Last fall, Warner Media was looking for ways to make their annual Global Volunteer Day virtual for the first time.
“Typically we would have a lot of in-person volunteering,” says Priscilla Medeiros, a member of the employee engagement and social responsibility team. But in 2020, the pandemic “forced us to look at other options for volunteerism.”
Warner Media chose Charity Miles as one of their partners.
“We really liked that [with Charity Miles] we could give employees the option to volunteer over the weekend and volunteer with their family,” says Priscilla.
“That's my particular favorite way of how we've been branching out,” she adds. Before, “we did in-person, weekday, employee-only events. [But last year] it became not just a Warner Media family event, but an actual family event for our employees.”
The more flexible timing also meant more employees — like those who work the night shift or have intense hours — could get involved. “Those kinds of employees probably could not volunteer during the day or even at night on a weekday, but could definitely do it over the weekend,” says Priscilla.
The flexibility has been “our biggest positive feedback,” Priscilla adds.
And it had a big impact. Opening up Global Volunteer Day to the whole weekend meant Warner Media employees were able to run, walk, or bike an impressive 2,200 miles.
Those miles supported several organizations, from the Nature Conservancy to Feeding America, since Warner Media let each employee choose which charity they donated to.
Why did they let each employee choose?
“Global Volunteer Day is all about giving autonomy and ownership back to the employee,” says Abby Bullard, a teammate of Priscilla.
Most importantly, “being able to let them choose allows us to have a bigger footprint in terms of who we’re impacting in the community,” adds Priscilla.
For the Warner Media team, giving back to the community is what it’s all about.
“It's important for us as a company to prioritize volunteerism, because it gives us a sense of impact on our community,” says Priscilla. “Our employees really resonate with that whenever we have a program.”
“It’s not just about working for the company, but using their resources and connecting with the people in their communities to make a difference,” says Abby. Letting them choose means employees can “build a connection in the cities where they live, work, and play.”
“The last two years have been really tough on employees in terms of connection with people and places out in the community,” Abby adds. Using Charity Miles gave them a chance to “get out of their house and be active, and then to in turn donate to a cause that's really close to home and personal for them.”
“Volunteer Day is such a big thing that people look forward to every year, just because we come together,” says Priscilla. “It gives our employees that spirit that comes with volunteerism.”
Warner Media will be using Charity Miles again on December 3rd for this year’s Global Volunteer Day. “We’re really excited,” says Priscilla.
We’re excited as well. Congrats to the whole Warner Media family on all you accomplished last year — and we can’t wait to see the impact you make this year too!