Sara Reschly, coordinator of the Brighton Park Neighborhood Network, shares her organization's mission with KPMG's team.

KPMG employees shared their personal testimony about giving back to their community in the company's new Storylab video-booth.

Gone are the days of stuffy, impersonal fundraising campaigns. Remember the days when your company would dictate which organizations you could donate to?

Today, United Way corporate partners are putting new twists on their fundraising campaigns to support our work to build stronger neighborhoods where residents are safe, healthy and proud to live.

Take our partners at KPMG for example. Previously, the accounting and consulting firm would simply share information about which nonprofit organizations their employees could donate to. Now, they’ve added interactive elements to engage their employees in fun, new ways.

“Innovation is at the core of everything we do [at KPMG], and that includes constantly rethinking how and why we give back,” said LaTonya Latimore, KPMG’s Executive Assistant and Giving Campaign Leader. “There are a lot of fundraising walks and drives. At some point, we had to do something new. KPMG is now doing different things to bring people and community organizations together to share what matters to them. Our employees can see and learn how each of them plays a part in the bigger picture of giving back to the community.”

One way KPMG is bringing this to life is by opening their brand-new KPMG Ignition Center – Chicago. The Ignition Center was designed to support businesses and help them become better able to compete and transform in the 21st century. It also allows KPMG to give back to the community in new and innovative ways. For instance, KPMG hosted the United Way Board of Directors at the Ignition Center for a half-day workshop, where their team applied design thinking to several business issues and initiatives the board was looking to explore.

Most recently, KPMG hosted their fundraising campaign kick-off in the space, engaging employees around the work happening in the community.

Instead of providing pamphlets about nonprofits’ missions, ambassadors of the nonprofits were invited to present compelling stories about the direct impact of their work and opportunities for employees to get involved. In the intimate setting, employees were able to ask questions and dig into the details of where their dollars will go.

“As we think about our people and what matters most to them, we realized they want the ability to choose to donate to the causes that matter most to them,” said Linda Imonti, KPMG’s Office Managing Principal. “They want to give to where their passions are and what’s meaningful to them. We’ve built our Season of Giving campaign on the United Way platform to give people the ability to donate where they want, and I’m proud to see the continued generosity of our professionals.”

To further inspire their colleagues, KPMG also incorporated a storytelling activity. In the Ignition Center’s Storylab video-recording booth, employees recorded vignettes about why they give back to their community. KPMG compiled this video to share with the entire firm.

Our corporate partners, including KPMG, are also taking a new approach to giving that places equal value on both time and monetary investment, deepening their employees’ connections to their communities through volunteering.

Employees pack care kits with reading materials for students and necessities for new moms and plan Day of Caring events to plant community gardens and help improve facilities in neighborhoods. Once they understand the community’s needs, some even go the extra mile and commit to volunteering with our community partners as youth mentors and free tax preparers.

“Our corporate partners bring great investments to our neighborhoods, enabling community-led work to happen,” said Marilyn Jackson, United Way of Metro Chicago’s Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer. “We’re excited to see these partners creating and embracing new opportunities to engage their employees around philanthropy. It will only make these investments more impactful.”

Learn how your company can host a United Way giving campaign to support our work to build stronger neighborhoods!