VolunDeering in the community

2018 Giving Guide

The Milwaukee Bucks have a long-standing history with Wisconsin and the local community.

While giving back has always played a significant part in the mission of the Bucks organization, the investment in a new arena, the establishment of an official Milwaukee Bucks Foundation and a new employee engagement initiative known as the “VolunDeers” now make giving back to the community a more formal, regular practice for everyone involved.

Bucks VolunDeer Sandra volunteering at the Milwaukee Center for Independence.

The new foundation is dedicated to improving outcomes for underserved populations in Wisconsin through grants, innovative partnerships and supporting ideas in youth education, health and wellness, and community betterment. The VolunDeers program, on the other hand, allows Bucks employees to give back in all areas that are meaningful to them.

Dupies

“Our employees, regardless of age, gender or race, are really interested in building relationships within the community,” said Alicia Dupies, vice president of corporate social responsibility with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The program provides every Bucks employee 16 hours of compensated service time per year.

“What it equates to for many of our employees is an ongoing commitment, a couple hours a week, a half day per quarter or a more regular commitment in order to help build lasting relationships,” Dupies said.

In the first year of the program, 301 employees participated, volunteering more than 801 hours in the community at 67 different events for 46 different organizations, Dupies said.

Employees participating include everyone from top-level management and executives to individuals in the summer intern program.

In addition to team building within the organization, VolunDeers has proven to be an important asset for employees not originally from the Milwaukee area.

“A large percentage of our employees have relocated here from outside of the Milwaukee region,” Dupies said. “We’ve found that the program provides tremendous opportunities for those employees to explore Milwaukee and get to know the great organizations we have here.”

Eiland

Tyra Eiland, senior coordinator for social responsibility, manages the VolunDeers program using a volunteer time tracking system called Track It Forward.

The software program is integrated with the organization’s payroll system and produces a calendar of opportunities for which employees can sign up, Dupies said. Once employees commit to a particular event, the system follows up with reminder emails and alerts.

“Our social responsibility team vets each organization within the system,” Dupies said. “Employees are welcome to bring organizations to us they’d like to work with, but organizations within the system are those we’ve conducted site visits with, we know the work they do and we know the volunteer opportunity will be organized.”

In addition to the formation of these two entities, the Milwaukee Bucks’ $524 million arena, currently under construction and dubbed the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, is designed to be not only the hub of entertainment in the region, but also an engine for economic growth and a renewed sense of community.

Research indicates that employees today want to be engaged in their communities, Dupies said.

“Providing these opportunities and fostering and encouraging engagement in the community is the right thing for all companies to consider,” Dupies said. “It’s a net gain in the long run. You’re adding two days to your payroll, but you’re going to instill in your employees, particularly your transplant employees, what a great community this is to live, work and play.”

The Milwaukee Bucks have a long-standing history with Wisconsin and the local community.

While giving back has always played a significant part in the mission of the Bucks organization, the investment in a new arena, the establishment of an official Milwaukee Bucks Foundation and a new employee engagement initiative known as the “VolunDeers” now make giving back to the community a more formal, regular practice for everyone involved.

Bucks VolunDeer Sandra volunteering at the Milwaukee Center for Independence.

The new foundation is dedicated to improving outcomes for underserved populations in Wisconsin through grants, innovative partnerships and supporting ideas in youth education, health and wellness, and community betterment. The VolunDeers program, on the other hand, allows Bucks employees to give back in all areas that are meaningful to them.

Dupies

“Our employees, regardless of age, gender or race, are really interested in building relationships within the community,” said Alicia Dupies, vice president of corporate social responsibility with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The program provides every Bucks employee 16 hours of compensated service time per year.

“What it equates to for many of our employees is an ongoing commitment, a couple hours a week, a half day per quarter or a more regular commitment in order to help build lasting relationships,” Dupies said.

In the first year of the program, 301 employees participated, volunteering more than 801 hours in the community at 67 different events for 46 different organizations, Dupies said.

Employees participating include everyone from top-level management and executives to individuals in the summer intern program.

In addition to team building within the organization, VolunDeers has proven to be an important asset for employees not originally from the Milwaukee area.

“A large percentage of our employees have relocated here from outside of the Milwaukee region,” Dupies said. “We’ve found that the program provides tremendous opportunities for those employees to explore Milwaukee and get to know the great organizations we have here.”

Eiland

Tyra Eiland, senior coordinator for social responsibility, manages the VolunDeers program using a volunteer time tracking system called Track It Forward.

The software program is integrated with the organization’s payroll system and produces a calendar of opportunities for which employees can sign up, Dupies said. Once employees commit to a particular event, the system follows up with reminder emails and alerts.

“Our social responsibility team vets each organization within the system,” Dupies said. “Employees are welcome to bring organizations to us they’d like to work with, but organizations within the system are those we’ve conducted site visits with, we know the work they do and we know the volunteer opportunity will be organized.”

In addition to the formation of these two entities, the Milwaukee Bucks’ $524 million arena, currently under construction and dubbed the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, is designed to be not only the hub of entertainment in the region, but also an engine for economic growth and a renewed sense of community.

Research indicates that employees today want to be engaged in their communities, Dupies said.

“Providing these opportunities and fostering and encouraging engagement in the community is the right thing for all companies to consider,” Dupies said. “It’s a net gain in the long run. You’re adding two days to your payroll, but you’re going to instill in your employees, particularly your transplant employees, what a great community this is to live, work and play.”

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