This has been an unusual and challenging year for everyone, including the corporate world. In the face of crisis, we are beyond thankful for individuals and businesses alike that have adapted efforts and gotten creative with the way they support our local nonprofit community. Especially at a time when it would have been easier to do nothing at all.
Over the last five years, Wells Fargo employees in Charlotte have contributed nearly ¾ million volunteer hours. Community support is an aspect of working for Wells Fargo that employees take great pride in embracing and during a time when thousands of people are working from home and in-person and group volunteer activities are all on pause, Wells Fargo has still found a way to keep the spirit of community support and connectivity alive.
One of the biggest challenges for Wells Fargo in 2020? Finding a way to continue to offer their highly generous and engaged employees ways to get involved with local nonprofits in a safe way amid the pandemic. Wells Fargo met this challenge with creativity and quickly pivoted efforts to offer their employees, who are accustomed to getting hands on and volunteering in large groups, new ways to make an impact.
How? Wells Fargo’s Month of Action, traditionally held throughout September, transitioned this year to a new year-round approach to employee service and giving.
Employees were encouraged to participate by signing for virtual volunteer opportunities with select nonprofits, making financial gifts to their favorite cause or to the WE Care Fund to help colleagues in need, or by performing acts of kindness, a new component of the year-round effort. This new approach to service and giving is meant to help create a deeper sense of community and caring for each other.
In the absence of hands-on volunteering projects, Wells Fargo took the initiative to offer their employees more than 70 virtual volunteer opportunities internally, providing them with ways they could give their time remotely.
Wells Fargo employees were also encouraged not only to make financial donations to support local causes they care about, but in support of their fellow colleagues as well by contributing to their WE Care Fund, an internal program that provides financial grants to Wells Fargo employees to cover unforeseen expenses caused by a disaster situation or a financial hardship that is beyond their control. These grants help employees get back on their feet by covering things like basic living expenses, home repairs, and medical expenses. Wells Fargo provided $23 million in WE Care grants in 2020 versus $3 million in 2019.
Additionally, Wells Fargo encouraged Random Acts of Kindness from their employees by partnering with local nonprofit Charlotte is Creative to create a special challenge for Charlotte leaders. The goal was to complete 25 random acts of kindness including anything from wearing a t-shirt of a Charlotte nonprofit you support on a Zoom call to organizing a Zoom call to check in and thank someone who has helped you, and much more.
Wells Fargo looks forward to getting back to traditional giving models, but in the meantime will continue to look for creative ways to support their employees and local nonprofits across Charlotte through trusted and proven partners, including SHARE Charlotte and #GivingTuesdayCLT.