Doing Good is Good for You

We love sharing inspiring content, especially about volunteering and its positive effects on individuals and organizations. The following is a gently edited blog post by RealizedWorth from Kate Rubin, Vice President of UnitedHealth Group and President of UnitedHealth Foundation. We hope you enjoy this research on how volunteering can improve your health.

For organizations like UnitedHealth Group, building healthier communities is part of our mission. We’ve invested in research that demonstrates how volunteering is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. In our Doing Good is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study, we learned that people who volunteer feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Doing good is, indeed, good for you! Here are the findings:

Volunteering Makes a Difference

People who volunteered in the past 12 months told us volunteering has made them feel physically healthier and there was an even stronger connection between volunteering and mental health.Volunteers in the study provided higher ratings than non-volunteers on nine well-established measures of emotional well-being, which included overall satisfaction with life, personal independence, and capacity for rich interpersonal relationships. Participants also cited that volunteering improved their mood and self-esteem! Other benefits like lower stress levels can be viewed in the diagram below:

It’s true: volunteering makes us feel better. And while we’re feeling better, other people who benefit from our volunteer efforts feel better, too.  Everybody wins! Continue reading

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It’s Not Every Day You Get to Save a Five-Year-Old’s Life

Hudson and ConfidenceBusiness leaders are increasingly faced with the difficulty of providing employees with more meaning at work. Whether its Gen Y workers or Millennials driving change at your work place, nearly all of us desire more meaning in our daily tasks. For Don Fornes, CEO of Austin-based tech company, Software Advice, addressing this concern for his 100 employees came in the opportunity of saving a five-year-old’s life.

After reading a New York Times article about engaging employees via corporate giving and volunteerism, Fornes joined forces with HeartGift Austin, which brings children from developing countries who suffer from congenital heart defects to the United States so they can undergo life-saving surgeries that are unavailable in their homeland.  The children are placed with a host family for the six-week duration of their stay, and are returned home when they have fully recovered. Dan and his employees found their purpose in the form of Confidence: a five-year-old girl from Benin City, Nigeria who needed life-saving heart surgery. Continue reading

What Can We Learn From America’s Most Civic Companies?

In 2012, The Civic 50’s inaugural year, Bloomberg LP in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light came together to implement a “scorecard” ranking of America’s top civic businesses based on their community impact as well as their ability to use the time and talent of their employees toward their service goals.  These top 50 companies are purpose driven, conscious of their impact on the world, and focus on shared human value, not just shared economic value. So what can entrepreneurs, businesses leaders, and even individuals learn from these changemakers? Here are seven key insights:

Civic 50

  1. Use Industry Expertise to Galvanize Impact

IBM, the top-ranking business on The Civic 50 list, dedicated 3.2 million hours of service in 2011 alone to technology-related causes. The company helped launch P-Tech, a public high school in Brooklyn where students can earn an associates degree in computer science. They also developed the world’s first World Community Grid, a global grid that pools unused computer processing power for the benefit of researchers looking to solve humanitarian problems.

FedEx took similar action by providing improved transportation to Direct Relief, an organization that provides medical assistance to people around the world who have been affected by poverty, natural disasters, and civil unrest. Together, FedEx and Direct Relief helped people in disaster areas gain access to emergency medicine.  Continue reading here or on Forbes.com Continue reading

Celebrate Earth Day

StonyFeild Earth Day 5K

The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe…it all comes from nature. This Earth Day, join people around the world in a global celebration of our planet and the bounty it provides. The first Earth Day in 1970 was instrumental in mobilizing public support across the country for passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other key environmental initiatives!

Join us Saturday, April 20th, to support Earth Day with Stonyfield Yogurt Works’ annual Earth Day 5K Celebration. Stonyfield, the world’s leading organic yogurt maker, has organized this family-friendly event and annual run to include giveaways, costumed characters, and more!  At the AltruHelp Social Impact tent, visitors can sign up to see real-time local volunteer opportunities and amplify their impact via our ipad station. You can also join our upcycling volunteer project as we turn plastic water bottles and yogurt cups into planters, bird feeders, and blocks.  We’ll be donating $1 for everyone that signs up for volunteering at our station to support victims of the Boston Marathon Tragedy. The first 100 people will also be able to win free car washes from our eco-friendly partner, ScrubaDub, and Social Impact t-shirts while they last! Proceeds from the Earth Day 5K will benefit the Life Is Good Kids Foundation, New Hampshire’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, and scholarships for Londonderry High School students. Continue reading

Organic Companies: Balancing Sustainability & Trust

organic food stampDid you know buying organic food can strengthen sustainability initiatives and boost community impact? However, in a day and age where nearly every brand on supermarket shelves is owned by one of a dozen mega conglomerates, we often wonder which organic companies can we really trust?

Many large conglomerates, have bought up organic food and drink companies, like Odwalla and Honest Tea, continuing to market the product without any mention of their involvement. Why does this matter?

Continue reading

Summer IMPACT Networking For Charity

AIN Summer 2012 Impact Report

On July 10th AltruHelp hosted the second annual IMPACT Networking Event For Charity at the Microsoft N.E.R.D. Center in Cambridge, MA. Over 100 philanthropic Bostonians came together to enjoy a fun evening of speed-volunteering and networking to support the local non-profit community and increasing Millenial (ages 16-29) volunteersim. The attendees ranged from college and graduate students to accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders and more. Continue reading

Inspiring Innovation: Social Good Hackathons

Social Good Hackathon

What do you get when you bring together brilliant people that love to write computer code and program for 24 hours with a common goal of doing good? Well, a Social Hackathon of course!

This Spring, StartLabs brought together nine teams at the Cambridge Innovation Center to create the most socially beneficial, impressively designed, and well implemented websites and applications. StartLabs recruited innovative leaders from the “Social Impact” Space including Mozilla “FireFox” Foundation, AltruHelp.com, RedStar Ventures and Fundraise.com to mentor the participants, providing the newly formed teams with structure & vision in the brainstorming of product development. Continue reading

A Culture of Philanthropy: 10 Tips to Ensure Your Organization Creates Social IMPACT

AltruHelp - Corporate Philanthropy

During this climate of economic uncertainty, on the forefront of most working professionals, business leaders and entrepreneurs is financial stability and profit. Because of this, a crucial aspect of business success can easily be overlooked: philanthropy. It is no mere accident that many of the greatest business leaders were revered as much for their business sense as their philanthropic endeavors. The Carnegie and Rockefeller names are as much associated with successful business achievements as they are philanthropic milestones.

Corporate philanthropy has the power to increase the esteem and reputation of your business in the eyes of the public, instantly improving your community profile and brand. A recent Cone Corporate Citizenship Study showed that 86% of Americans  are apt to switch to another brand from competitors of equal price & quality if that brand shows a partnership or association with a social cause.  Continue reading

Green Action: EarthFest & Earth Day

Earthfest

With all the talk about going green and building a sustainable planet, its easy to miss some of the awesome action individuals and organizations are taking to make the world a better place. This past weekend, Radio 92.9 & Whole Foods Market teamed up to present EarthFest with musical performances from Third Eye Blind, Switchfoot, Eve 6, Spin Doctors and local Boston artist Twin Berlin. Thousands of people came out to hear some great live music while meeting environmental non-profits from across the country, tasting free samples from Whole Foods companies that focus our attention on being green, and experiencing Kids’ Planet – an interactive family area with environmentally focused learning, volunteer opportunities, and exhibits for children.

In addition to EarthFest, only a few short weeks ago more than 175 countries celebrated Earth Day where volunteer events were held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the earth’s natural environment.  Did you know Earth Day was designated to be held on April 22 in 2009 by the United Nations??? Continue reading

How Corporate Volunteer Programs Help Your Business

Corporate Volunteer Program Benefits

A recent announcement by the Corporation for National and Community Service revealed that 582,000 Americans applied during the past year to serve in the AmeriCorps – an increase of almost 10 percent or 50,000 applications on the previous year. The Corps, however, has turned away close to one million potential volunteers since 2009 due to a lack of funding, and those people are looking for somewhere else to volunteer. A corporate volunteer program (CVP) offers multiple benefits to your company and employees, as well as the causes they take up.

Corporate Citizenship

Corporate America is catching on to the value of establishing CVPs, with almost one-third of corporations now offering some form of volunteerism for their staff – a growth of 150 percent over the past two decades. Continue reading