If your office had $1,000 to make an innovative difference in your community, how would you invest it?
That’s what The Allstate Foundation asked employees across the country in 2012 as part of its Give Outside the Box program.
Nearly 900 employees responded, submitting ideas online and on paper during “Innovation Unleashed,” a weeklong celebration promoting a culture of creativity and innovation. The Foundation reviewed the submissions to select the top 98 ideas (based on eligibility, creativity and feasibility), then put them up for an online vote in 34 offices across the enterprise.
La’Shonda Perry, the outbound customer relationship specialist at Allstate’s Customer Contact Center in Charlotte, NC, nominated Communities in Schools of Charlotte Mecklenburg, which received one of the 37 grants given. Perry’s local affiliate of the national Communities in Schools organization offered college prep that readied her for life after high school. Perry said it made a difference, and is the reason she selected the organization for the grant. “[It] makes me feel proud to be able to work at a company that supports organizations like Communities in Schools,” Perry said. “I started volunteering for the group at the beginning of this school year, but I had no idea I’d be able to make such a big difference.”
Allstate’s commitment to improving local communities is central to our shared vision of bringing out the good in people’s lives. After all, our communities are where we live and work, so we make every effort to help make them better places. Community involvement at Allstate is delivered by people all across the company—from California to Quebec, from Belfast to Bangalore, from our regional offices to our home office, from senior leaders to our interns. Our engagement with communities is an integral part of how we lead and who we are as a company. And, while we understand the power of our checkbook, we know our ultimate strength lies in the good hands of all the individuals we inspire to become champions for positive change.
From Allstate employees and agency owners who donate and volunteer, to organizations that align with our mission, to all the people we’ve helped who pay it forward—together, we are inspiring change and changing lives.
Allstate contributes to communities across the country through our annual Giving Campaign, which matches 15 cents on every dollar donated by employees and agency owners to local and national nonprofits. The company adds an additional five cents to the local United Way, and covers all administrative costs associated with the campaign.
In 2012, 49 percent of Allstate employees and agency owners contributed $5.53 million, including Allstate’s match. The campaign involved more than 500 volunteer coordinators from across the country.
Last year, in the wake of Sandy, the Giving Campaign supported Allstate employees’ desire to help victims of the storm by matching donations dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000, to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Beyond financial contributions, agency owners and employees volunteer more than 200,000 hours each year—including on Allstate’s Give Back Day, held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and during Allstate’s National Week of Service.
Every week, Allstate employees volunteer their time and talents through more than 120 employee-led Helping Hands committees in their local communities — working in soup kitchens, teaching children about business and the economy, cleaning up neighborhoods, painting schools, helping run fundraising efforts, and hosting events at community centers.
In August 2012, more than 2,600 employees and agency owners—along with their friends and families—participated in Allstate’s first-ever Week of Service. Volunteers completed 290 projects and logged 10,000 hours of service throughout the week, and Allstate awarded $78,000 in Challenge Grants to 156 of the benefiting nonprofits. Allstate Ambassadors partnered with Feeding America, bringing in enough food and funding to provide more than 250,000 meals to the nation’s hungry and impoverished.
In addition to the significant number of Allstate officers who serve on boards of community nonprofits, Allstate created the Allstate Fellows program in 2011 to give leaders the opportunity to provide business skills to selected nonprofits. In 2012, five Allstate Fellows were recruited and placed at Chicago-area Allstate Foundation or Allstate nonprofit partners, delivering 4,000 hours of dedicated professional service valued at $200,000.
Allstate's business is helping people where and when it matters most, and that same spirit applies to our involvement in our hometown of Chicago. We’ve funded major institutions and civic improvements, including a recent $5 million commitment to serve as a lead funder of Chicago’s new public-private Get In Chicago
campaign to reduce violent crime and improve the safety and vitality of neighborhoods throughout the city.
Last year, we were lead sponsor for citywide initiatives including the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012, the Chicago Children's Humanities Festival, and "One Book, One Chicago." We underwrote major museum exhibits that attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. We backed multicultural programming at the Goodman Theater, and supported the Joffrey Ballet and other performing arts groups.
Allstate CEO Tom Wilson was named co-chair of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Violence Prevention Task Force. We worked with the Chicago Police Department and community groups to develop new crime prevention programs. We supported job training and supplier diversity campaigns. Our executives and employees contributed time, money and talent to a wide variety of nonprofit partners.
All told, we contributed $4.5 million in the Chicago area. But more than money, Allstate’s sincere and sustained commitment was the key to making a real difference for our neighbors and our community.
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