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Humana Employees Create Fund for the Arts App

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Louisville-based Fund for the Arts, the oldest United Arts Fund in the country, has launched a new app thanks to employee volunteers at Humana. Employees in the healthcare company's Digital Experience Center (an innovation lab) donated over 75 hours to help create the app, Louisville Arts Link, which launched on February 2, 2016. The app provides detailed listings of the various arts and cultural events in the area and enables users to donate to Fund for the Arts.

 

The Digital Experience Center team is proud to have volunteered to co-create the app with the Fund, its constituents and supporters,” said Antonio Melo, Director of the Humana Digital Experience Center. “It is a meaningful and tangible way for us to give back to the vibrant arts community in Louisville that we consider to be among the city’s great treasures.”

 

For its outstanding partnerships with the arts, Humana received induction into the BCA Hall of Fame in 2006, and Humana Chairman Michael B. McCallister received the 2013 BCA Leadership Award for his commitment to the arts.

 

According to the app also will digitize the Fund's ArtsCARD, which offers discounts for many of the 14 arts organizations that coordinate their fundraising through Fund for the Arts. Deals include special ticket packages, first option to purchase, free performances, and last-minute discount offers.

 

“Our goal for the app is to help promote local arts opportunities while increasing access, event attendance, engagement and awareness,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts president and CEO. “The arts are everywhere in Louisville and Louisville Arts Link will make it so easy for our residents and visitors to discover and experience them.”

 

The app follows the release of Fund for the Arts' new branding, which was revealed in January 2016. “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history," the organization said.

In a video released on Twitter, Fund for the Arts released its new look, stating: “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history.” - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/fund-for-the-arts-unveils-new-brand#sthash.EsNkkqgf.dpuf
In a video released on Twitter, Fund for the Arts released its new look, stating: “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history.” - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/fund-for-the-arts-unveils-new-brand#sthash.EsNkkqgf.dpuf
In a video released on Twitter, Fund for the Arts released its new look, stating: “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history.” - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/fund-for-the-arts-unveils-new-brand#sthash.EsNkkqgf.dpuf

 

Read the full press release here.

 

Does your business encourage skills-based volunteering to help arts organizations in your community? We want to hear from you! Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us a partnership@artsusa.org.

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The Business of Business is Volunteering

Posted by Richard Crespin
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When Capital One bought ING Direct last year in the first big bank acquisition since Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, the deal was subject to a high level of scrutiny. While regulators poured over the facts and figures, what they really wanted to know was could Capital One be trusted?

 

“We had hearings with the [Federal Reserve] in three different cities. Numerous nonprofits testified on our behalf about our corporate character,” said Carolyn Berkowitz, Managing Vice President for Capital One Bank and President of the Capital One Foundation. “They all said, ‘…this is a company that’s going to add to our community, not detract from it…’ That kind of commitment doesn’t come from just writing a check.”

 

Milton Friedman famously said, “the business of business is business.” Corporate responsibility skeptics often ape Friedman, asking how these programs impact the bottom line. But for most publicly traded firms, over 80% of their market value – the real test of shareholder value – lies on the balance sheet in good will and brand. Capital One’s good will, built through skills-based volunteering, added to its brand value and its book value because it helped ensure the purchase of ING Direct.

 

Although Capital One’s skills-based volunteering program is more than ten years old, in 2008 the company expanded and restructured it to make it a cornerstone of their brand. At its founding, Capital One was “a company that was a new idea, knocking down the price of credit. That was a mission unto itself,” said Berkowitz. “For our associates, taking on pro bono is like a new mission. Having the opportunity to use their very honed skills, taking them into the community and back to the company is a reward for our people and has a big impact on our ability to grow.”

 

Capital One joined 365 of America’s largest companies and well-known brands in taking the A Billion + Changepledge to “donate their best talent to tackle tough problems in their communities and around the world.” The pledge inspired the donation of the equivalent of $1.998 billion of volunteer time and the organization wants to get to 500 participating firms by this summer (Source: Billion + Change). But skills-based volunteering isn’t an easy story to tell.

 

On April 22, during a Pro Bono Summit panel organized by A Billion + Change, Deloitte, Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, George Mason University, and Fairfax County, Berkowitz asked, “how can the media help tell this story?” By common wisdom, donors and volunteers respond to pictures of volunteers coming to the aid of suffering people, not “capacity building” – strengthening the infrastructure, operations, and management of nonprofits. According to Berkowitz, “we often find nonprofits aren’t ready for us; don’t speak our language,” and don’t have the structures to make use of volunteer resources. Without that infrastructure, nonprofits can be like water in the dessert: pour on all the resources and they’ll just run off without making an impact.

 

“We’re a visual medium, so a park clean-up is an easy visual,” said NBC4 Washington’s Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey. “But we also love numbers,” so the kinds of statistics that underlie programs like Capital One’s can draw media attention. Yet many businesses still don’t know how they can help nonprofits overcome capacity problems. That must change.

 

Over my next few blogs I’ll explore how Capital One and other companies use programs like the A Billion + Change pledge to drive business value and magnify social impact. Here’s a quick preview of my next post on the business case for using skills-based volunteering to build nonprofit capacity…

 

“We need to totally rethink and resell pro bono,” said Deloitte’s Evan Hochberg, National Director of Community Involvement. “At last year’s Impact Day,” said Hochberg, describing Deloitte’s annual community service day, “I had one executive come up to me [dressed in a suit], and say, ‘This is not Impact Day. I need to be outside in a t-shirt,’” doing something with her hands, not her skills. While her attitude shifted over the course of the day after seeing Deloitte’s skills-based volunteers transform these organizations, her original thinking is the kind that still predominates in many circles.

 

“So far, [skills-based volunteering] has been sold as an employee benefit, not as a deliberate way of having social impact,” said Hochberg. “Our country can’t afford for us to be that cavalier with human capital.”

 

What operational, infrastructure, and management challenges does your nonprofit face? How has your company made a transformative difference for a nonprofit? What undermines these kinds of engagements?

 

(This post, originally published on BCLC.uschamber.com, is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage.)

 

*This article was posted on ARTSblog.

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