Get to Know Old National Bank, Finalist for 2016 Employee Volunteer Program of the Year

Sep 23, 2016 7:00 AM ET

In this Q&A series, get to know the finalists for VolunteerMatch’s 2016 Employee Volunteer Program of the Year Award. Winners will be revealed on October 25, 2016 at VM Summit 16Get your VM Summit 16 ticket today. Today’s featured volunteer program: Old National Bank.

What makes your volunteer program so successful?

Old National Bank’s program is called ONe Community (capital ON stands for Old National). The volunteer program is structured to balance the needs of the company’s communities and the engagement and development of its associates, with its core competency of financial literacy.

Old National Bank has a strong commitment to financial literacy, not only because it’s a natural fit for the industry, but because we know the positive impact it can make. It allows the company to leverage skills-based and pro-bono volunteering while helping individuals make changes that have helped them create a better future.  In 2015, our associates taught over 900 total sessions of financial education, reaching 17,000 people.

Just as each of the communities in which Old National Bank serves has specific needs, so do each of the participants in its financial literacy programs. For that reason, we partnered with the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) to create our own Real Life Finance program, which is a set of curricula that can be tailored to the needs of each individual or group. We also have a Financial Empowerment Officer who is there to help volunteers choose the best curriculum.

This tailored approach allows Old National Bank to create both large and small partnerships and engage associates in the causes that interest them. It also allows them to work closely with the organizations that receive grants or sponsorship funding from the company.

We provide 24 hours per year of volunteer flex time that associates can use at the nonprofit of their choice. This flexible approach supports our associates in serving where they have passion while helping them maintain a great fit between their work and home responsibilities.

What recent accomplishments make you proud?

In 2016, we held a Pay It Forward campaign that was a huge success. Our Associate and Community Engagement (ACE) Teams took the lead in organizing and implementing Pay It Forward activities in their respective regions. Each of the 14 regions was given $500 to start with and were simply tasked with “paying it forward” in whatever creative ways they thought of. Associates made a difference in our communities by creating over 200 care packages for cancer patients and the homeless, raising funds for a children’s hospital, serving almost 500 law enforcement and fire personnel through lunches and care packages, collecting over 900 books for children, purchasing groceries for families and food pantries, and so many more acts of kindness and service! Three regions were selected as winners and were given a grant to their nonprofit of choice, which continued the spirit of the campaign.

Anything else you’d like to share?

In the past year, Old National received two first place Community Commitment Awards for Financial Education from the American Bankers Association (ABA).

Financial Empowerment Officer Ben Joergens was honored as 2015 winner of the George Bailey Distinguished Service Award. Named after Jimmy Stewart’s iconic character in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the award is reserved for a non-CEO bank employee who demonstrates outstanding initiative, impactful work and the ability to inspire others.

Old National was also awarded first place in the Financial Education category for our “12 Steps to Financial Success” program which provides individuals incarcerated for non-violent offenses with the skills and confidence necessary to re-enter society in a productive way through financial literacy training.

Through the recognition for two great awards, we were able to share our story and passion with many banks around the country. As a result, we now have a greater opportunity to empower numerous banks with the tools to reach even people in need.

Will Old National Bank win VolunteerMatch’s Employee Volunteer Program of the Year Award? Find out at VM Summit 16 – get your ticket today.