Give Back Iowa Challenge

By Volunteer Iowa on Monday, November 11, 2019

Winners rewarded with visit from Gov. Kim Reynolds

The winners of the 5th annual Give Back Iowa Challenge, a campaign in which businesses encourage their employees to volunteer and log their hours, were recently honored with a trophy presentation and visit from Gov. Kim Reynolds.

"Volunteering and helping out in times of need is what makes us all Iowans, and I’m proud to celebrate the companies who go the extra mile to encourage their employees to volunteer," said Gov. Reynolds.

The three winning workplaces took part in the eight-week challenge from April 1-May 31. Participating employers were divided into three categories based on the number of employees. Winners were selected by the highest average number of volunteer hours per employee. 

RELATED: Workplaces see high return from investment in volunteerism

The 2019 Give Back Iowa Challenge had 49 participating organizations — representing more than 45,000 employees in Iowa — that logged more than 74,000 volunteer hours. According to the current Iowa volunteer rate per hour from the Independent Sector, the value of these hours exceeds $1.8 million.  

The 2019 winners include:

POET Biorefining in Hanlontown (Small)
Clear Lake Bank & Trust Company in Clear Lake (Medium)
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Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside (Large)

Honorable mentions were given to  INVISION in Des Moines and Waterloo (Small),  First Citizens Bank in Mason City (Medium) and John Deere Des Moines Area (Large).

From a business perspective, employer supported volunteering impacts the bottom line. Studies show it leads to improved employee engagement, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and retention. From an engagement perspective, places of employment are perfect environments to encourage and support volunteering efforts that contribute toward meeting significant community challenges.

RELATED: Feel better by becoming a volunteer

“The winners of the Give Back Iowa Challenge demonstrate the impact employers have on improving our communities through service," stated Adam Lounsbury, Volunteer Iowa Executive Director.  "Employee volunteering is a win-win for both business and the community, and with the support of employers we can increase volunteerism across Iowa." 

“We applaud all of the Iowa companies who participated in the Give Back Iowa challenge for supporting not only their communities, but the wellbeing of their workforce through employer-sponsored volunteer opportunities,” said Jami Haberl, executive director of the Healthiest State Initiative. “Volunteerism has been shown to improve both physical and mental health, with benefits including decreased risk of depression, and reduced stress and anxiety.”

For resources on employer-supported volunteering or to find volunteer opportunities, click here