CAPITOLA, Calif. (3/21/13)--In 1992, Capitola, Calif.-based Fay FCU set an ambitious goal for its annual community support initiatives: 100% employee participation. Employees accepted the challenge and during the next 12 months far exceeded their individual goals in volunteering. Ten years later, they are still going strong.
Participating at a recent fundraiser are from left, Bay FCU employees Laura Owen, Angelynn Dang, Chris Lewis, Cameron Haste, Alicia Flores and Michelle Haddix. (Photo provided by Bay FCU)
For 10 consecutive years, 100% of the $678 million asset credit union's employees have participated in volunteering and fundraising opportunities for local schools and nonprofit organizations.
"On the surface, it is remarkable that we've been able to do this," said President/CEO Carrie Birkhofer. "However, upon quick reflection, it is not really surprising at all. Bay Federal employees believe in our community. They understand that they can make a real difference in our community by just showing up and getting involved. Volunteerism is a core value that employees readily embrace."
Volunteer projects are all employee-driven and coordinated by an all-employee steering committee. "Employees choose the organizations and events they want to support, organize volunteer teams, and bring their families and friends to help out," said Birkhofer.
They earn a credit for volunteering and receive recognition pins signifying the number of credits earned in the previous year. "It's not uncommon for employees to earn five to 10 credits or more in a year," said Birkhofer. "It's become a competition for some, but most people just enjoy knowing that their hard work is appreciated. And for most people, the reward of giving is often equal to the value provided."
"Bay Federal members have come to understand that service doesn't stop at our front doors," she added.
In 2010, Bay Federal became the first recipient of the Governor and First Lady's Medal of Service Award as California's Small Business Volunteer Program of the Year. It has received "Organization of the Year" awards from five chambers of commerce and the United Way of Santa Cruz County. It also repeatedly is voted "Best Financial Institution" in annual reader polls for the Good Times, Press Banner and Santa Cruz Weekly regional newspapers.