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Twin Cities Businesses Help Communities and Increase Morale with Work-For-Free Programs

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  Work-For-Free Programs

Corporate trailblazers to be recognized by A Billion + Change at Nov. 16 event

Business Wire

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- November 16, 2012

From the latest micro-volunteering strategies to leveraging the technical
expertise of food industry giants, companies in the Twin Cities and across the
country are redefining the future of corporate service through pro bono
volunteering. On Nov. 16, A Billion + Change will recognize Twin Cities
businesses leading social change through pro bono service at a breakfast and
panel discussion at the Mall of America.

This breakfast will spotlight the innovative ways companies are giving back to
their communities at the start of the giving season, and will build on the
momentum of A Billion + Change’s national campaign to mobilize billions in pro
bono service from businesses across the country. The breakfast will be held
from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. in the Great Room at the Mall of America, and will
feature a thought-provoking panel discussion with:

  *Kate Rubin, Vice President of Social Responsibility for UnitedHealth
    Group. United Health Group uses online micro-volunteering that enables its
    employees to contribute their professional skills to nonprofits by
    completing short assignments for nonprofits. More than 1,000 employees
    have volunteered this year, helping nearly 350 nonprofits in 17 countries.
  *Donna Svendsen, Associate Director of Community Action for General Mills,
    Inc. More than 300 General Mills employees have volunteered thousands of
    hours to lend technology and support to African farmers and food
    producers. By using big company food science and lending its professional
    expertise, General Mills has helped food producers, like SoyAfric, develop
    fortified and locally sourced food products for infants, seniors and
    people living with HIV/AIDS.
  *Katie Janowiak, Senior Specialist, Community Affairs at The Medtronic
    Foundation. The Medtronic Foundation has piloted a global skills-based
    employee volunteer program addressing diabetic caregiver awareness and
    gestational diabetes in India.

“Skills-based volunteering is a natural extension of our volunteering
program,” said Rubin. “The micro-volunteering model is an ideal forum for busy
people to plug into nonprofit projects and provide valuable insight and
impact; feedback from employees has been nothing short of inspirational.”

“It was a mind-blowing, hair on fire, sleep-when-I’m-dead experience. The
people we’ve worked with are incredible, the need is unimaginable, the
experience indelible,” said Lane Desborough, who participated in Medtronic’s
pilot volunteer project in Chennai, India.

The Mall of America event, organized by A Billion + Change, UnitedHealth Group
and HandsOn Twin Cities with sponsorship support from Corporate Volunteerism
Council-Twin Cities, is the latest in a series of events highlighting pro bono
change-makers across the nation. Since November 2011, more than 250 companies
have pledged $1.9 billion worth of pro bono services to help build nonprofit
capacity as part of A Billion + Change.

"By investing in skills-based volunteering, the business community can make a
big impact on social issues critical to our country’s economic recovery and
overall well-being,” said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light, which houses
and manages A Billion + Change. “Skills-based volunteering is central to our
ability to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the
world.”

For nonprofits, the value of skilled support in areas such as general
operations, technology and professional services can be 500 percent greater
than the value of traditional volunteering, according to True Impact, which
helps organizations measure the social and business impact of their
operations. Skills-based volunteering programs are also valuable talent
management tools that help businesses attract and retain talent, especially as
skilled volunteers are 47 percent more likely to report higher satisfaction
from their service than traditional volunteers.

To learn more about A Billion + Change and to see a list of companies that
have pledged, please visit: www.abillionpluschange.org.

About A Billion + Change
A Billion + Change is a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of
pro bono and skills-based volunteer services by 2013. It was launched by the
Corporation for National and Community Service in 2008 and continues as an
initiative of the federal agency. Reinvigorated in 2011 with expanded
leadership under the honorary chairmanship of Senator Mark Warner, it is now
housed and managed by Points of Light. The initiative is powered by the
support of Deloitte, HP, the Case Foundation and IBM with additional founding
support from State Farm, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Morgan Stanley. Learn
more at: www.abillionpluschange.org.

Contact:

A Billion + Change
Yvonne Siu
ysiu@pointsoflight.org
Cell: 1-202-494-9060
 
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