We’re Making an Impact
July 12, 2021
Volunteerism can be described as providing skills for the benefit of other people and causes rather than for financial and personal gain. From company-sponsored initiatives to virtual volunteer events to safe in-person opportunities, FirstEnergy employees are volunteerism rock stars.
To ensure we are helping employees remain engaged and create even more impact within their communities, we launched the Community Impact Portal earlier this year. Since its inception, FirstEnergy employees have embraced the portal for volunteer opportunities within their local areas.
Through the portal, employees can access a personalized dashboard containing details about their volunteerism and United Way pledges. It also offers opportunities to make charitable donations and to see available community volunteer opportunities year-round.
Rewards for Doing Good
“The Community Impact Portal was introduced to complement our VTO program and to also recognize the vast amount of personal time our employees spend volunteering. The system expands our outreach and provides a deeper volunteer experience for employees,” said Torey Tolson, Corporate Oversight & Community Involvement consultant.
Community efforts performed on personal time can earn a reward rate of $3 per hour, up to $250 per employee, that can be designated to a charitable organization of choice. These rewards are earned after meeting a six-hour threshold of volunteering with a registered cause (not a company-sponsored event). Employees have 180 days to disburse any earned reward money in their giving account to a 501(c)3 charity of their choice.
Remember, the Community Impact Portal and SAP are not connected. You can track your personal volunteer time in the Community Impact Portal and capture your VTO (volunteer time off performed during working hours), in your SAP time sheet using absence code VTO.
An Impactful Experience
Since our new Community Impact Portal went live, 2,511 hours have been logged by 395 employees. As a result, our MLK Day of Service, Arbor Day/Earth Day and Pollinator Garden Planting events were very successful. Some of the most popular events include foodbanks, blood drives and community clean ups.
“The portal makes it easy to navigate through the different volunteer opportunities provided,” said Christina Brunson, senior business analyst, who has used the portal numerous times. “Before the portal, I had to find nonprofit organizations and their volunteer events on my own. By using this tool, employees might just find a unique volunteer opportunity that they would not have discovered on their own. I love the variety of choices.”
Jen Hardin, analyst V, agreed.
“The Community Impact Portal is so easy to use. I really appreciate having one spot to find and track volunteer opportunities and hours,” she said. “As part of the D&I team for Finance, I recently reached out to a nonprofit to identify volunteer opportunities for our team. Once we had the event details, Community Involvement entered the information into the portal and was able to offer the opportunity to employees. We had a great response resulting in a tremendous impact for the nonprofit organization.”