Community Engagement at Northern Trust
Originally published in Northern Trust 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Rep…
Community engagement opportunities and paid time off for volunteerism enhance our communities and provide a competitive advantage in employee recruiting and satisfaction. Options for employee volunteerism are consistently a priority for college graduates considering future employers. Nonprofit and civic board involvement is integral to talent management, as it provides employees with leadership experience, skills development and networking opportunities beyond the scope of their responsibilities.
In 2020, Northern Trust launched iVolunteer, a new global engagement platform that helps employees identify, engage and develop relationships with local charities. During this past year of virtual work, a crucial component of this platform was our Virtual Volunteer Hub, which enabled employees to find and participate in virtual volunteering activities. This platform helped enable employee participation through our volunteer campaign, Achieving Greater Together. During the 2020 Achieving Greater Together campaign, our employees contributed more than 5,500 hours of service, supporting more than 180 global charities. To further encourage employee involvement in their local communities, we offer all employees two full days of paid time off to volunteer with approved nonprofit organizations. Over the past 10 years, our employees have contributed nearly 1 million cumulative hours of volunteer service. Despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19 restrictions, our Achieving Greater Together campaign enabled employees to participate in activities such as virtual mentoring to underserved youth and writing letters to frontline healthcare workers, seniors in retirement homes and sick children.
Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab
The Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab invests capital, shares networks and offers expertise to budding entrepreneurs in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. Established through a partnership between Accion and the Chicago Community Trust, the program pairs promising local entrepreneurs with investors, advisors and project associates. Northern Trust employees have served as a project associates since the program’s launch in 2018. This year, 10 Northern Trust employees served as advisors to entrepreneurs, conducting nine months of regular coaching and hosting specialty workshops reflecting their business areas of expertise. Through their ongoing, in-depth guidance, our employees have helped the entrepreneurs increase revenue, improve profit margins and expand their number of employees.
Response to COVID-19
To support those communities most impacted by COVID-19, we committed $3 million in philanthropic support to nonprofit organizations around the world, including those that provide healthcare, food and other humanitarian relief. These included the Global FoodBanking Network, the United Nations Solidarity Response Fund of the World Health Organization, the United Way Worldwide, Doctors Without Borders, Feeding America and Meals on Wheels.
University of Greenwich Mentor Programme
Through this London-based opportunity, more than 30 employee mentors were paired with business school students from diverse backgrounds, many of whom are the first in their families to attend institutions of higher education. Our employees helped to build students’ professional confidence, develop employability skills and prepare for a successful transition to graduate-level employment. Since 2011, more than 300 employees have participated. Some mentees have joined our internship program, obtained full-time positions with us, and even become mentors themselves.
Lunchtime Knitting Group for A Little Lifetime Foundation
In our Dublin and Limerick offices, a group of about 20 employees meet virtually to provide support to A Little Lifetime Foundation. Founded in 1983, the organization promotes healthy grieving for families who have experienced the loss of a baby at any stage of pregnancy or after birth.
Support for Victims of Typhoon Vamco
Through a wide-reaching donation drive in our Manila office, employees supported families and individuals impacted by Typhoon Vamco, a deadly Category 4-equivalent storm that struck the Philippines and Vietnam.
Response to Australian Bushfires
Northern Trust donated funds to the Australian Red Cross in response to the thousands of devastating bushfires that burned more than 46 million acres, destroyed at least 3,500 homes and killed 34 people between September 2019 and March 2020.
Read the full report here.