Skills-based Volunteerism

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CHAPTER 4

Skills-Based Volunteerism

6 min read June 17, 2020
Skills-based Volunteerism

Leveraging employee skills

MetLife employees contributed 36,000 hours of skilled service in 2019.

In partnership with Taproot Foundation, MetLife Foundation joined forces with Dell Technologies to host a pro bono skill-sharing workshop in North Carolina — a first-of-its-kind, two-company collaboration. The objective: help nonprofit organizations redesign an approach, process, or tool core to their success. Volunteers from MetLife and Dell led projects at six organizations — the Alzheimer’s Association, Bridge II Sports, Green Chair Project, Habitat for Humanity, Marbles Kids Museum, and Urban Ministries — ranging from developing a more user-friendly online donation tool to creating a help desk system to increase operational efficiency. MetLife plans to build on the success of the workshop by collaborating on additional skills-based projects globally with Dell in 2020.

Our employees globally participate in other types of skills-based volunteerism, individually and in teams, on single days and for extended periods.

800+ volunteers from MetLife Mexico provided 10,209 hours of service in 2019, demonstrating an almost 350% growth in the number of volunteers and a 445% growth in hours spent from prior years.

MetLife volunteers help nonprofits increase long-term financial health

In 2019, MetLife Foundation and the Taproot Foundation brought together 44 MetLife volunteers from 10 markets in the virtual, 12-week Inclusion Plus Alumni Pro Bono Program. Through the program, volunteers provided mentoring support to nonprofit organizations working to accelerate financial health and inclusion in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Ireland, Portugal, and the U.S. Organizations involved included:

  • Good Shepherd, which is working to improve the economic well-being of women in Australia who have experienced hardships, though a specially-designed financial inclusion action plan. MetLife volunteers reviewed the plan and provided recommendations that will help the organization improve internal processes and better serve its clients.
  • GoParity, an online investment platform connecting individual and company investors with projects, is aiming to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals through its crowdlending business model. MetLife volunteers helped the organization expand its work in Spain by reviewing GoParity’s strategy, providing coaching, and introducing them to potential partners.

Community Volunteerism

Giving back to communities monetarily and through our time and skills fosters stronger connections between us and our people — and helps build resilience in our communities.

In 2019, MetLife received Junior Achievement’s (JA) Gold U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award — the highest level of recognition — for providing more than 15,000 hours to JA around the world.

Addressing food insecurity with Rise Against Hunger

For the past six years, MetLife Foundation has partnered with Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people. In 2019, more than 2,000 MetLife employees at 11 U.S. and two India sites spent more than 10,000 hours packaging nutrient-rich meals for people at risk of food insecurity and increasing their own awareness of the issue. The annual event is an initiative of our employee resource group Rising Professionals at MetLife (iRise).

Our Purpose

MetLife Legal Affairs provides pro bono services on critical issues

MetLife Legal Affairs established its pro bono program in 2008 as an arm of the Legal Affairs Diversity Committee to foster collaboration among our pro bono, diversity, and talent initiatives with broad participation from our Legal, Compliance, and Operations teams. We also work with MetLife Foundation to financially support legal, cultural, and volunteer organizations. Our Legal Affairs team focuses on three principal areas: legal services, community involvement, and increasing the pipeline for diverse legal talent.

Our ongoing pro bono legal collaborations include:

  • City Bar Justice Center’s Monday Night Law:  For over a decade, MetLife employees have participated in these clinics, and more recently, supported the Civil Court Help Center Project.
  • Legal Aid Society Access to Benefits Helpline:  Our employees staff the Helpline once every other month.
  • NYC Small Claims Court Volunteer Arbitrators Program: Our employees have served as volunteer arbitrators since 2009.
  • Safe Passage Project, Immigration Equality, and Legal Services NYC: Our employees volunteer their time representing individuals facing language barriers in legal proceedings through these programs.
  • Lawyers Alliance: We have helped train NYC-area nonprofits in negotiating technology agreements and participated in several clinics.
  • Medical Legal Partnership: We have assisted clients with obtaining medical, insurance, and other benefits necessary for financial security.
  • WILLS Clinics: We have independently organized WILLS clinics every year since 2011. Our employees, in collaboration with an outside counsel, draft wills, powers of attorney, and healthcare proxies for first responders and members of the NYC arts community.

In 2019, MetLife employees spent a quarter of our volunteer hours with three organizations: Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and Junior Achievement Worldwide. Here are a few examples of our employee volunteerism in 2019:

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MetLife employees give back globally MetLife employees give back globally MetLife employees give back globally

Constructing new housing, improving existing housing in disrepair, and undertaking revitalization of community facilities and open space with Habitat for Humanity International. 18 markets

Inspiring children and adults with intellectual disabilities through sport with the Special Olympics. 19 markets

Helping prepare young people for employment and entrepreneurship through hands-on, experiential learning in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship with JA Worldwide. 25 markets

Planting trees with Arbor Day Foundation, to improve air, soil, and water quality in our communities. 106 volunteers
200 trees

Engaging in vet initiatives through our MetLife Veteran’s Network including the Valor Games, a competition for wounded vets. 5k hours

Volunteering with Rise Against Hunger to prepare meal kits for those in need around the world. 2,077 volunteers
10,314 hours

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