2019 was another year of companies stepping up to help us help families in our community. From providing armies of volunteers to stuff hygiene kits for families living in shelters to funding innovative new approaches to solving problems, their unwavering financial and in-kind support is the lifeblood that propels us forward. Here are a few moments that defined Corporate Philanthropy for us in 2019.
United Way and Aetna launch the Venture Fund
This year, in collaboration with Aetna, we launched the first-ever Venture Fund competition to seed new, innovative and collaborative solutions to entrenched community issues such as family homelessness, school readiness and the need for skilled workers, among others. During a live “pitch event” on May 22, eight finalists presented their ideas to an expert panel of judges and the broader community, and four winners were awarded to $75,000 on the spot to implement their initiatives. In a surprising turn of events, BCG, which hosted the event, was so inspired by all of the presenting agencies that they pledged to donate proceeds from an upcoming fundraiser to the four agencies that were not selected. Learn about the innovative non-profit organizations that won this year’s funding.
New Partnership agreements set the stage for deeper collaboration
In 2019, we announced a new level of partnership between United Way and leading corporate citizens in our region. Starting in February with Eversource and Blue Cross Blue Shield, these partnership agreements are designed to leverage not only United Way’s strengths — but also the strengths of our corporate partners — to help us achieve greater impact. In May we announced Mintz, longtime champion of United Way, as the third company to sign on as a strategic collaboration partner and, at the same time, a supporter of the United Way Venture Fund.
Salesforce and United Way rewrite the rules of corporate philanthropy
This was the year our partnership with Salesforce to reimagine corporate philanthropy really took off. Companies from across the region have signed on to empower their employees to engage in corporate giving strategies, advocate for their own causes and understand the impact their donations are making in the community. Learn more about how we’re disrupting philanthropy and creating a new model for the internet age.
Eversource partnership takes Giving Tuesday to a new level
For the second year in a row, Eversource has stepped up as our Giving Tuesday partner, generously doubling all donations to the campaign. This support has not been insignificant. Because of Eversource’s promotion, donations increased by more than 50%, which they then matched, funneling an impressive $60,000 into the Family Fund, which provides emergency assistance to families who have exhausted all other avenues. Find out more about this year’s Giving Tuesday here.
Nationwide partnerships help local families
This year, we were very excited to be part of a new kind of partnership, involving national organizations that are helping on a local level. This fall, we participated in the Pepsi Cause for Celebration series – for every touchdown scored from Kickoff to Thanksgiving, Pepsi donated 100 meals to that team’s local United Way. Fortunately for us, the New England Patriots continued to make us proud, scoring 35 touchdowns and 3500 meals for local families. More recently, Starbucks and United Way partnered to help end homelessness. As part of December’s #GiveTogether campaign, the Starbucks Foundation matched all gifts to United Way up to $200,000. Read more about this program here.
Partnership is the backbone of United Way’s impact in the community. Stay tuned for more posts this month looking back on how together, we are leveraging the power of our region’s nonprofit and business community to create change that lasts.