Best Business Neighbor Award-Finalist, Capital One Financial Corporation


Finalist: Capital One Financial Corporation

The Capital One Investing for Good Volunteer Program is at the heart of how the company creates shared value. The program is designed to share associates’ expertise and passion with Capital One's communities.

What makes the program uniquely powerful is that it supports the overarching goal of expanding economic opportunity in communities where the company does business by “Investing for Good” in four focus areas: Financial Literacy, Affordable Housing, Small Business/Workforce Development, and Education.

The Capital One Investing for Good Volunteer Program has five components:

1. “Hearts and Hands”: Volunteers contribute hands-on support to local organizations (e.g. renovating school libraries).

2. One Week: A company-wide week of service.

3. Pro Bono Service: Brand Marketing, IT, HR, Finance, Operations, Process Analysis, Real Estate, and Legal associates contribute their professional skills to nonprofits.

4. Financial Education: Associates leverage their money management core competency to provide financial literacy training.

5. Nonprofit Board Service: Senior leaders share their leadership and management expertise by serving on nonprofit boards. Capital One supports them by providing training on how to be effective board members.

"Part of the Business Strategy"

The Capital One Investing for Good Volunteer Program is an important part of the business strategy for several reasons including:

Business Development: Associates’ connections and engagement in our communities attracts new customers.

Customer Cultivation: By channeling volunteerism into the Investing for Good focus areas, associates are helping community members become more financially literate and financially stable – both qualities that make for better current and future CapitalOne customers.

Associate Recruitment and Engagement: Our Volunteer Program helps us attract and retain the best talent. In the 2010 Capital One all employee survey, associates selected “how Capital One contributes to the community” as a top five predictor of engagement.

Talent Development: The Volunteer Program – particularly the pro bono component– is also a key strategy for talent development, providing our associates with not only a way to give back to their communities, but a way to build leadership and professional skills.

License to Operate: Volunteerism helps us meet the stipulations of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), government guidelines for banks to satisfy the needs of low-to-moderate income areas.

Reputation: Our success as a bank depends on our reputation in local communities. Nothing strengthens our reputation more than the contributions of our volunteers.

Measurement and Results

Capital One measures participation in the Investing for Good Volunteer Program, as well as its direct social and business impacts.

Participation

In 2010, 8,612 Capital One associates volunteered 125,888 hours. Since 2007, the number of hours volunteered by Capital One associates has risen more than 265%.

"Capital One leads by example when it comes to volunteering. After their work today, our learning center can serve 25-30 kids, as opposed to 12-15."

Debra Sweezer Boys and Girls Clubs of Collin County, McKinney, TX

Social Impacts

Short-Term

Much of the short-term impact of Capital One volunteers’ work is felt through One Week and Financial Education activities.

  • During One Week in 2011, 1/3 of Capital One associates served nearly 300 community organizations by renovating schools, hosting career planning workshops, training aspiring entrepreneurs, and completing more than 600 other projects.
  • In 2010, Capital One volunteers devoted nearly 30,000 hours toward providing financial education to more than 36,000 people – making an immediate difference in their ability to take control of their financial destiny.

Long-Term

In addition to the long-term impacts volunteers have on beneficiaries’ lives, Capital One volunteers make a long-term impact on communities through pro bono and board service.

  • Nearly 400 Capital One leaders serve on nonprofit boards, making a long-term impact on the strength of those organizations.
  • Since 2008, Capital One professionals have contributed the equivalent of approximately $5 million in pro bono services to nonprofits to help them build their capacity and ultimately better meet their missions.

Business Impacts

By connecting with community members – whether it’s individuals through financial education trainings, entrepreneurs through small business workshops, or nonprofit leaders through pro bono – volunteers have uncovered countless new business leads and customers.

Capital One is consistently recognized as a best place to work, in part due to its strong Volunteer Program.86% of associates report that they feel good about how Capital One contributes to the community.

More than 50% of associates engaged in pro bono programming feel participation in pro bono enhances their professional skills. Nearly 90% of managers said they saw improvement in associates’ leadership skills after they participated in pro bono projects and more than 50% noticed an improvement in problem-solving ability.

More than 36% of volunteer hours are CRA qualified, helping satisfy government regulations.

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