• Umpqua Holdings Corporation
email this
  • Umpqua Bank Outlines How to Create a Successful Volunteer Program
    Bank Recognizes National Volunteer Week with Five Tips to Develop and Sustain a Corporate Volunteer ProgramĀ 
    Company Release - 04/22/2008 13:30


    Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ), recognizes National Volunteer Week, April 27 through May 3, by sharing five tips for building a successful volunteer program. The tips are based on the company's Connect Volunteer Network, an industry leading, employer-paid volunteer program with a commitment to youth activities and community development in Oregon, Washington and Northern California.

    "One of the most valuable benefits Umpqua Bank offers its associates and communities is paid time off to volunteer. It inspires active citizenship among our associates and introduces them to local organizations and schools, which in turn helps build strong communities," said Nicole Stein, vice president of community relations for Umpqua Bank.

    Stein led Umpqua Bank's community giving and volunteer programs for the past six years; helping to launch the Connect program in 2004. Since the program's inception, the bank has contributed more than 60,000 tracked volunteer hours to the communities it serves.

    "Connect benefits more than the community and our associates; it also benefits Umpqua Bank as a company," said Stein. "Connect has had a positive impact on the morale and productivity of our existing associates, increased company visibility, given us an edge when attracting new associates, and increased our access to community members."

    Umpqua's Connect program is consistently ranked as a top employment benefit by the company's associates. The company recently appeared on the 2008 "Companies That Care" Honor Roll as well as FORTUNE magazine's list of the "100 Best Places to Work." Both awards cited Umpqua's associate volunteer program as a key differentiator.

    Five Tips for Creating a Volunteer Program

    1. Start at the top. Begin by identifying business objectives that will benefit from active community interaction and seek support from senior management. Ensure that the senior management team is well-versed in the program and prepared to applaud and defend it both internally and externally.

    2. Focus. Find out what employees are interested in and where your company is already donating time or money. Build a program around those areas of interests. Create a select list of appropriate organizations to make it easy for employees to choose.

    3. Celebrate. Recognizing employee participation and highlighting success stories raises awareness of the program. Keep enthusiasm high for future projects by recognizing outstanding volunteers and projects.

    4. Keep the lines of communication open. Seek feedback from employees about what works and what doesn't and be willing to make adjustments.

    5. Get involved. Join an existing, or start your own, local corporate social responsibility group to learn from other companies who have implemented successful volunteer programs. Local Corporate Volunteer Councils (CVC) can help facilitate this exchange of information and assist in getting the process going.

    About the Connect Volunteer Network

    The Connect Volunteer Network provides full-time Umpqua Bank associates with 40 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer at youth focused organizations, schools and community development programs, which often have a hard time filling their daytime volunteer positions.

    Through the Connect Volunteer Network, Umpqua associates are given the opportunity to choose the organization they would like to be involved with. Associates engage in a variety of activities such as spending time in schools, engaging in mentoring projects or dedicating their time to local food banks -- all during their regular working hours.

    Umpqua Bank has established a strong support system for the volunteer program including full board and executive backing, and extensive participation at every level of the organization. Umpqua's volunteer initiatives are in addition to its community giving programs which donated more than $1 million in financial contributions in 2007 alone.

    About Umpqua Bank

    Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ) and has 147 locations between Napa, Calif. and Bellevue, Wash., along the Oregon and Northern California Coast and in both Central California and Central Oregon. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company, recognized for the second year in a row, ranked 13th on Fortune Magazine's 2008 list of the country's "100 Best Companies To Work For." Umpqua Holdings also owns retail brokerage subsidiary Strand, Atkinson, Williams & York Inc., which has locations in Umpqua Bank stores and in dedicated offices throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Umpqua Bank's Private Client Services Division provides tailored financial services and products to individual customers. Umpqua Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Portland, Ore. For more information, visit http://www.umpquabank.com/.

    Source: Umpqua Bank

    Contact: Umpqua Bank Nicole Stein, 503-727-4130 NicoleStein@UmpquaBank.com or LANE PR Eve Callahan, 503-546-7867 Eve@lanepr.com