For our April event, we asked Mike Newhall, VP of Business & Community Development, to discuss how Sentinel's corporate philanthropy has evolved over the past few years. And, specifically, how does their workplace giving philosophy contribute to employee engagement across the organization.
First, Mike relayed how giving is a priority at Sentinel. The organization runs SentinelCares, an initiative to "engage one another to do good things for others...everyday." Mike elaborates, "Our community involvement is at the center of our culture and values. We have a vision for our company to be difference makers for those we serve, and it is a passion shared by everyone at Sentinel."
As a specific example, Mike described a recent fundraiser. In support of Sentinel's partnership with Boston Children's Hospital and their Corporate Cup fundraiser, Sentinel decided to host a Pi(e)-in-the-face-Day. Employees engaged in a friendly competition for which partner they wanted to see get swallowed by a whipped cream pie, by donating money towards the partner of their choice. The result: a fun-filled experience with partner Robert DiMase being the lucky one to get a pie in the face. The entire experience was fun for the employees while doing good raising money for a great cause, and maybe best of all - the video lives on for the continued enjoyment of all!
Another showcase of Sentinel’s giving that engages employees is their grant program. Sentinel donates annually to a variety of charities and organizations. With the grant program in place, employees now have access to a portion of the funds that Sentinel donates. Employees apply for a grant of $1,000 for a charity of their choice, the requirement being that the employee must be meaningfully involved with the charity either through board membership or regular volunteering efforts. Last year, 5 grants were funded resulting in $5,000 going to charities that Sentinel employees truly cared about in a personal way.
Sentinel certainly sets the bar high for their commitment to giving and incorporating their employees into the decisions about how and where to direct charitable funds.