • 94% of employees felt having ways to give back would improve their employee experience
  • 68% of employees are passionate about Hunger and Homelessness
*These are just a couple of several key insights found in the Grow Financial Passion Report.*
 
Before Percent Pledge, Grow Financial volunteer events were segmented to individual teams for team-building opportunities. To avoid siloing each project and to customize the social impact program to Grow Financial, Percent Pledge used the Passion Report as a blueprint to strategically align employees’ passion with Grow’s DEI initiatives.
 
“With the Passion Report, we strategically aligned our philanthropic efforts with our DEI initiatives and mission. The three-prong alignment has allowed us to utilize the team-building aspect and partner with organizations that align with our DEI initiatives. 
 
So even though there is an overarching focus of hunger and homelessness [employee’s top cause], Percent Pledge was able to layer DEI into volunteer events by partnering us with organizations that help those underrepresented communities.”  -- Negron
 
“We increased internal engagement and external engagement in our communities.”
While keeping a DEI lens for volunteer events, Percent Pledge catered each event to fit Grow Financial’s strategy map.
 
“Because of Percent Pledge, we were able to find organizations that met our needs and goals, especially with DEI in mind. As a result, we’ve increased internal engagement and external engagement in our communities. We had a big goal this year of involving more employees in our DEI initiatives, and we did just that.” -- Negron
 
“We created an impact that didn’t stop after the one-time event.”
Percent Pledge curated volunteer events that allowed the Grow Financial team to learn more about their communities through the various nonprofits’ programs, inherently connecting employees with each other and their community. And from that, Grow Financial created a domino effect of lasting change.
 
“The impact doesn’t stop after the one-time event.
 
For example, during a Metropolitan Ministries volunteer event, team members noticed the thrift store was low on specific items and asked additional team members if they’d be willing to help by donating those items. Then after learning about Metropolitan Ministries' mission and services in a virtual event, a few team members were able to help members who were experiencing difficult life situations by reaching out to Metropolitan Ministries for help through their services.
 
These events aren’t just our team volunteering and making an impact in that one moment. Team members were able to pass the impact on beyond the day of the event. We're really trying to make an impact on the communities we serve. And being able to share these moments with them has a longer-lasting effect than just volunteering one time.” -- Negron
 
Percent Pledge curated 14 in-person volunteer events.
 
And due to the pandemic stalling Grow Financial’s volunteer program, Percent Pledge curated three virtual events for their dispersed team. The virtual events enabled Grow to continue its philanthropic efforts and gave remote workers in different states the once-rare opportunity to share the experience and engage with all their team members. 
 
“All of the volunteer event logistics are taken care of.”
To connect Grow Financial’s team through volunteering - and take more work off Negron’s plate - Percent Pledge took care of all of the designing, researching, vetting, partnering, facilitating, and more for the curated custom volunteer projects.
 
“Organizing these events was a pain point because we have a small diversity team, and evaluating the nonprofits to ensure they were the right fit for us was time-consuming. We turned to Percent Pledge because we knew all of the volunteer event logistics would be taken care of.
 
Also, Percent Pledge has become an extension of our team. The one thing that stands out to me is the passion of Percent Pledge employees. When I speak with Maureen [Director of Customer Success at Percent Pledge], her enthusiasm comes across for each project and organization researched. Percent Pledge has a real, authentic passion for their work, and you can’t fake that.” -- Negron
 
The Results
“If your company is looking to put volunteering or philanthropy at the forefront of your communities, I would definitely recommend Percent Pledge as the team to partner with. 
 
From the enthusiasm and passion of their employees to their commitment to reaching your philanthropy goals, Percent Pledge is the organization that can help you make a genuine and authentic impact.” -- Negron

Interested in learning how Percent Pledge can create an authentic and engaging social impact program for your fast-growing company? Schedule a demo with us.
 
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Cori Hammoor

Written by Cori Hammoor

Marketing Manager @ Percent Pledge.

Learn how Percent Pledge can create an engaging social impact program for your fast-growing company.