Aflac has a long-standing commitment to pediatric cancer research and treatment, having raised more than $75 million to support such efforts. And now Aflac is ramping up its support by aligning employee volunteerism with the pediatric cancer fight.
Employees have already demonstrated a commitment to the cause through donations and volunteer activities at the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta. To further its dedication to pediatric cancer, Aflac recently established a partnership with VolunteerMatch, a nonprofit organization that provides information on volunteering opportunities in local communities for individuals in America. The initiative is coordinated by several departments internally, including corporate communications and employee relations.
Partnering with VolunteerMatch was not a difficult decision for Aflac. VolunteerMatch has a strong reputation for vetting charities and provides an easily navigable system for users, commented Laura Kane, Aflac Vice President of Corporate Communications. Through this relationship, Aflac gains access to an extensive network of nonprofit organizations that can help it further its giving efforts. Aflac is also leveraging VolunteerMatch’s social media reach to increase visibility around the cause and what the company is doing in response.
VolunteerMatch’s mission to connect people with causes they care about matches Aflac’s objective, Kane said. The company can now provide its employees and friends with a way to contribute to the pediatric cancer fight from their own backyard. The partnership is run through a public online portal at www.aflac.volunteermatch.org. Using the portal, people can get involved in three ways: giving time or skills, donating money, or hosting a fund-raiser to support cancer treatment research.
Aflac employees have been volunteering for decades, but a partnership with VolunteerMatch provides them with additional volunteering outlets and allows Aflac to better capture and manage their efforts, Kane explained. Although it is still in the beginning stages, Aflac has received positive feedback and enthusiasm from the public and its employees. As the project continues, Aflac plans to measure whether there is an increase in employee volunteerism and engagement as a result of this new initiative. However, “efforts like these don’t always come with a clear ROI, especially in the context of this being Aflac’s first effort of this kind,” Kane noted.
Despite this uncertainty, Aflac pursued the project to raise awareness and action around pediatric cancer. "Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death due to illness for children 15 years or younger in the United States," said Kathleen Amos, president, Aflac Foundation. "By drawing attention to the thousands of children and families affected by cancer and providing a way for everyone nationally to join the fight, we can help raise both the emotional support and the funds that drive best-in-class treatment and research at the Aflac Cancer Center and across the nation."