Tiffany Tavarez, Wells Fargo
Vice President, Community Relations, Wells Fargo
Years in Field: 15. 3 years with Wells Fargo
My Volunteerism Path:
This type of work is a way that I live, not just a thing that I do. I’ve always been connected to the community through service and that behavior continued as I have evolved in my career. I’ve worked for various organizations with very different work cultures. I brought my practice of volunteerism and social impact to each role, enhancing the current work culture while refining how I can be the best community relations professional possible.
My Company’s Approach to Volunteerism:
There is no doubt about the power of a dollar; the amount of a grant is indisputable. However, the employee engagement is what truly determines the value of a partnership. When employees have an opportunity to interact with the community in a way that goes beyond being a client or consumer, it educates them on how to make the best decisions for the people in the places where we live and work. It also humanizes a company for the community, especially in times of crisis when they need to feel that we’re accessible and here for them.
Right now we have a responsibility to ensure our employees are safe and informed on how we move forward as we all navigate through the COVID-19 crisis. We want to be sure our dedicated employees, who typically engage through in-person volunteer opportunities, still feel connected to their varying causes and organizations through virtual volunteering. This is a shift we have made—we are engaging employees in volunteerism through virtual channels like webinars, Facebook Live events, virtual telethons, and other activities.
Although there is no perfect formula for what that looks like, we know being proactive will keep our employees motivated in a thoughtful and responsible way.
Key Component for Effective CSR
What has recently started to motivate me most are those individuals who are not engaged in any type of volunteer service. The ones who believe ‘someone else will do it’ or who feel they don’t have enough of something (i.e. time) in order to make a difference. I see these individuals as a collection of opportunities for our team to strengthen our culture of action, but that can only happen by cultivating a culture of hope first. And right now, we need hope more than ever.
Advice for Those Considering Working In Corporate Volunteerism
This work is not linear. It is imperative to expand your experience – both through employment and volunteerism – in order to look at societal challenges from all angles. Lastly, the diversity of your personal network directly correlates to how much impact you can make professionally. You cannot impact a community you do not know.
By the end of the COVID-19 Crisis, I want corporate social impact…
to be intentional in how it will address inequity through philanthropic and volunteer engagement strategies in order to lift communities who are perpetually marginalized.