We need to find ways to bond and stay close together, even though many of us are still working from home. Many people were missing the feeling of being on a team, and this was a way to get closer together again, fighting for the same goal.”
A lifelong runner, Lysandre Bouvard is passionate about using running to raise money for good causes.
“I’m always thinking of ways to improve the way money can be raised and make it more fun,” Lysandre says. “I stumbled on the Charity Miles app and immediately thought it was such a great idea.”
Lysandre, Managing Director of Global Go-Head of Institutional Hedge Fund Solutions at J.P. Morgan, wanted to bring Charity Miles to his colleagues at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. He decided on a “bottom-up” approach and started with his team, Global Alternatives.
Lysandre and his teammates decided to partner with Charity Miles for their team’s annual community service event in October, Alts Days of Service. “This was a true opportunity to make this event global,” says Lysandre. When Alts Days of Service was held in person in previous years, each office around the globe held separate small events. This year, all 700 global team members had the opportunity to get involved.
Lysandre and his colleagues chose two weeks for their event, which was “long enough for people to get involved yet not too long, so people would be excited and have a sense of urgency.” They finished the week of the New York marathon, to give additional excitement to the large New York section of the team.
Employees got to choose from 60 charities to support, which was one of Lysandre’s favorite aspects of the campaign.
“Every one of us has their affinity or preference,” he says. “It was incredible to see that people choose more than 50 charities, which shows that every one of us is different. It enhances the concept that diversity is key in everything we do. I think that’s one of the huge benefits of this app.”
Altogether, the team walked, ran, and biked enough miles for J.P. Morgan to make a $46,000 contribution.
The priority for Lysandre was to make the challenge fun, so they would get more engagement and raise more for charity.
The team split into 10 teams of 50 to 200 people each, following the lines of business. Then, they laid out several awards.
“The big idea was to make this more of a team event than a personal one,” says Lysandre. So the awards were for team achievements like participation rate and amount raised per person, as well as for several fun categories, like most pictures posted, best Halloween costume, or best pet picture.
“Management was pleased to see that on average teams participated at about 80-plus percent, which showed that people embraced this idea,” says Lysandre. “I think one of the reasons we got these high participation rates is that we tried to make it as fun as possible.”
Lysandre and the other organizers sent out emails every other day and made them as funny as possible. They used gifs from favorite TV shows and referenced leading team members. And they put a spotlight on the 10 members of the operating committee, with an award for the most and least contributing members. Lysandre and the other organizers wanted to encourage the operating committee to lead by example, “and they did!” he says.
Lysandre thinks there are three reasons the event was such a hit.
“It was an easy way to raise money for charity, to feel good and have an impact,” he says.
Second, “It’s a good way to push yourself physically. When I was running marathons, what drove me was the idea that the money I would be raising would ultimately do good, and it was just not my achievement.”
And third, due to the pandemic, “we need to find ways to bond and stay close together, even though many of us are still working from home. Many people were missing the feeling of being on a team, and this was a way to get closer together again, fighting for the same goal.”
Lysandre is happy that others within JP Morgan have asked him how they might organize something similar for their teams. “All along, I hoped that it could inspire other teams and that we could take it more broadly across the firm.”
Congratulations to the whole J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives team for their inspiring achievement. #EveryMileMatters